Comparison of Start menu replacements for Windows 8

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Microsoft's operating system Windows 8 introduced an updated Start menu known as "Start screen", which uses a full-screen design that consists of tiles that represent applications, and doubles as the primary interface of the operating system instead of the Windows desktop. Additionally, the on-screen Start button was replaced by a hidden button in the corner of the screen; Microsoft explained that the Start button was removed because few people used it, noting the addition of "pinning" apps to taskbar on Windows 7.[1][2][3]

The change proved to be controversial among users, and a market ensued for applications which restore the visible Start button, emulate the previous Start menu design, or allow the users to boot directly to Desktop instead of Start screen.[4]

The following is a list of Start menu replacements for Windows 8 which have received coverage from third-party sources:

Name Developer License Skins Run Pinning Aero Sort Boot to desktop Notes
Classic Start 8[5] Crawler, LLC Freeware No Yes ? ? ? ?
BringBack[6] Revel Software ? ? ? ? ? ? Discontinued [7]
Wentutu Start Menu[8] Wentutu ? ? ? ? ? ?
Classic Shell[9][10][11][12][13] Classic Shell team Versions 3.6.8 and prior: Open source MIT License (except for skins, logo, artwork etc. which is copyrighted),[14] Versions after 3.6.8: Proprietary Freeware [15] 10+extensible[16] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Allows Modern UI related tweaks
Classic Windows Start Menu[17] SourceCodeBoy Freeware for non-commercial use only (CC-BY-NC-ND)[18] Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Ex7forW8[19] Tihiy Freeware ? ? ? ? ? ? Discontinued (http://tihiy.net/files/ex7forW8_1.0.zip)
Finalbird[20] Svyatoslav Yudin Freeware No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Favorites of Start Menu is unified with the other software parts
Handy Start Menu[21] ChemTable Software Freeware ? ? ? ? ? ?
Tweaks.com Start for Windows 8[22] Advanced PC Media Freeware ? ? ? ? ? ?
Pokki[9][10][12][23] SweetLabs, Inc. Freeware No ? ? ? ? Yes
Power8[9][24] Power8 Team GNU General Public License ? ? ? ? ? ?
RetroUI Pro[9][11][25][26] Thinix Trial ? ? ? ? ? ?
Samsung Quick Starter[27] Samsung ? ? ? ? ? ?
StartFinity[28] WinAbility Software Free and paid editions available ? ? ? ? ? Yes Supports automatic localization of Start menu
Start Menu X[29] OrdinarySoft Freeware ? ? ? ? ? ?
Start8[9][10][30] Stardock Corporation Trial Yes Yes Yes ? ? Yes
StartW8[31] SODATSW Freeware ? ? ? ? ? ?
StartIsBack[9][10][11] Пуск Будет Удобнее Trial 4+ Yes Yes ? ? Yes modifies existing hot corners
Start Menu 8[9][10][12][32] IObit Freeware ? ? No ? ? Yes
StartMenuPlus8[33] Winok Trialware ? ? ? ? ? ?
Start Menu Reviver[34] ReviverSoft Freeware ? ? ? ? ? Yes touch screen support
SyMenu UGMFree Freeware 4 ? Yes ? Yes Yes The menu is entirely portable
ViStart[35] Lee-Soft Ad supported ? ? No No ? ?
Win8StartButton[36] Torch Media Inc. ? ? ? ? ? ?
Win8Starter[37] Engelmann Media GmbH ? ? ? ? ? ?

The number of skins in the table givens the number of built-in skins. If there are downloadable skins, then a "+" is appended to the number to indicate that download extensions are possible.

