Classic Shell brings Classic Start Menu to Windows 8

Good news, Metro haters: Classic Shell, a free and open-source program that replicates the classic Start Menu and Explorer à la Windows 95, now supports Windows 8 Consumer Preview!

As you can tell from the screenshot below, Classic Shell lets you choose from a variety of features and styles, so you can set up the OS to run just how you like it. It's also skinnable, so you can even make it look like the shunned love child of Windows Classic and Metro if you want to.

Classic Shell exemplifies one of the really great things about computers: you can customize them to your heart's content. Hopefully this means that everyone who wants to will be able to enjoy Windows 8 in whatever form they choose, whether it's in all of its vanilla Metro goodness, or a complete replica of Windows 3.1 with improved stability. Let's just all get along, okay?

You can download Classic Shell here. A full list of features is available from here.

Thanks to Neowin member Faikee for the tip

Image via Faikee

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113 Comments

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The guy posting here saying how great it is, probably is the author of it.

A start menu on a tablet is stupid.

jd100 said,
The guy posting here saying how great it is, probably is the author of it.

A start menu on a tablet is stupid.

Windows 8 only runs on tablets? That's funny, I thought it also ran on desktop PCs.

jd100 said,
The guy posting here saying how great it is, probably is the author of it.

A start menu on a tablet is stupid.

A fixed size Start menu with tiny icons which your fingers can't accurately touch is stupid on a tablet. If the icons are large enough for your fingers, it's better than tiles. And no one's forcing you to use it.

I used this on Windows 7 and hated it for two reasons:
1.) Extra programs running in the background to use critical Windows components
2.) Giving a third party program access to Explorer, Start Menu, etc.

I personally reverted back from Vista/7 to XP because I hated the UI "improvements". The difference is that I *know* I'm stubborn and close-minded. I just find it so amusing that everyone defending Windows 7 to death doesn't realize that so many of their complaints about 8 are the same complaints they easily dismiss about XP lovers.

The changes in Windows 8 are great in my opinion and I would prefer a switch to *just* Metro apps. Windows Vista/7 added so much redundancy, changes that couldn't be altered, and UI bloat because they just couldn't justify releasing two new versions with necessary core changes that would look like an XP service pack on the surface. Windows 8 Metro is a legitimate change in how Windows works.

Davo said,
Windows 8 Metro is a legitimate change in how Windows works.

UI wise? Sure.

Vista changed how Windows works within the kernel of the OS itself. MASSIVE changes between XP and Vista; impossible to 'upgrade' XP to it. UI? Yeah, you could still emulate it, but the core changes couldn't be done.

7 on the other hand was Vista SP3. I do not know why Microsoft decided to release a whole new OS for it when they could've applied the changes to Vista. Granted, they might have been scare of breaking something, but that's what beta testing is for.

Windows 8? I'm not entirely sure. I have zero intention of using it.

I just tested the shell program on a VM and I'm in tears. I'm getting rid of one of my old Vista installs and replacing it with 7. May even buy a whole new SSD for it..

I love the functions, I wish it did more, but there are so many interface tweaks for 7 I might find what I need after I'm running it.

Damnit, I thought this was added my Microsoft themselves! I've tried Windows 8 Consumer Preview, it was ok but I can't disable metro and that's my personal biggest problem as I don't really want to use it and it eats up VRAM, so when I play games I have even less then in Windows 7. In Windows 7 you can disable desktop composition but you can't do that in the Consumer Preview!

Hans Naserenusch said,
does search window work or is it a dummy?

Why don't you try it? It's free and open source. It doesn't have file/document search, never will. Only has program and settings search. If you want a Windows 7/Windows Vista style Start Menu with a search box which is selected by default when you open the menu, go to the Search Box tab in settings and check "Selected by default" and select the "Access normally" radio button.

I have been using Windows 8 for a while, and I dont see why I would need this. Only time I see Start Screen is when I boot up computer, or when I am doing a search. Windows still work like they always have.

Metro UI hate is a major overreaction, because if you dont want to, you don't spend almost any time on it when you are working on Desktop PC.

Unless you use Apps from market, in which case, it's probably great for you.

random_ said,
I have been using Windows 8 for a while, and I dont see why I would need this. Only time I see Start Screen is when I boot up computer, or when I am doing a search. Windows still work like they always have.

Metro UI hate is a major overreaction, because if you dont want to, you don't spend almost any time on it when you are working on Desktop PC.

Unless you use Apps from market, in which case, it's probably great for you.

