Posted by : Amol Vaidya Tuesday, June 25, 2013

For all those Windows 8 users who wish that Microsoft brings back the start button and start menu, here's something that might help. There are a bunch of third party apps which let you have a start menu on the Windows 8 desktop. After trying out some of the notable ones such as Start8 from stardock, Pokki Menu, Windows8 StartMenu gadget and Classic Shell here is one which got my attention.

IObit Start Menu 8 -

The reason? Its got everything that I seek from it as a Windows 8 power user. Simple, lightweight, runs as a service, certified, customizable and it doesn't alienate me from Modern UI and you get all this for free. It offers an easy way to switch between Modern UI (IObit still calls it Metro) and Start Menu based desktop mode. Modern UI apps are also seen on the start menu under a separate category.

This is what Microsoft should have done rather than forcing Modern UI onto users. It reminds me of the days of transit from DOS to Windows 3.0 where you weren't forced to move to Program Manager on Day 1. You still booted to DOS, typed win to go to Windows and either went to DOS by running the MSDOS Shell or by exiting from Windows back to DOS. Then came Windows 95 with a whole new change - the explorer interface but you could still have a desktop short-cut to progman.exe aka Program Manager just in case you needed some time. As time progressed, users got used to the new interface in both these cases.. DOS to Windows and Program Manager to Explorer and it worked. I guess a similar strategy would have worked for Explorer to Modern UI.

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