RetroUI, StartIsBack, Classic Shell, Start8, and Pokki are five of the more notable of these.[9][10] RetroUI is offered in 33 languages, and also for Windows Server 2012, and adds a taskbar and resizable windows.[38] StartIsBack is also localized.[39] Classic Shell is formerly free and open source (now proprietary freeware), major items are localized and installing the Language Pack from Windows Update makes all items fully localized; Classic Shell is also available for Windows 7 and Windows Server, and claims over 25 million downloads.[40] The Pokki download to restore the Start menu is free; as of January 2013, it has about 1.5 million users.[41] The Pokki application platform, based on Chromium, enables desktop applications to be built—like mobile apps—using standard web languages like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.[42] It is also available for Windows XP and Windows 7.[43] Pokki has raised $21.5M from investors like Google, Intel, and O'Reilly;[44] its business model is to make a commission on software sold through its app. store.[42][45] Start8 has been downloaded over 5 million times.[46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Why Microsoft killed the Windows Start button". PC Pro. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  2. ^ Whitney, Lance (2012-02-06). "Microsoft removes start button in Windows 8". CNET. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  3. ^ "Why Microsoft killed the Windows Start button". PC Pro. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  4. ^ Whitney, Lance (2011-10-12). "Microsoft reacts to gripes over Windows 8 Start screen". CNET. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  5. ^ Free Traditional Start Menu Style for Use with Windows® 8
  6. ^ Revel BringBack (beta) Review | Windows 8 Start Menu Apps
  7. ^ "Revel Software - About Us". Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  8. ^ Bring the Start Menu back in Windows 8 with this app
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "9 Windows Start menus for Windows 8". IT World. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Sebastian, Anthony (2013-02-20). "How to bring back the Start menu and button to Windows 8". Extremetech.com. 
  11. ^ a b c How to get the Start menu back in Windows 8 | Windows 8 – CNET Reviews updated 2012/12/31
  12. ^ a b c "6 Start Menu Replacements for Windows 8". HowToGeek.com. 
  13. ^ Spector, Lincoln (2012-09-06). "Give Windows 8 the Start menu it deserves". PCWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  14. ^ Classic Shell SourceForge Project
  15. ^ Classic Shell FAQ, Is Classic Shell open-source?
  16. ^ Classic Shell Review: Softpedia
  17. ^ "Classic Windows Start Menu". Softpedia. SoftNews. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  18. ^ SourceCodeBoy. "SourceCodeBoy homepage". Retrieved 2015-01-09. 
  19. ^ "Disable the new Windows 8 interface for good with Ex7ForW8". 
  20. ^ "Finalbird - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com". 
  21. ^ Handy Start Menu – CNET Download.com
  22. ^ "Tweaks.com Start for Windows 8". CNET. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "Pokki Brings Back the Start Menu to Help Confused Windows 8 Users". SFGate. 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  24. ^ "What Windows 8.1 Must Be – Personal-tech – Desktop Operating Systems – BYTE". Informationweek.com. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  25. ^ Adrian Kingsley-Hughes (2012-04-18). "Make Windows 8 Look Like Windows 7". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  26. ^ Erez Zukerman. "RetroUI tries to fix Windows 8's usability woes, but only makes them worse". PCWorld. 
  27. ^ Chris Smith  (2012-10-16). "Samsung to return classic Start menu to Windows 8 with free app | News". TechRadar. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  28. ^ Preston Gralla  (2012-10-12). "Windows 8 cheat sheet". COMPUTERWORLD. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  29. ^ Sandeep Yadav  (2012-08-29). "Start Menu X: Get Start Menu and Button in Windows 8". TechFeb. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  30. ^ Gregg Keizer (2012-09-27). "$5 buys a Start button, Start screen bypass for Windows 8". Computerworld. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  31. ^ Want To Get Back The Start Menu In Windows 8? Here's How | Mobile & Apps
  32. ^ Pegoraro, Rob (24 November 2012), Windows 8 woes? Get Start menu sub, retrieved 10 December 2012
  33. ^ Jon L. Jacobi. "Review: StartMenuPlus8 is just another utility to give Windows 8 a Start Menu". PCWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  34. ^ WINDOWS 8 START MENU APPS SHOWDOWN
  35. ^ Muchmore, Michael (2012-04-17). "Tip: How to Get the Start Menu Back in Windows 8". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  36. ^ 6 Things Microsoft Must Do In 2013 – Software – Windows 8
  37. ^ "Win8Starter: Startmenü gratis für Windows 8 – News – CHIP Online". Chip.de. 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  38. ^ RetroUI web site
  39. ^ StartIsBack web site
  40. ^ Classic Shell
  41. ^ Yahoo! News, Jan. 16, 2013
  42. ^ a b Kincaid, Jason (30 June 2011). "OpenCandy's Pokki Brings Web Apps To The Desktop, With Style". TechCrunch. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  43. ^ Pokki web site
  44. ^ Wauters, Robin (29 September 2011). "SweetLabs Raises $13 Million From Intel, Google And Others For Pokki App Platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  45. ^ Alex, Wilhelm (17 April 2012). "Meet Pokki: Bringing the power of mobile apps to your desktop". The Next Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  46. ^ Mossberg, Walter S. (2013-05-07). "Review of Start8 and Pokki: Bringing an Old Start to a New Windows - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 

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