I like the new tiles in the Windows 8 modern UI. Is there any way to put the live updating tiles on the start screen onto the desktop?
No, the use of live tiles on the desktop is not allowed (a new policy), but you can Snap Windows 8-style apps. Maybe this can help if you're looking into multitasking.
Old question I know, but someone may find an updated answer useful.
Apps that give you Metro live tiles in a sidebar or overlay on New UI or Desktop in Windows 8 or 8.1:
1) MetroSidebar 2) Omnimo
Additionally although not asked, for live tile style information that isn't available via Live Tiles (eg OS data that's got no API access from the New UI) you can also get back Gadget functionality itself (as opposed to live tiles):
3) 8GadgetPack 4) GadgetsRevived
(The last two seem to do the same thing, allow the old DLLs to be installed so Windows re-acquires full Gadget functions and integration, Gadget control panel, etc)