Start8 1.03 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Start8

CNET Editors' review

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 7 style Start menu or the Windows 8 style, which is the incorporation of the Metro user interface into the menu. From then on, everything is optional and customizable. You can change the Start menu behaviors, font, icon sizes, color, style, and which shortcuts you want Start8 to display. Documents, Music, and Pictures folders are back to where they belong (pre-Windows 8) and so is the search bar. In addition of giving you wider control over the Start menu, Start8 lets you customize the Start button icon to any of the included icons or your own custom images.

The free trial gives you 30 days to play, tweak, and set everything up just the way you like it before asking you to purchase the full version for $4.99. PC Users without a touch screen (which the Start screen was designed for) or who rely on the Start Button to navigate through their programs and files will appreciate Start8 bringing the familiar features and functionality back to the latest Windows operating system.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.7 stars

    out of 49 votes

    • 5 star: 42
    • 4 star: 4
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 2
  • Current version:

    5.0 stars

    out of 18 votes

    • 5 star: 18
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 18

  • 5.0 stars

    "A must have software"

    January 5, 2013  |   By dimitar_kostov

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    Simple, clean, fast, very well designed. Gives back Windows 8 the desktop touch and productivity.

    Cons

    None so far.

    Summary

    The software made me stick with the new Microsoft OS. Let's face the truth - the modern UI is suitable for the mobile devices only. If you want your job done on a desktop PC with fewer clicks, Start8 is the app to go.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works just like the Windows 7 Start Menu"

    January 3, 2013  |   By tdemore

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    Start8 works just like the Windows 7 Start Menu. I have not found any bugs yet and it is very responsive.

    Cons

    I have not found any Cons yet.

    Summary

    This is a good solution until there are more native Windows 8 applications.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "#1 app to make Win8 usefull!"

    December 29, 2012  |   By BahamaBob13

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    Microsoft Windows 8 is an abortion!
    feeble attempt at upgrading! XP was the best
    OS they had and now to cater to flip screen
    app crap! from Apple? ***? you SUCK!
    If not for start8 to make things normal
    I would have trashed this lame OS and gone elsewhere
    THNKS! Start8 !!! Stardock Rocks!

    Cons

    nothing! maybe you guys could design the next Windows OS!
    cuz Microsoft sure can't!!!

    Summary

    Love it!!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Awesome! You saved my workflow."

    December 28, 2012  |   By Rhesust

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    I upgraded to "Windows 8 Pro", and I hated the dual nature of the OS.

    Then "Start8" came along and made "Windows 8" an awesome experience.

    No more fullscreen confusion.

    I only use the original W8 Start menu for quick access to an "All Programs" list now. (On "Windows 7" I used the desktop with "Stardock Fences")

    "Start8" is quick, and fits the overall design of W8 beautifully.

    Cons

    -None yet. I just hope they add more ways to customize it, without making it difficult for our less tech-savvy friends.

    Summary

    It's worth the 5 dollars.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "AWESOME APP"

    December 27, 2012  |   By MasanjaJr

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    It's an awesome app.
    Makes windows 8 be friendly

    Cons

    Definitely awesome

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  • 5.0 stars

    "BOOT DIRECTLY TO DESKTOP SCREEN!! (if you want)"

    December 26, 2012  |   By cdrg

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    Very easy installation.
    Totally restores Start menu.
    Lets you boot directly to the desktop screen.
    Easy to customize.

    Cons

    none so far.

    Summary

    I was looking for a solid & reliable program to restore the Win7-style Start button/menu, and this program delivers exactly what I needed. As an added-unexpected-awesome bonus, it has an option that allows you to boot directly to the "Desktop" screen at startup (just one mouse click and you can totally bypass the Win8 default "Modern UI" apps screen if you want...while still keeping the Win8 apps within reach in the Start menu). The option settings allow you to customize the Start button/menu and Desktop screen to blend the Win8 and Win7 environments in many different levels depending on your needs/desires. If you're looking to keep Win8 while regaining the feel of Win7, this is it (well worth the 5 bucks IMO...and shame on Microsoft for not including something like this as a standard for an otherwise nice Win8 upgrade).

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Essential Tool for New PC Buyers"

    December 22, 2012  |   By phntmvygr

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    - Returns Start Menu functionality
    - Is NOT expensive
    - Is Essential
    - Is Simple and Intuitive to use

    Cons

    - None

    This existence of this tool shows Microsoft's folly. I would like the old Microsoft back please.

    Summary

    When my wife and I received our new HP laptop in the mail, we thought we would give Windows8 a chance. Quickly, we felt as if we had lost our digital hands, literally.

    So, I searched for a solution to 're-enable' the Start button, and found my friends in Plymouth Michigan, and makers of an absolutely marvelous product called Windows Blinds.

    This product delivers everything it says it will. It made Windows8 usable for the first time. I would have paid triple for this tool and not been ashamed (except for at Microsoft). I'm beginning to feel sad for them (Microsoft) really. Who in their right minds would not include somethings that is 'Essential' and 'Easy to Use'. Darn.

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Good program those that like W7 Start Menu"

    December 16, 2012  |   By Old-Navy

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    This program puts on your screen a Start button that will give you a Windows 7 type of Start Menu. This is for those that do not like the way W8 starts and loads programs on the screen.

    Cons

    Non I have found yet

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Restores even multiple category search!"

    December 11, 2012  |   By mattdeany_wright

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    Worth every penny, beautiful, simple and robust.
    After trying the excellent 'Classic Shell', this beauty goes one better. Not only can you chose your start but symbol, turn on or off as much of the 'Metro' GUI as you like, but the default Windows 7 search includes programs, files, folders and other items in it's Start Menu search box. Since I work with files primarily, with a variety of applications, and prefer to access files directly, this is fantastic, and something that 'Classic Shell' cannot yet offer.

    Cons

    None so far.

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "kudos to the developers"

    December 8, 2012  |   By gottdownunder

    Version: Start8 1.03

    Pros

    highly customizable
    sweet relief from desktop just not feeling right

    Cons

    none so far (thust 5 stars)

    Summary

    i am by no means afraid of technology change, but MS did miss the boat by removing the start button. kudos to the developers for filling that gap and certainly worth 5 bucks. This tweak brings an anchor back to the desktop. I'm sure MS will realize their error and build in your functionality to future releases, but you should be commended for getting in on the ground floor and plugging this gaping hole. Ill buy when my trial is up assuming no glitches (just installed today).

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Results 1-10 of 18

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