I was searching for a program to improve my experience switching users in Windows 8 (eight). My wife and I each have Microsoft Accounts, so a password is required for switching users in windows.
From the "Metro" interface it's relatively quick; there's a dropdown that shows the other users, which takes you straight to the password entry screen for the other user. In desktop (which we both use exclusively) it's harder. You can hit Winkey+L to lock the screen, but then you have to use the mouse to back out to the "switch users" screen (no hotkey that I've found for this except for tab-tab-tab-tab-tab-spacebar), and for some reason the transition between "lock screen" and "switch users screen" is a fairly slow one.
Other choice is to click start button (I use "Classic Shell"), select arrow next to shut down, choose "switch user," then type the password for the other user. Too much mouse, although it can be done with winkey-right-right-w.
First I found "Fast User Switch," a portable .exe that drops you immediately to the "switch user" screen. The website is http://www.myportabl.../fastuserswitch.aspx
but the utility is behind a share-on-facebook wall. The direct download is http://www.myportabl...fast_user_switch.zip
But then the real find, and the reason I decided to write this post (after searching here and finding nothing) is a utility called "DUST" for "Direct User Switching Task"http://www.waybeyonduk.com/DUST/
This utility has no user interface by default, but can use a tray icon for selecting another user. It registers a hotkey (winkey+A by default) which pops up a selection box to choose the other user, and prompts for the other user's password. It can save the password after you first type it, so on subsequent runs it immediately switches users. On a two-user system like mine, I've set up DUST to switch immediately to the other user, with no prompt, win I hit Winkey+A. It's much much faster than any other method I've found, as it skips all the slow-loading intermediate screens.
For you AHK/FARR users, there is a command line interface included. I'm using on Windows 8.1, but the website indicates it'll work on Windows Seven, Vista, and XP.
Hope this posts helps a future dc'er who's looking for something like this.