Yes you need this to LAUNCH apps because if you have many apps installed you can't pin them all to the taskbar. You need this if you don't want to see the Start screen and still enjoy the other desktop-side improvements in Windows 8. And like some people say, no one's forcing you to use it. Microsoft is the one's who forcing Metro and eventually force Windows 8 or its successor with Metro on us.

xpclient said,

Yes you need this to LAUNCH apps because if you have many apps installed you can't pin them all to the taskbar. You need this if you don't want to see the Start screen and still enjoy the other desktop-side improvements in Windows 8. And like some people say, no one's forcing you to use it. Microsoft is the one's who forcing Metro and eventually force Windows 8 or its successor with Metro on us.

Quite frankly, if you don't want to use Metro at all, then move along. Paying for a Metro OS, only to strip out the Metro OS, means you're paying for nothing more than a couple of tiny UI enhancements to the desktop (eg. task manager) which can quite easily be replicated with free or low-cost apps for Windows 7. But if you've got cash spare to throw around on such trivial enhancements, the most of which you could add to Windows 7 for free, then feel free to send some cash my way

Edited by Ryster, Apr 12 2012, 7:06pm :

TCLN Ryster said,

Quite frankly, if you don't want to use Metro at all, then move along. Paying for a Metro OS, only to strip out the Metro OS, means you're paying for nothing more than a couple of tiny UI enhancements to the desktop (eg. task manager) which can quite easily be replicated with free or low-cost apps for Windows 7. But if you've got cash spare to throw around on such trivial enhancements, the most of which you could add to Windows 7 for free, then feel free to send some cash my way

Looks like you haven't read the Building Windows 8 blog where there are dozens of blog posts on the desktop side of improvements. No one's forcing you to use this.

The main problem I have with Windows 8 is that it has two User Interfaces (desktop and Metro). These two UIs are completely different in how you use them and they have nothing in common. How can anybody think that two UIs is a GOOD idea?

I dare you to create a program (or a game or pretty much anything) that features two unrelated UIs (that you use simultaneously). Then try to find a single person that will tell you that it is a good idea.

If there would be some kind of common denominator betweeen Metro and desktop, the usability of Windows 8 as a whole would be significantly improved. Even something as simple as closing a program doesn't work like it should (by a button with "x" on it, in the upper right corner).

Qualdan said,
The main problem I have with Windows 8 is that it has two User Interfaces (desktop and Metro). These two UIs are completely different in how you use them and they have nothing in common. How can anybody think that two UIs is a GOOD idea?

I dare you to create a program (or a game or pretty much anything) that features two unrelated UIs (that you use simultaneously). Then try to find a single person that will tell you that it is a good idea.

If there would be some kind of common denominator betweeen Metro and desktop, the usability of Windows 8 as a whole would be significantly improved. Even something as simple as closing a program doesn't work like it should (by a button with "x" on it, in the upper right corner).

Exactly. The Metro nonsense should have been spun off into a separate product for touchscreen tablets. There was no need for Microsoft to force it on a computer and make it harder to use with a mouse and keyboard. The reason Metro was developed was because the Windows 7 UI didn't work on a smaller sized TOUCH screen, but it always with computer screens and regular input devices. People just don't see it and drink the MS kool-aid. Whatever they do - it must be perfect because it's new and this is old.

I do understand Microsoft's idea of Metro Interface and why they would like to include it in Windows 8. The problem is that it simple doesn't work with the standard desktop environment.

Microsoft should simply add a choice screen to the installation of Windows 8: "Would you like to use the standard desktop or the new Metro?" That way you could choose to use only one of them, with a consistent experience overall. Now you have two unrelared UIs to navigate with different methods. No consistency whatsoever.

xpclient said,

Exactly. The Metro nonsense should have been spun off into a separate product for touchscreen tablets. There was no need for Microsoft to force it on a computer and make it harder to use with a mouse and keyboard. The reason Metro was developed was because the Windows 7 UI didn't work on a smaller sized TOUCH screen, but it always with computer screens and regular input devices. People just don't see it and drink the MS kool-aid. Whatever they do - it must be perfect because it's new and this is old.

Microsoft desperately want their tablet and phone division to succeed, so much so that they are willing to use their Windows monopoly to force Metro onto the market whether users want it or not. I think they are going to be surprised by how badly it will be rejected. Windows 7 is a perfectly good OS, there's no reason anyone has to put up with Metro.

Qualdan said,
The main problem I have with Windows 8 is that it has two User Interfaces (desktop and Metro). These two UIs are completely different in how you use them and they have nothing in common. How can anybody think that two UIs is a GOOD idea?

I dare you to create a program (or a game or pretty much anything) that features two unrelated UIs (that you use simultaneously). Then try to find a single person that will tell you that it is a good idea.

If there would be some kind of common denominator betweeen Metro and desktop, the usability of Windows 8 as a whole would be significantly improved. Even something as simple as closing a program doesn't work like it should (by a button with "x" on it, in the upper right corner).

Again another comment that proves that you just don't "get" Windows 8. It doesn't have two interfaces, it has one. The "classic desktop" is just an application compatibility shell, nothing more. Windows 8 is a Metro OS.

