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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

Results 1-10 of 49

  • 5.0 stars

    "Very useful"

    March 5, 2014  |   By Loyeme

    Version: Start8 1.31

    Pros

    Very useful since it gives us back the features that were gone with arrival of Windows 8-8.1.

    Cons

    Price - this kind of app should be free for windows users

    Summary

    I think it is absolutely rude that the users on whom the Microsoft and Windows were built on were taken the basic feature of the software they used for past several decades. I have bought windows 8 laptop with touchscreen however as someone said above, there are lots of us who use windows for more serious work than playing around on the internet. Metro ought to be on tablets and there's no way it should be default OS on PC - but an option. And I have to say out loud that we - the customers should be paid back for software like this because we were forced to have the worst windows ever that came with new computers. And this behavior just ruins all the rights of customers all over the world who must buy either more expensive Apple or just be forced to buy new computers with a total disaster OS like Windows 8. It's still a mystery for me why with an upgrade windows 8.1 haven't come with normal start menu - probably they have to make lost money back on app like this....good app but I am a really angry customer - SHAME on WIN 8-8.1 and the whole company's attitude.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "couldn't survive windows 8 without it!"

    January 9, 2014  |   By haphazyrd

    Version: Start8 1.30

    Pros

    adds a start menu

    Cons

    there are none really! kudos to Stardock for writing this, it's just unfortunate that it wasn't already an option in the windows 8 interface

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Microsoft should have all Win 8 users a free download"

    December 5, 2013  |   By bobjr94

    Version: Start8 1.30

    Pros

    Even with windows 8.1 it still sucks, cant find anything I want. This fixes everything in a few seconds. Windows should give all users of Windows 8 a free download of the paid version of this.

    Cons

    None besides it's still Win 8.

    Summary

    Ill be sure to keep buying Windows 7 computers as long as they keep selling them to avoid this problem in the future.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Better than a Sharp Stick in the Eye!"

    November 29, 2013  |   By 1alexh

    Version: Start8 1.30

    Pros

    Returns the Start Menu from Win 7 level.
    Gives flexibility to configuration of the start menu.
    Truly gives us back our computers - especially those of us with no touch screen!

    Cons

    None. Okay, they might have made it flexible as other menus have, and allowed us to go with Win XP Pro, Vista, or Win 7.

    Summary

    While it looks simple enough, you can count on there being a lot going on behind the return of the Start Menu, and these folks deserve Kudos for returning control to the End Users.
    Truly, it doesn't matter what level user you are, having the ability to control our PCs is crucial. Being at the mercy of Microsoft, when they instituted Metro or Modern, was so very wrong and un-Microsoft.
    All's right with my Win 8.1 system now, and I can concentrate on getting things done, not trying to figure out HOW to get them started!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The Saviour of Windows 8 and 8.1"

    November 7, 2013  |   By GrahamSivill

    Version: Start8 1.30

    Pros

    Puts the start menu back into the desktop on Windows 8/8.1 and makes Windows 8 and 8.1 usable for a desktop user who does not have or ever want to be poking around on their monitors.

    Cons

    None. It just restores sanity for a desktop user.

    Summary

    Just get it and wave two fingers at the numpties at Microsoft who think we are all air heads who never do anything serious on a PC.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Reclaim Your Desktop!"

    September 13, 2013  |   By Micole10

    Version: Start8 1.20

    Pros

    Starts right to the desktop screen and avoids those annoying tiles
    Doesn't seem to slow the computer down.
    Runs completely in the background as if it didn't even exist.
    Allows for plenty of customization.

    Cons

    None that I can think of besides the $4.99 for something that should have been included to start with.

    Summary

    Even though you're paying for a product that should have been included from the start I would recommend this program to anyone who doesn't want to have to deal with the start screen and just wants to use their computer for desktop tasks like they have done in the past.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "full version came with a virus"

    September 7, 2013  |   By hibsbabs1

    Version: Start8 1.20

    Pros

    free version worked great, made it look like Windows 7. No more dealing with annoying tiles

    Cons

    After paying for the full version, and clicking on the link provided in the e-mail, laptop got such a bad virus, that the hard drive was infected and laptop didn't work at all anymore - had to be taken in to get wiped and restores. Everything installed on computer lost.

    Summary

    Enjoy the free version, don't pay for the full version (comes with a virus, at least in our case)

    Updated on Sep 10, 2013

    RETRACTION !!!!!!
    It seems that Start8 is not the program that caused the virus after all.
    After hard drive clean up, Start8 worked just great, just as intended.
    I guess it was a coincidence that caused the damage right after downloading the paid version.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "I wasnt really impress with Start8"

    August 28, 2013  |   By kingbed42

    Version: Start8 1.20

    Pros

    None that i know of

    Cons

    It is kind of hard to use dont really it

    Summary

    It didnt really worked for me i got rid of it i guess its a ok program but its not for me

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Absolutely fantastic"

    July 9, 2013  |   By BHENRIE

    Version: Start8 1.16

    Pros

    Bring the functional of win 7 to win 8.

    Cons

    None observed.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Never been a big Stardock fan..."

    June 28, 2013  |   By Mad_Bunny

    Version: Start8 1.16

    Pros

    Start8 is the perfect fix for Microsofts pathetic, dishonest attempt to grow their App Store by pretending they had to remove the Start Menu because [insert whatever pathetic lie you've heard, here]

    Stardock's offering is better than the rest for the sole reason of scrolling the items instead of exposing them via fly-out menus. Start8 is not only a solid Start Menu replacement but the perfect tablet interface, allowing the user to open any program or system menu with one thumb.

    Ironic, isn't it? MS has had the ultimate tablet touch-interface since 1995. They only needed to make one, small change.

    Cons

    I haven't found any.

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Results 1-10 of 49

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