|I think you need to get a handle on the larger picture here.|
First of all, Microsoft is in the business of selling operating systems. The arrangement MS currently has with the major OEM vendors calls for OEMs to install Windows on their new computers for very little cash. In return for any deep discounts two conditions exist.
First one is that the OEM provide any technical support required.
Second is that the license for that copy of Windows is only good for THAT exact computer. It can't legally be moved to any other computer.
This works for both parties. MSoft sells millions of copies of Windows and the OEMs sell computers with Windows for what it would cost you to assemble one WITHOUT the copy of Windows. The same arrangement applies to any bundled software.
In the past the movement of these licenses was not closely monitored. Now MS is proactive so you can' readily use a license from your old computer to the new.
I think you can see where that is in MSoft's best interest.
Now on to software. Current versions of Windows do not allow any software to have direct control of the hardware. That means that the hardware is controlled by Windows and any use of it must go through Windows.
This is accomplished primarily my the means of drives and dynamic link libraries (dll). So, software must be installed to each individual computer and Windows must configure things in order for the software to function.
This is also mutually beneficial to the software vendor and to MSoft.
This is also beneficial to the end user. You are protected by Windows so that software can't break the system as it did back in the Win95/98 days. Additionally there is the malicious software to deal with.
All the above is a simplification of the process but you can see why you can't do what you want to. No one but you and the hackers want things to work like that.
As far as you personal issues with passwords, shortcuts, etc. That is why pencil and paper are still handy. It isn't any different than if your computer had a hardware failure. You are still in that same boat. A computer is not a toaster.