And for the record, you're not supposed to close metro apps. They tombstone themselves when not in use, consuming next to no resources. And it's actually quite simple to close metro apps (if you really must) when you know how. You just have to learn a very simple mouse or finger gesture, which will be explained to all new users when the OS launches, as with any other brand new platform. Just as it wasn't immediately obvious how to close apps on the iPad, until you learned to press the home button twice, press and hold on and app till it wiggled, then click the red cross icon.

Is Windows 8 perfect? No, far from it. But it's far from the un-usable monster that you luddites claim it to be.

TCLN Ryster said,

And for the record, you're not supposed to close metro apps. They tombstone themselves when not in use, consuming next to no resources. And it's actually quite simple to close metro apps (if you really must) when you know how. You just have to learn a very simple mouse or finger gesture, which will be explained to all new users when the OS launches

That's an incredibly stupid design and such a huge leap backwards. I don't want my programs "tombstoning" themselves, I want them closed. I also shouldn't have to use idiotic mouse gestures on a desktop OS when a simple close button has worked perfectly fine for decades. This is nothing more than a phone and tablet OS and it works great for those devices, but putting it on the desktop is really dumb and is destined to fail in the market.

TRC said,

That's an incredibly stupid design and such a huge leap backwards. I don't want my programs "tombstoning" themselves, I want them closed. I also shouldn't have to use idiotic mouse gestures on a desktop OS when a simple close button has worked perfectly fine for decades. This is nothing more than a phone and tablet OS and it works great for those devices, but putting it on the desktop is really dumb and is destined to fail in the market.

Not to you personal liking does not equal stupid. Far from it. There is logic behind the reasoning for suspending apps when you switch away from them rather than ending the process entirely. And clicking on a red X in the corner is no easier than a quick swipe of your mouse from the top of the screen. In fact, some might argue it's easier as you have the whole top of the screen to air for with the mouse rather than a pretty small box in the corner of the window.

It's just different and takes some getting used to. You luddites need to get used to the fact that the 17 year old design paradigm that was born in Windows 95 is gone and is not coming back. Don't like it? Tough. Vote with your wallet and don't buy it. The sales figures will reveal all.

I like how you downplay other people's personal opinions but then turn around and call them luddites if they don't agree with yours. You love Windows 8, that's fine but what gives you the right to bash other people who don't? Anyway, based on all I've seen so far it appears you are in the minority anyway.

I certainly can't predict the future, but I really believe Windows 8 is going to be a failure.

TCLN Ryster said,

And for the record, you're not supposed to close metro apps.

If you are not supposed to close Metro apps, why should they clutter up in your Alt-Tab or other app switching interfaces even if you are done with them?

KomaWeiss said,
I rather have the Windows 7/Vista start menu. I always hated Classic. D:

You can if you are willing to customize rather than just complain.

xpclient said,

You can if you are willing to customize rather than just complain.

Nope, I just prefer to complain. XD I did read. I'm just saying classic is crap.

Windows 8 is suppose to improve up on Windows 7 for easier access to your menu to your programs, Windows 8 is suppose to make it easier to complete tasks simply faster. Than why is that they went a whole step backwards?

This is SO lame. It's for losers who can't grasp new concepts and refuse to leave old, tired junk behind.

ScubaDog said,
This is SO lame. It's for losers who can't grasp new concepts and refuse to leave old, tired junk behind.

Or for those who understand that change is only good if it's for the better, and in the case of win8 the change is for the worse, nothing wrong with having the tools to fix it so that it can be made into something usable.

ScubaDog said,
This is SO lame. It's for losers who can't grasp new concepts and refuse to leave old, tired junk behind.

Newer isn't always better. You have to be completely blind to have no understanding whatsoever of usability.

ScubaDog said,
This is SO lame. It's for losers who can't grasp new concepts and refuse to leave old, tired junk behind.

yeah, you clearly have no concept of the average business computer user....

I read an article not too long ago about how Windows 7 is going to be the next Windows XP, for better or worse. I personally embrace change, when it's for the better. Enterprises, however, do not. Most of them are still on XP and just now finalising plans to upgrade to Windows 7. Enterprises are focused on one thing: getting work done. If their current system works, and there isn't anything else out there that will boost their productivity by several orders of magnitude, they won't bother. This is why XP still has the largest installed user base. Unless the Professional edition has an option to disable Metro and use a standard Windows desktop UI, Microsoft can forget about it getting adopted in the business environment.

That being said, I'm none too fond of Metro for my own personal use either. Why in the bloody hell would I want to look at an 8-bit color start "screen" on a 2560x1440 display? Dumbed down interfaces are meant for dumbed down devices like tablets, to perform dumbed down tasks like tweeting.

depaulhifi said,

yeah, you clearly have no concept of the average business computer user....

