I was pretty sure you don't need to install the equivalent of those things (now called Windows Phone app) if you just want to access it as a drive. It does install something on Windows, but automates the driver installation just like any printer or portable drive, so I don't think you need to be concerned assuming you run Windows. The clumsy software you used with WP7.x is not used for WP8.x.
I have a 1020 on WP8.1 (was 8.0) and I would recommend the ecosystem. I previously had a Lumia 610 - the cheapest end of the 7.x range compared to the most expensive end of the 8.1 range I have now, and was impressed. All the reviews say the bottom/mid-range WP8.x phones are even better.