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Restore the classic Start menu in Windows 8

There's no doubt that Microsoft upped its game with Windows 8. The tile-based Metro layout is stylish, yet it puts function before form. But some early adopters miss the familiar Start menu, which made its debut way back in Windows 95. Many longtime users simply don't want to make the change. Some probably can't. It could be a productivity issue. But not to worry: the good old Start menu is easy to restore with ViStart 8.1. This free app not only restores the classic Windows Start menu in Windows 8 but also lets you customize your … Read more

Decor8 the Start screen in Windows 8

Decor8 is a simple app for Windows 8 that enables users to customize the look and feel of their desktops, lock screens and of course, the new Modern UI environment. Though Windows 8 comes stocked with some basic options, Decor8 adds extra features to give users that extra level of personalization and refinement.

After you install the app, Decor8 will appear on the Start screen like any other tile. When you open the app, you'll be greeted with an options menu that appears mighty hard to discern from a standard Windows 8 settings menu. From the Background settings, choose … Read more

Bring back the Start menu in Windows 8 with Start8

Start8 brings back the familiar start button to make your transition to Windows 8 a little bit easier. The first thing you'll notice when firing up your new Windows 8 PC is the lack of a Start button. For design reasons, Microsoft has removed the old Start menu in favor of the new Metro Start screen. Start8 aims to bring it back and help you make your move to the new Windows without compromising productivity.

The installation is light and fast, and setting up takes almost no time at all. Setup will ask whether you prefer the original Windows … Read more

How to log in directly to the Windows 8 desktop with Start8

Update, October 18, 2012: Early versions of Start8 required the user to choose a setting to enable automatic desktop. This post has been updated to reflect the changes to the latest version of Start8, which defaults to automatic desktop.

The start screen in Windows 8 has been a polarizing change from Windows 7, to put it mildly. If you click the desktop tile immediately after logging in, a free program by Stardock can save you some time. With Start8, you can automatically load the desktop immediately after logging in to Windows 8. Start8 will even add back the Windows Start button.… Read more

Miss the start button in Windows 8? This app will bring it back

People who just can't work in Windows 8 without the classic start button may want to check out a free app called Start8.

Designed by the folks at Stardock, Start8 tries to merge the convenience of the start button with the functionality of the new Metro environment. As such, it moves beyond the standard start menu with some unique features of its own.

You can download Start8 from its dedicated Web page and install it in the current beta, aka Consumer Preview, edition of Windows 8. Installation is quick and simple. After the app is installed, you'll see … Read more