...snip...

The fact that you can't see the productivity advantages of Metro for all users, business users included, shows that it is you who has no concept of the average business computer user.

The average business computer user uses internet, email and ms office. And that's pretty much it. Windows 8 supports this scenario perfectly well so there's no reason whatsoever that Windows 8 couldn't be used for 80-90% of your business users. In fact having instant access to your upcoming appointments, unread mails, etc from the live tiles actually has the potential to make you more productive/ The other 10-20% who use things a little more advanced are also likely to have dual monitors too, at which point you automatically have the desktop on one screen and metro on the other, again making no impact on usability.

Also as you mentioned, most businesses are only now rolling out Windows 7 as part of a PC refresh program, mine included. Windows 8 won't even be considered for use by businesses until at least SP1 which is likely to be about 1.5 - 2 years away, as with all previous OS releases. By that time there will be a myriad of Metro-style apps available, many of them designed for business.

Making a choice now for a potential business roll-out in 2 years time is premature at best, short sighted at worst.

depaulhifi said,
That being said, I'm none too fond of Metro for my own personal use either. Why in the bloody hell would I want to look at an 8-bit color start "screen" on a 2560x1440 display? Dumbed down interfaces are meant for dumbed down devices like tablets, to perform dumbed down tasks like tweeting.

If all you're doing is staring at the Start Screen (ie. the replacement for the start menu and desktop) all the time, then quite frankly you're using the computer wrong.

kinda funny how you ignored his last paragraph about the "Dumbed down interface"
Obviously you latched on like a pitbull to the enterprise comment
and i knew it was coming too.. Every one of these topics you loiter around here
picking and choosing select comments to fanboy it up on,
always ignoring the best points made, such as the one i just pointed out
YOU are getting rather predictable around here..
Its gotten to the point where you are hanging around making millions of posts at every person that has a negative comment on win8
and proclaiming these people luddites.
I hate people that use the term troll.
but you sir would be the definition of it right here at neowin.
Do you work for Microsoft or something buddy ?

And to everyone that thinks Windows 8 sucks
please do speak up and don't let opinions be suppressed by fanboys.
If you don't speak up you get nothing.
A good example of this is when i was at my job bitching about the landlord
of the house i rent (as i did many times before) and one of the guys i was hanging out with went on to say i was being a whiner and implied i should quit complaining because its a waste of time etc..
And i looked at em and laughed in his godamn face and said ya BUT
I bitched at the landlord and they lowered my rent idiot
Prick had nothing to say after that

This whole windows 8 situation will be a monumental failure..
Listen to your customers or suffer the consequences

kryten said,
I don't think you know what R.I.P. really stands for.

Well, since you must be the authority on the subject why not educate me and others who no nothing. It must be nice to be so smart, and oh by the way I have buried more friends and relatives than your age. . .\s

kryten said,
I don't think you know what R.I.P. really stands for.

And I don't think you know which reply button is which

You are right though, Pam said "rest in peace in peace" by posting R.I.P. in peace". Pam, what did you think the IP in RIP stood for?

TCLN Ryster said,

And I don't think you know which reply button is which

You are right though, Pam said "rest in peace in peace" by posting R.I.P. in peace". Pam, what did you think the IP in RIP stood for?


As stated in earlier post, I was being \s, having fun with words. The reason being is because all the parrots have doomed win 8.

Yes, certainly Microsoft is going to succumb for make such a change to Windows.


/s

I really wish I knew if people really understand what they are saying half the time.

Dot Matrix said,
Yes, certainly Microsoft is going to succumb for make such a change to Windows.


/s

I really wish I knew if people really understand what they are saying half the time.

Open your eyes fan boy and count the number of "I hate the win 8 start menu" posts in this thread. While you're at it, ask yourself why someone went through the trouble of programming an entire hack to bring back the classic start menu. People severely hate it. You're unique. Yay for you. Everyone that has Microsoft share better sell now, because Win 8 definitely won't be selling.

Kelxin said,

Open your eyes fan boy and count the number of "I hate the win 8 start menu" posts in this thread. While you're at it, ask yourself why someone went through the trouble of programming an entire hack to bring back the classic start menu. People severely hate it. You're unique. Yay for you. Everyone that has Microsoft share better sell now, because Win 8 definitely won't be selling.

If we're fanboys, that makes you and other haters here luddites. A small, but vocal group of people posting on a PC enthusiasts forum is not a representative sample.

And for the record, they went to the trouble of "programming an entire hack" to pander the luddites who have no clue what Windows 8 is all about. As I said above, Windows 8 is a new platform, it's NOT an evolution of Windows 7. It's not supposed to be easier to run legacy apps on. Windows 8 is a Metro OS designed to run Metro Apps primarily. Since there are no Metro Apps of any worth at the moment, theres no possible way anybody can truly know what the new platform will be like when it is released.

