Looking through both the "Home button vs Logo link?" and "Should I add a 'Home' Button to the navigation?" questions on UX SE, the information in both is still quite relevant even though some of it is two years old or more. "Relevant" doesn't mean there's a clear-cut answer, and really there isn't going to be a clear-cut answer applicable to all. I don't mean this as a cop-out answer but really your users are going to tell you if a Home button is still a must or not, through some testing.
Some things to think about:
- You mention that "huge sites like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft," etc do
not have a Home link -- which I would counter by saying what is
"home" at Facebook? Is it your profile, your news feed, or...?
Without a discernible "Home", it's difficult to link to one.
- Think about the value or the information on the "Home" pages at
Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Target, Walmart: what is it on the "main
page" of the site that is value-added enough to warrant the real
estate for a top-level navigation element?
- Same question as above, but for those sites that do have a "Home"
link -- what about their content makes you think they need one?
Personally, I don't have a rule that I apply across the board, besides a rule in which we plan for one and if the content and potential user actions allow me to recapture that space by removing it, then we do it.
But the decision to remove it never comes before we do some A/B testing, and the threshold for keeping it is often pretty low. Meaning, if even 2 of 10 are confused by the lack of a link, or don't get that a logo links to "the page we have determined to be 'home'", then we put that explicit link in there. And really, that happens more than you'd think. I do not agree that most users know that logo == home, mostly because I've seen users not "get" that time and again (regardless of age, which in my experience has little relation to tech-savviness with regards to web use). But again, your users/potential users, and your content, will help whether or not it's still needed in your particular instance.