My Pick For A Windows 8 Start Menu

In yesterday’s post I reflected Seven Alternatives To Restore The Start Menu In Windows 8 and explained that the Windows 8 desktop looks very similar to Windows 7 desktop minus the Start Menu (and Start Menu button). From what I have been reading on the internet, this is driving people to make statements that Windows 8 is another Windows Vista and that this release of Windows will fail.  I can tell you this is not another Windows Vista.

The more I explore Windows 8 I am finding that it is a finely tuned and stable operating system. Where the issue lies, in his case, is that Microsoft is taking the gamble by making changes in the visual appearance of the desktop operating system and encouraging us to change the way we do our work. This operating system is also geared toward the tablet computer and cloud computing; AND as a result, at the desktop computer level, we are getting the hybrid or the best of both worlds. There is no way that Microsoft can compete without a tablet or smartphone operating system platform. As a result, we have Windows 8.

I do have to admit, after I installed Windows 8, having not explored the beta or preview versions, I was somewhat discombobulated. The lack of the start menu was the focal point that caught me off guard; however, after careful thought it dawned on me – I never used the Start Menu much anyway and the new Start Screen (or Metro Screen) is basically your Start Menu. It is something you will get used to and will eventually see that it does have a good purpose.

If you do want to get the Start Menu back, at the desktop level of Windows 8, you will have to install one of the third party software applications that I mentioned in my article, Seven Alternatives To Restore The Start Menu In Windows 8.  Following the post of that article, someone asked; “Which one of these start menu replacements would I recommend?”.

After some testing, I ended up breaking my pledge of not buying software and ended up with Stardock’s Start8 (for $4.99). The other software options I tested were quite good, but I have always liked Stardock’s reputation and experience in the area of desktop menu development and modifications. I especially liked, following the install, that Start8 provided a skin option to give the start menu the metro look with the start menu button blending nicely into the taskbar.

Start8

Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements

  • Search for Windows 8-style (Modern UI) apps
  • Pin desktop and Metro apps to the start menu
  • Jump List support
  • Unified Search for apps, settings and files
  • Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
  • One click access to shut down, devices, music, documents, and videos
  • Windows 8 Start screen accessible from the Start menu

Clean, streamlined UI enhances Start8′s usability

Start8

So, if you are crying the blues, “Where’s my start menu?’”, then Stardock’s Start8 will be enough to pamper you until you get to the point with Windows 8 that you realize, I don’t need the start menu (or desktop) anyway.

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