TCLN Ryster said,

If we're fanboys, that makes you and other haters here luddites. A small, but vocal group of people posting on a PC enthusiasts forum is not a representative sample.

And for the record, they went to the trouble of "programming an entire hack" to pander the luddites who have no clue what Windows 8 is all about. As I said above, Windows 8 is a new platform, it's NOT an evolution of Windows 7. It's not supposed to be easier to run legacy apps on. Windows 8 is a Metro OS designed to run Metro Apps primarily. Since there are no Metro Apps of any worth at the moment, theres no possible way anybody can truly know what the new platform will be like when it is released.

Wow, apparently Windows 7 users are luddites! Keep throwing that word around, it will come in handy when Windows 8 bombs in the market. You can cry and blame the "luddites".

TRC said,

Wow, apparently Windows 7 users are luddites! Keep throwing that word around, it will come in handy when Windows 8 bombs in the market. You can cry and blame the "luddites".

Windows 8 is going to sell. Quite simple. It works, there's no compatibility issues, and the learning curve is nill. I know many want it to fail, clinging onto false hopes that if it does, the Start Menu will somehow come back, but it's far from the truth.

Pam14160 said,
R.I.P. in peace Microsoft.

Rest in peace in peace Microsoft? I think you just mean "R.I.P. Microsoft." Although I don't agree with you.

Intrinsica said,

Rest in peace in peace Microsoft? I think you just mean "R.I.P. Microsoft." Although I don't agree with you.

I was being \s

With all the haters of the new metro style and disappearance of the start menu, and if Microsoft didn't back off this.. i think it's sadly gonna be the beginning of the end of the company...

Win 8 is very nice to use with a tablet , using one here!

Metro makes more sense using it like this , still don't like the look of it though , hopefully the 'skinners' will get to work on it soon!

Wait... so no one has used yet..... OOOHH

Damn it, can't post pics... Perfect time for the Demolition Man 3 seashells joke!

How do you switch the pinned programs and recent documents placement? It's reversed to what it should look like from Windows 7.

Interesting. But too preoccupied with useless "features" crap like skins, sounds, animations. It is its own kind of thing and not Classic or Modern Windows Start Menu. And it doesn't have the necessary options to make it so.

Phouchg said,
Interesting. But too preoccupied with useless "features" crap like skins, sounds, animations. It is its own kind of thing and not Classic or Modern Windows Start Menu. And it doesn't have the necessary options to make it so.

Still a lot better than dealing with metro on the desktop.

Phouchg said,
Interesting. But too preoccupied with useless "features" crap like skins, sounds, animations. It is its own kind of thing and not Classic or Modern Windows Start Menu. And it doesn't have the necessary options to make it so.

Classic Shell Start Menu has the maximum options for customization of every kind that any other Start Menu - Microsoft's or third parties'. So I think you are just bashing for the fun of it.

xpclient said,

Classic Shell Start Menu has the maximum options for customization of every kind that any other Start Menu - Microsoft's or third parties'. So I think you are just bashing for the fun of it.

I always do that just for the fun of it. No point otherwise. If I'll absolutely have to use Windows 8, you bet I will also use this one to make my day easier.

Order_66 said,

Still a lot better than dealing with metro on the desktop.

If you want an OS that looks like and works like Windows 7, that runs legacy non-metro apps, then why are you even running Windows 8? Stick with Windows 7, the new OS isn't for you. You shouldn't be "dealing" with anything. Windows 8 isn't an evolution of Windows 7, it's an entirely new platform. Reset your thinking.

The simple truth is, if you're not willing to embrace Metro and the usability enhancements it brings when running Metro apps exclusively, then Windows 8 is not the OS you are looking for and you should look elsewhere, not just whine and moan about it.

TCLN Ryster said,

If you want an OS that looks like and works like Windows 7, that runs legacy non-metro apps, then why are you even running Windows 8? Stick with Windows 7, the new OS isn't for you. You shouldn't be "dealing" with anything. Windows 8 isn't an evolution of Windows 7, it's an entirely new platform. Reset your thinking.

The simple truth is, if you're not willing to embrace Metro and the usability enhancements it brings when running Metro apps exclusively, then Windows 8 is not the OS you are looking for and you should look elsewhere, not just whine and moan about it.

Since I have/had every intention to purchase windows 8 with my own money then I most certainly have every reason in the world to point out its obvious flaws and give my reasons for deciding whether or not I will purchase it.

Heh, funny how all these Windows 8 fanbois always ramble "speak good or speak nothing at all". Well, "nothing unless good" - that's how it is of the dead. In this case, dead on arrival.

