Start Menu apps still work in Windows 8 Release Preview

Despite a previous report that Microsoft was working hard to prevent applications that restore Start Menu functionality to Windows 8 by ripping out legacy code, apparently three of the top choices for such a task still work in the Release Preview. Forum member Jose_49 brings it to our attention that ViStart, Start8 and Classic Shell all still work in build 6.2.8400, and even provides the screenshots to prove it.

ViStart working in the Release Preview...

...as is Start8...

...and Classic Shell

So, if you desperately require the Start Menu, or a similar sort of menu, back then it is still possible with one of these applications. They probably won't work come the RTM version of Windows 8, but for now you can still enjoy the combination of new and legacy Windows features. If you want to try one of these apps and you haven't as yet, the links to download them are below.

Download ViStart
Download Start8
Download Classic Shell

Thanks to Jose_49 for the tip via the forums!

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I don't see the point in hacking to get the start menu back, I would rather just get into habit of getting use to the start screen. I just hope Microsoft adds a few little adjustments, they could add some of the features from the start menu into the right metro slider, they could have a second metro slider on the right because the left hand side has the multi-tasking and the start menu, bottom left and bottom right. Then add onto that second one, a shutdown button, my programs button and my computer.

Right now I've just got my control panel and my computer pinned onto the task bar.

Thanks for the article. You write, "They probably won't work come the RTM version of Windows 8". On what was that based?

DrJBHL said,
Thanks for the article. You write, "They probably won't work come the RTM version of Windows 8". On what was that based?

The blog post yesterday where MS said they won't because they are actively removing OS code to keep people from using their computers the way they want to.

After using the RC for about 6 hours I would say I don't miss the start menu at all. Yes the new UI requires some getting used to, so did the new star menu in Vista/Windows7.

Mutabor said,
After using the RC for about 6 hours I would say I don't miss the start menu at all. Yes the new UI requires some getting used to, so did the new star menu in Vista/Windows7.
haha, new start menu in vista/7 was a good thing, they added functionality, and anyone that used previous windows still knew how to use new start menu with no issues. this start screen is just a giant screeen that takes over your entire monitor and displays ugly boxes.

nekrosoft13 said,
haha, new start menu in vista/7 was a good thing, they added functionality, and anyone that used previous windows still knew how to use new start menu with no issues. this start screen is just a giant screeen that takes over your entire monitor and displays ugly boxes.

"boxes" that shows useful information with out opening any app. most people still can't really understand the concept behind the start screen...

Now we just need a way to always boot into the desktop by default. If that can be done, then I'll happily use Windows 8.

I don't miss the Start Menu itself per-se... But I REALLY don't like the sheer waste of screen space... I use a dual monitor setup, and using an entire monitor for a fricking MENU? Sheesh.

Also, Metro apps are another total waste of space. Where I could once fit several apps comfortably on each of my 24" LCDs, I can now fit ONE on the primary.

Sure, it's fine for tablets; but for desktops, it's just not practical.

FloatingFatMan said,
I don't miss the Start Menu itself per-se... But I REALLY don't like the sheer waste of screen space... I use a dual monitor setup, and using an entire monitor for a fricking MENU? Sheesh.

Menu..what menu?

Good grief, bunch of lame little babies can't exist without their little start menu. Grow up.

FloatingFatMan said,
At least they're not going around insulting those that like it.

So really, who's the baby here?

no but they troll every windows 8 post talking about how its garbage and how they cant wait to buy a mac. Both sides are annoying and I cant wait for win8 to come out, hopefully the trolls wont buy it and we wont have to listen anymore.

Colin McGregor said,

hopefully the trolls wont buy it and we wont have to listen anymore.

Microsoft hasn't been listening since last summer on this. And most of the people "bashing" Windows 8 are not complaining about it from their own perspective (since we are all techies here), but are pointing out just how utterly screwed the common PC user is going to be when they try to control their computer with INVISIBLE control gadgets, no close gadget, and no VISIBLE Start Button on their home and business computers.

IMHO those people are NOT wrong, and MS will lose sales because of this stupid half-baked desktop release. And no, they won't make up for all of those lost sales with small touch screen devices.

It didn't take much for MS to accommodate their legacy 95% market share, but they chose not to. And this misfire on their part will make Windows 8 the New Coke of operating systems.

