So you just spent a decent amount of your savings to buy a new laptop with the much crazed-about Windows 8 pre-installed. Or maybe, you upgraded your Windows 7 to 8 so that you could be on par with the latest software. But you soon feel uncomfortable, disorientated, maybe even sea-sick when you realise that your old favourite Windows button, that revealed the start menu, is missing in action. Whilst the Metro interface is a bold move by Microsoft to please users wanting a more modern feel that resembles the incredibly capable mobile devices in use today, snatching away the start menu was pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
In fact, it becomes even more apparently ridiculous when you realise that the code for the start menu is so intricately connected with the core code of the Windows GUI that Microsoft could not delete the start menu from Windows. Instead they simply hid it away from the desktop.. That’s right… Nuts! Luckily for us, the world is full of geeks who simply leap in joy at the opportunity created for them. So before you join a Start-menu-addicts anonymous group, here’s a few quick and easy ways to get back the start menu.
Developers at Pokki have been pushing an alternative desktop experience since Windows 7, but the missing start menu in Windows 8 has given them a unique advantage. The Pokki menu for Windows 8 doesn’t only offer you all the features of the traditional start menu, it boasts a different, modern UI, pinnable apps, the ability to tweak and change the colour scheme of the menu and most incredibly, access to really cool apps from the Pokki store. The best part? Pokki is FREE! Go and grab Pokki now!
The Pokki menu is fully customisable, even allowing you to swap the Pokki logo for the Windows logo on the actual button.
Traditional Start Menus
If you really liked the look and feel of the Windows 7 start menu, then of course you can get that as well. There are three popular start menus I’ve come across. Truth be told however, I have only tested Pokki, so no guarantees here, but from the reviews I’ve read, all three seem pretty reliable. Only one is free. The non-free ones are very affordable, costing $3 and $5. The non-free menus offer additional features, themes and customizability whilst the free one simply does a great job at giving you the traditional Windows 7 start menu back. By installing these start menus, your computer will boot directly to the desktop as it did in earlier versions of Windows. You’ll still have access to the metro start screen (junk). You’ll be able to customise how to access the menus and where to boot to.
These are not the only options. Do a Google search to find plenty more start menus that you can install in Windows 8. Some offer different themes and features. Find the one that suits you.