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] 7+ [16] yes yes yes yes yes Allows Modern UI related tweaks
Classic Windows Start Menu[17] SourceCodeBoy Freeware under a Creative Commons License yes yes no yes yes yes
Ex7forW8[18] Tihiy Freeware  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? Discontinued (http://tihiy.net/files/ex7forW8_1.0.zip)
Finalbird[19] Svyatoslav Yudin Freeware no yes yes no yes yes Favorites of Start Menu is unified with the other software parts
Handy Start Menu[20] ChemTable Software Freeware  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Tweaks.com Start for Windows 8[21] Advanced PC Media Freeware  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Pokki[9][10][12][22] SweetLabs, Inc. Freeware  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Power8[9][23] Power8 Team GNU General Public License  ?  ? ?  ?  ?  ?
RetroUI Pro[9][11][24][25] Thinix Trial  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Samsung Quick Starter[26] Samsung  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
StartFinity[27] WinAbility Software Free and paid editions available  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? yes Supports automatic localization of Start menu
Start Menu X[28] OrdinarySoft Freeware  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Start8[9][10][29] Stardock Corporation Trial  ? yes  ?  ?  ? yes
StartW8[30] SODATSW Freeware  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
StartIsBack[9][10][11] Пуск Будет Удобнее Trial 4+ yes yes  ?  ? yes modifies existing hot corners
Start Menu 8[9][10][12][31] IObit Freeware  ?  ? no  ?  ? yes
StartMenuPlus8[32] Winok Trialware  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Start Menu Reviver[33] ReviverSoft Freeware  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? yes touch screen support
SyMenu UGMFree Freeware 4  ? yes  ? yes yes It is completely portable too
ViStart[34] Lee-Soft Ad supported  ?  ? no no  ?  ?
Win8StartButton[35] Torch Media Inc.  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Win8Starter[36] 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.[37] StartIsBack is also localized.[38] 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 15 million downloads.[39] The Pokki download to restore the Start menu is free; as of January 2013, it has about 1.5 million users.[40] 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.[41] It is also available for Windows XP and Windows 7.[42] Pokki has raised $21.5M from investors like Google, Intel, and O'Reilly;[43] its business model is to make a commission on software sold through its app. store.[41][44] Start8 has been downloaded over 5 million times.[45]

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. ^ "Disable the new Windows 8 interface for good with Ex7ForW8". 
  19. ^ "Finalbird - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com". 
  20. ^ Handy Start Menu – CNET Download.com
  21. ^ "Tweaks.com Start for Windows 8". CNET. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  22. ^ "Pokki Brings Back the Start Menu to Help Confused Windows 8 Users". SFGate. 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  23. ^ "What Windows 8.1 Must Be – Personal-tech – Desktop Operating Systems – BYTE". Informationweek.com. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  24. ^ Adrian Kingsley-Hughes (2012-04-18). "Make Windows 8 Look Like Windows 7". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  25. ^ Erez Zukerman. "RetroUI tries to fix Windows 8's usability woes, but only makes them worse". PCWorld. 
  26. ^ Chris Smith  (2012-10-16). "Samsung to return classic Start menu to Windows 8 with free app | News". TechRadar. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  27. ^ Preston Gralla  (2012-10-12). "Windows 8 cheat sheet". COMPUTERWORLD. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  28. ^ Sandeep Yadav  (2012-08-29). "Start Menu X: Get Start Menu and Button in Windows 8". TechFeb. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  29. ^ Gregg Keizer (2012-09-27). "$5 buys a Start button, Start screen bypass for Windows 8". Computerworld. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  30. ^ Want To Get Back The Start Menu In Windows 8? Here's How | Mobile & Apps
  31. ^ Pegoraro, Rob (24 November 2012), Windows 8 woes? Get Start menu sub, retrieved 10 December 2012
  32. ^ Jon L. Jacobi. "Review: StartMenuPlus8 is just another utility to give Windows 8 a Start Menu". PCWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  33. ^ WINDOWS 8 START MENU APPS SHOWDOWN
  34. ^ Muchmore, Michael (2012-04-17). "Tip: How to Get the Start Menu Back in Windows 8". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  35. ^ 6 Things Microsoft Must Do In 2013 – Software – Windows 8
  36. ^ "Win8Starter: Startmenü gratis für Windows 8 – News – CHIP Online". Chip.de. 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  37. ^ RetroUI web site
  38. ^ StartIsBack web site
  39. ^ Classic Shell
  40. ^ Yahoo! News, Jan. 16, 2013
  41. ^ a b Kincaid, Jason (30 June 2011). "OpenCandy's Pokki Brings Web Apps To The Desktop, With Style". TechCrunch. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  42. ^ Pokki web site
  43. ^ Wauters, Robin (29 September 2011). "SweetLabs Raises $13 Million From Intel, Google And Others For Pokki App Platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  44. ^ Alex, Wilhelm (17 April 2012). "Meet Pokki: Bringing the power of mobile apps to your desktop". The Next Web. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  45. ^ 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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