Even if Microsoft are removing a lot of the legacy code that made the start menu work, it makes sense that for your installed applications to show in WinRT that there will still be a physical folder on the hard drive where application shortcuts are installed for RT to aggregate and display them. And as long as those shortcuts are there, it will be possible to display an old start menu in some fashion.

In related news, Ford revealed today that people who are uncomfortable moving forward with vehicle advances can still trap their cars to a pair of horses to move it.

microsoft just bring back the start menu... give classic users a classic interface, why force and not allow customization....

microsoft should realize that not everyone wants, need or care about metro ui...

The start screen is strange for a desktop setup. It's like the start menu exploded. You have all of your programs on one screen, then your other stuff like control panel, shutdown/logoff/etc is stuffed on the side almost hidden. Personally it's just ick to me. I'd rather have some kind of vertical organization by category or folders. I don't care about change, but this is just ridiculous. I'd switch to Ubuntu but Unity is just as dreadful. Microsoft and other companies need to recognize the difference of what their users want and what the company THINKS the users want.

Start Screen = Start Menu....why can't people get this in their head? Is it because it's full screen? There's no functionality lost, the W8 start screen is nothing more than an evolved start menu. After 17 years do you still need a windows logo/orb/icon/text to tell you where the start screen is? Hey look, I just clicked in the bottom left corner and my start screen appeared....so that means nothing is missing!

Teko03 said,
Hey look, I just clicked in the bottom left corner and my start screen appeared....so that means nothing is missing!

Just exactly how are the 95% of home and business users, you know the ones who don't know the difference between Word the program and Word the document, going to know how to control an entirely new desktop interface where ALL of the controls are INVISIBLE?!

A tutorial on first boot up will NOT stick in their memories. It never does.

Microsoft has removed the key visual control elements of a GRAPHIC User Interface and there will be hundreds of millions of users that will get so frustrated they will take their computers back to the store and buy a Mac...because their operating system will now seem more familiar than Windows 8 does.

excalpius said,

Just exactly how are the 95% of home and business users, you know the ones who don't know the difference between Word the program and Word the document, going to know how to control an entirely new desktop interface where ALL of the controls are INVISIBLE?!

A tutorial on first boot up will NOT stick in their memories. It never does.

Microsoft has removed the key visual control elements of a GRAPHIC User Interface and there will be hundreds of millions of users that will get so frustrated they will take their computers back to the store and buy a Mac...because their operating system will now seem more familiar than Windows 8 does.


You mean a Mac with all those invisible multi-touch trackpad gestures to access other desktop views that have no visual cues to their existence at boot-up?

Or maybe Ubuntu, which decided common window controls were an unnecessary waste of space and removed them from the default layout?

Heck, where have there EVER been visual cues for right-click context menus? Where was it ever indicated in older versions of Windows that clicking the ? button means you have to then click a screen element for context help?

Where are the visual cues on mobile OSes? Where are users taught about long-pressing and where is it indicated on the home screen in iOS itself that the status bar can be pulled down now?

The world revolves around FIGURING STUFF OUT. It's what we do. Sitting there and singling out one of... EVERY product that doesn't hold your hand through the entire experience makes you look terribly lacking in perspective.

Heck, at least Windows 8 will HAVE a tutorial. Where the heck are the tutorials in other OSes these days? The entire concept has been almost completely abandoned.

I've started liking Windows 8 the more I figure things out. Although it still takes too many clicks. But its not as bad as when I first started using it.

They really need to include a full featured animated tutorial bundled with this if they expect people to figure it out.

TBH i don't really like the metro start menu...it's so fn' retarder to scroll around using your mouse and keyboard. this modification will help me a lot with Win 8.

on tablets metro is amazing but not on desktops.

The two big area's I'm disliking about Windows 8.

* The constant flipping between desktop and metro.
* The complete decentralization of app locations, especially system related items
* The default profile creation (unless you see the link in small text at the bottom to create a local account) being a windows live account.
* Make the area on the lower right corner BIGGER to trigger the metro start menu (in that wasted space before the first icon)

"Search" type in search term for applicaiton, get no results, then have to change the category on the right to realize it found results... just not in the category you looking for.

I did notice the Windows 8 install much quicker and is much snapper / responsive then Windows 7. On a touch screen, Mero interface will rock.

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