Order_66 said,

Since I have/had every intention to purchase windows 8 with my own money then I most certainly have every reason in the world to point out its obvious flaws and give my reasons for deciding whether or not I will purchase it.

But that is like buying a car without a sunroof, and then bitching and moaning to everybody that listens that the car didn't come with a sunroof. Windows 8 is a metro OS. Don't want metro? Don't buy Windows 8.

TCLN Ryster said,

But that is like buying a car without a sunroof, and then bitching and moaning to everybody that listens that the car didn't come with a sunroof. Windows 8 is a metro OS. Don't want metro? Don't buy Windows 8.

That's a horribly flawed comparison, if i wanted a car with a sunroof then I would buy it with a sunroof, unlike windows 8 where metro is forced on you whether you want it or not.
Being a consumer I have ever right to complain, hopefully microsoft is listening to the complaints by consumers and will do something about it but I wont be holding my breath.

Phouchg said,
Heh, funny how all these Windows 8 fanbois always ramble "speak good or speak nothing at all". Well, "nothing unless good" - that's how it is of the dead. In this case, dead on arrival.

Yeah or dead before arrival, stillborn.

warwagon said,

Why isn't "Computer" on the classic start menu?

Because the developers are fans of the Classic 9x menu and it was born after Windows 7 removed the Classic Start Menu. You can add 'Computer' yourself however and set it to expand or as a link. Hover over anything to see tooltip help. It's endlessly customizable.

xpclient said,

Because the developers are fans of the Classic 9x menu and it was born after Windows 7 removed the Classic Start Menu. You can add 'Computer' yourself however and set it to expand or as a link. Hover over anything to see tooltip help. It's endlessly customizable.

They should at least add it to a the list of stuff that is available to add.

warwagon said,

Why isn't "Computer" on the classic start menu?

hey, if you want to go backwards, you're going to have to go back even further. Put the ol' My Computer icon on the desktop.

Skwerl said,

hey, if you want to go backwards, you're going to have to go back even further. Put the ol' My Computer icon on the desktop.

Program Manager

warwagon said,

They should at least add it to a the list of stuff that is available to add.

It's already there in the "Edit Custom Command" dialog on the "Customize Start Menu" tab. The reason it isn't on the "Special Items" tab is because adding the whole "Computer" folder to the Start Menu and setting it as an expandable menu can affect performance. The menu caches icons at startup of whatever's added to it to give a smooth feel.

When I select "Windows 7 Aero" and "Two Columns," it doesn't look much like your screenshot above. It looks pretty much the same as the default setup, but with a different skin. Where can you flip it to look like your screenshot, or is it a matter of hunting down and changing several settings?

BTW, do you have one of the special 3-state pngs of the Win8 logo?

rseiler said,
When I select "Windows 7 Aero" and "Two Columns," it doesn't look much like your screenshot above. It looks pretty much the same as the default setup, but with a different skin. Where can you flip it to look like your screenshot, or is it a matter of hunting down and changing several settings?

BTW, do you have one of the special 3-state pngs of the Win8 logo?

It's not really that hard to configure it once you take time to customize it. Customizing will be needed to be done only once because you can save it and be rest assured that it will always work with future versions of Classic Shell or multiple installs on other computers. Use "none" for the icon field to remove the icon like the right column of the Windows menu. The "Windows Vista Aero" skin is also quite similar to the Windows 7 skin (I prefer its colors). Refer to the tooltip help or regular help inside the program for more customization.

Oh god.

I had no idea about this piece of software. I thought the only thing available was Seven Classic Start.. and I was not interested in paying for it when it wasn't that great of an emulation.

This may let me be able to finally use Windows 7, although I may still have to find some custom UI's to get rid of the pointless stylization and other changes which make using classic features incredibly troublesome.

soone or later ms will awke up and reaslie that metro is not for every one. just add back the start menu or even give is the classic menu. id go back to jsut that insted of the newer win vista/7 style menu.

its going to put a lot of people off from upgradeing, but then again there is the newbreed of computer users that fap over metro and say change or dont bother get used to it.

for a touch interface its fine but as a desktop/laptop interface it dosnt have a natural flow.

ahhell said,
No.

Yes. I predict that you'll see some accommodation for this huge blunder in Windows 9.

It's too late for Windows 8 to get fixed for the desktop, but losing market share to Apple in the one place Microsoft still has dominance will have its slow, but inevitable, repercussions.

excalpius said,

Yes. I predict that you'll see some accommodation for this huge blunder in Windows 9.

