Start8 1.45

Stardock Start8 lets you return the Start Button to Windows 8. Microsoft Windows 8 is shipped without the “Start” menu. Start8 brings back Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements. Also you can view and launch installed applications (including Modern apps), All Programs menu. Start8 includes support for “jump lists”/recent documents for recently accessed programs (Devices, Documents, Music, Videos, Photos, Computer, and more). Pin favorite desktop and Metro apps shortcuts directly to the start menu for easy access. Start8 adds searchable Windows 8-style (Modern UI) Start menu options for Windows desktop applications, Modern applications, and documents. It allows automatically load directly to your Windows desktop on login (vs the start screen). In addition, you can also easily shutdown your PC without needing to access another menus.

Features:

  • Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements
  • Pin desktop and Modern UI apps
  • Jump list support
  • Unified Search for Apps, Settings and Files
  • Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
  • Automatically matches the color of the taskbar
  • Skinnable Start button
  • Windows 8 Start screen accessible from the Start Menu
  • Optionally disable the Windows 8 desktop “hot spots”
  • Adds option for WinKey to show full screen metro desktop
  • Group Policy support

Control:

  • Configurable Start menu size
  • Windows 8 Start screen accessible from the Start menu
  • Clean, streamlined UI enhances Start8′s usability

Customization:

  • Optionally disable the desktop Windows 8 “hot spots”
  • Supports WindowFX 5.1 start menu animations (currently in beta)
  • Choose a custom Start button skin and color

What's new in this version:

  • Added new SAS activation and trial code

Note: Please read our disclaimer on Neowin's relationship to Stardock in our forums.

Download: Start8 1.45 | 7.6 MB (Free to try, $4.99 to buy)
Link: Start8 Home Page | Release History

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11 Comments

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I never expected the start menu to ever return, so I choose Stardock's Start8 because I knew they were going to be there for the duration. So far it has been rock solid. The best $5 spent in a long time.

Now all I could possibly want is something to remember my window positions.

Having compared the two, using up all my trial for Start8 - forcing myself to for the last week of it - I found only the MiniMetro/StartScreen sort of mode the only unique feature, which I turned off after awhile since I didn't like it so much in favor of a Win7-like start menu. Classic Shell seemed a lot more customizeable.

I gave Start8 a full go just in case I'd take to it and couldn't.

Performance wise they more or less perform the same, ClassicShell seemed to use less resources. Both were rock solid stable.

I am primarily a StartisBack user now though, I still use Classic Shell on VMs with 8/8.1

Yea, that is a bit... well, a lot.. underwhelming.

Though hopefully with Threshold, we won't need Start8 and ModernMix, so them not continuing a lot of big releases makes sense.

Zagadka said,
Yea, that is a bit... well, a lot.. underwhelming.

Though hopefully with Threshold, we won't need Start8 and ModernMix, so them not continuing a lot of big releases makes sense.

It's a wait and see, if MS crams too many modern apps on there's, I still prefer Start8.

well, i have 3 licenses & i've updated two of the machines, & it broke it entirely on both. So there's that.

it shows it's activated, & all the settings are the same, but it's like it's not there -- generic Windows 8.1 Start Button functionality.