I followed these instructions to boot directly to desktop and it works:
(note that it's not the same as mentioned in comment #8, although also from winaero)
all the options I've seen for boot-to-desktop are quite, eh, 'heavy' for want of a better term.
This one (from phitsc) where you have to re-activate the OS
The one that uses sheduler to change the setting on each reboot,
and then they have an app that does this - it has to start with windows (which also disables the popup edge panels on the desktop)
Seems MS have made it quite difficult to change - but it is
good to know when they work