Do you really understand what Metro is doing? The Start Menu is dead, gone, and buried. There's no bringing it back now. There's no point in bringing it back now, doing so would only serve to add confusion amongst customers, and the wider market would be all over that in an instant. No. I foresee Microsoft sticking to their guns (which is what they should do). Windows 9 will further the transition away from the 9x computing paradigm, and those dinosaurs wishing to not evolve can die with Windows 7.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Apr 11 2012, 10:01pm :

Evolve? What if what you're supposed to evolve to isn't actually better than what you were before? Is that supposed to happen in evolution? I've heard very, very few people say that the Desktop UI in Win8 is better than Win7. For those of us who want to continue to use the Desktop UI on desktop machines, the choice of a Start menu that makes sense for the Desktop environment should never have been snatched away from us.

If you're going to say "well, you shouldn't be using the Desktop anyway," I think you'll find even fewer fans of using pure Metro on a desktop machine. If they'd come up with a better paradigm for a desktop machine, I would have used it. They didn't, IMO. I expect to like it on a tablet, but then I don't expect to have a tablet in the foreseeable future.

Dot Matrix said,

Do you really understand what Metro is doing? The Start Menu is dead, gone, and buried. There's no bringing it back now. There's no point in bringing it back now, doing so would only serve to add confusion amongst customers, and the wider market would be all over that in an instant. No. I foresee Microsoft sticking to their guns (which is what they should do). Windows 9 will further the transition away from the 9x computing paradigm, and those dinosaurs wishing to not evolve can die with Windows 7.

If you didn't notice from the poll that was put up here, only 5% of the people that tried the Windows 7 preview are still using it as a daily driver. 95% of people STOPPED using it, and believe that it is more difficult to use and an evolution in the WRONG direction. This will be just like real life. The strong will survive, and windows 8 is not the strong OS as far as usability. You will be the one to be removed from the evolutionary pool, not us.

Kelxin said,

If you didn't notice from the poll that was put up here, only 5% of the people that tried the Windows 7 preview are still using it as a daily driver. 95% of people STOPPED using it, and believe that it is more difficult to use and an evolution in the WRONG direction. This will be just like real life. The strong will survive, and windows 8 is not the strong OS as far as usability. You will be the one to be removed from the evolutionary pool, not us.

They stopped using it because there was nothing to use it with, ie. no apps. It has nothing to do with it being more difficult to use. You need to realise that this OS is a new platform, as the iPhone was when it first came out. Legacy apps being harder to use is kind of the point. Windows 8 isn't designed for legacy apps. It's a new Metro app platform. If you're not going to run Metro apps on it, then don't buy it. It's really that simple.

Spyder said,
use linux

Yeah, let's go back to a 1970's computing paradigm because we're ****ed that Microsoft has taken Windows back to the 1980's of computing.

Good thinking there...

Spyder said,
Resist change! Fight the future!
Change is fine, but options should be given. Why is "Microsoft's way" the "right way"?

Raa said,
Change is fine, but options should be given. Why is "Microsoft's way" the "right way"?

It has been proved that the Apple's way is the right way for Apple users, so why not?

Spyder said,
Resist change! Fight the future!

Change is not always forward looking and good you know... all that is there today is due to change and not everything has made our live and the earth better...

Jombi said,
Still wish this was a configurable option in windows 8...

Not going to happen. Like it or not, for better or worse, Windows 8 is a Metro OS with the desktop just being provided as an application compatibility environment. If you want to hack it to make it look and work like Windows 7, that's your prerogative.

Jombi said,
Still wish this was a configurable option in windows 8...

If that were to be the case, you'd never learn to appreciate the new way by giving it a valid chance. Look at how many people still put program icons on their desktop (like the Program Manager in Windows 3) rather than use the Start Menu. Sometimes people are stubborn like mules and stupid like chickens. They don't know what's best for them. You have to herd them- sometimes forcefully.

TCLN Ryster said,

Not going to happen. Like it or not, for better or worse, Windows 8 is a Metro OS with the desktop just being provided as an application compatibility environment. If you want to hack it to make it look and work like Windows 7, that's your prerogative.


And that's exactly why Windows 8 will be another Vista. Shunned. It's totally impractical for enterprise business environments. People (some of whom will have been using computers for years and others who are basically noobs) will have to go to courses on how to use a computer. Ridiculous

Skwerl said,

If that were to be the case, you'd never learn to appreciate the new way by giving it a valid chance. Look at how many people still put program icons on their desktop (like the Program Manager in Windows 3) rather than use the Start Menu.

Except that this is PRECISELY why Microsoft owns 95% of the desktop market for business, home, and professional users - backwards compatibility and that there's always more than one way to do the same operation.

While Metro is great as competition for touch devices and phones, it is going to be utterly bewildering to 95% of Microsoft's established market share.

Metro on the desktop will go down as one of the biggest major corporation blunders since New Coke.

Skwerl said,

If that were to be the case, you'd never learn to appreciate the new way by giving it a valid chance. Look at how many people still put program icons on their desktop (like the Program Manager in Windows 3) rather than use the Start Menu. Sometimes people are stubborn like mules and stupid like chickens. They don't know what's best for them. You have to herd them- sometimes forcefully.

