Start8 restores the Windows Start menu to your Windows desktop and adds a variety of customization settings to extend its capabilities beyond what previous Start menus were capable of. In Windows 8, Microsoft did away with that feature to implement the tiled Metro interface across Windows 8 operating systems -- both mobile and desktop.
Customization options: You can determine exactly how you want your new Start button to work with Start8. You can decide how you want it to look, what you want to be displayed in it, and how you want it to behave. This includes making it work essentially like a replica of the old Windows 7 Start button, which is a real blessing for some people.
Integration: As far as testing could determine, this app works perfectly. Nothing was missing from the menus that should have been there, and everything opened and navigated perfectly. It is nice that there remains a button right at the top of the menu to access the Windows 8 menu if for some reason you want to navigate through that interface as well.
Cost: The only real drawback is that the app is only free for 30 days after you install it. However it is well worth experimenting with it throughout the trial period to see if it is worth the cost.
At the end of the day, if you miss the look and feel of Windows 7, then Start8 is for you. No one resents the efforts of Microsoft to create a more effective, powerful operating system, but many people miss the ease of navigation that has been present through so many previous versions of the OS. Start8 can bring that back.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Start8 1.45.
Start8 returns the same Windows 7-style Start menu you have depended upon, while adding enhancements just for Windows 8. Quickly access your applications, devices, music, videos and documents the way you always have with Start 8.
Features include a Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements; search for Windows 8-style (Modern UI) apps; pin desktop and Metro apps; boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop; or make the Windows 8 Start screen accessible from the Start menu.