Sorry, turning my i5-2500 system into a tablet is not what's best for me.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,

And that's exactly why Windows 8 will be another Vista. Shunned. It's totally impractical for enterprise business environments. People (some of whom will have been using computers for years and others who are basically noobs) will have to go to courses on how to use a computer. Ridiculous

So, you're saying computing should just stay the same? I have some news for you...

TCLN Ryster said,

Not going to happen. Like it or not, for better or worse, Windows 8 is a Metro OS with the desktop just being provided as an application compatibility environment. If you want to hack it to make it look and work like Windows 7, that's your prerogative.

And that will be the cause of it's inevitable demise...

Skwerl said,

If that were to be the case, you'd never learn to appreciate the new way by giving it a valid chance.

And unless you've been living under a rock you will notice the vast majority of users do not like this "new way" despite giving it a valid chance, sometimes giving it many chances.

Skwerl said,

They don't know what's best for them. You have to herd them- sometimes forcefully.

Joseph Stalin is that you??

Order_66 said,

And unless you've been living under a rock you will notice the vast majority of users do not like this "new way" despite giving it a valid chance, sometimes giving it many chances.

When??? The CP has only been out for two months! How is that giving it a fair chance?

Dot Matrix said,

When??? The CP has only been out for two months! How is that giving it a fair chance?

Oh silly me, I didn't realize it took more than 2 months of daily use in order to formulate an opinion. /s

Dot Matrix said,

When??? The CP has only been out for two months! How is that giving it a fair chance?

Let me kick you in the crotch for two months before deciding if you like it or not. Same comparison.

Kelxin said,

Let me kick you in the crotch for two months before deciding if you like it or not. Same comparison.

u mad bro? It's not good to be mad. Get glad!

TCLN Ryster said,

Not going to happen. Like it or not, for better or worse, Windows 8 is a Metro OS with the desktop just being provided as an application compatibility environment. If you want to hack it to make it look and work like Windows 7, that's your prerogative.

The desktop is not a application compatibility environment... They have just amalgamated metro and aero... aero is not going anywhere...

And no, the desktop does not run as an app inside the metro environment although it looks like so... They wan't to show the metro interface on the forefront thats all...

Order_66 said,
And unless you've been living under a rock you will notice the vast majority of users do not like this "new way" despite giving it a valid chance, sometimes giving it many chances.

Actually I think you'll find that amongst "regular" users, (ie. not those posting on a PC enthusiasts forum), it's a fairly evenly split. And even here on Neowin, the vote was like 60% against v 40% for, if I remember correctly, certainly not a "vast majority".

I just installed it on my Windows 8 tablet, and OMG, it works SOOOOO much better with my finger than Metro does. Now I don't have to stop and type for crap, accessing the control panel is also Soo much faster. LOVE it!

This is not a joke, i'm being serious!

My only question is how do we add computer (my computer) to that menu

Edited by warwagon, Apr 11 2012, 7:28pm :

warwagon said,
I just installed it on my Windows 8 tablet, and OMG, it works SOOOOO much better with my finger than Metro does.

Is this a joke?

warwagon said,
I just installed it on my Windows 8 tablet, and OMG, it works SOOOOO much better with my finger than Metro does. Now I don't have to stop and type for crap, accessing the control panel is also Soo much faster. LOVE it!

This is not a joke, i'm being serious!

My only question is how do we add computer (my computer) to that menu

The start menu is better on a tablet? To each his own, but I disagree. I've used 7 and 8 on a tablet, and I definitely prefer 8. I've only needed to search a couple times, so the on-screen keyboard has not bothered me a bit. As long as you pin your frequently-used items, the Start Screen is much friendler to fingers.

warwagon said,

I'm being serious. have you tried both on a tablet?

I have used Windows 7 and Windows 8 on my tablet PC. Windows 8's start menu is infinitely easier to use with my fingers.

Skwerl said,

The start menu is better on a tablet? To each his own, but I disagree. I've used 7 and 8 on a tablet, and I definitely prefer 8. I've only needed to search a couple times, so the on-screen keyboard has not bothered me a bit. As long as you pin your frequently-used items, the Start Screen is much friendler to fingers.

The icon size of the Classic Shell Start Menu is adjustable and flexible so you can set it to any size which suits your fingers. At larger icons, it can easily beat the Start screen at showing more programs due to efficient utilization of screen space. But horrors, how can that be? Many will choose not to believe it because just can't accept it.

xpclient said,
Many will choose not to believe it because just can't accept it.

You really have no clue why people like the Start Screen, huh.

Aethec said,

You really have no clue why people like the Start Screen, huh.

Then explain it to me, can you why? You seem to have no clue why people like the Start menu after even I explained why.