Two Windows 8 Start menu apps bring in 8 million total downloads

On Tuesday, Julie Larson-Green, the business head of Microsoft's Windows division, said that the company was considering adding a Start button to the next desktop version of Windows 8. A full fledged return to the Start menu does not appear to be in the cards. However, that should please third party software developers who have been highly successful in making Start menu replacements for Windows 8.

AllThingsD.com reviewed two of the most popular Start menu apps for the OS this week: Stardock's $4.99 Start8 program and SweetLabs's free Pokki app. Both apps get good review marks but the more interesting thing is that the article has an update on their total downloads since the launch of Windows 8.

Stardock CEO Brad Wardell told us recently that Start8 has seen over four million downloads, but the new review says that download number has now gone up to five million. In January, SweetLabs said that the Windows 8 version of Pokki had hit 1.5 million downloads. AllThingsD.com says that Pokki downloads have now reached the three million milestone.

The bottom line is that these two Start menu programs alone have a combined total of eight million downloads since the launch of Windows 8. Microsoft recently announced that it had sold 100 million licenses of Windows 8. Even if all of those licenses were in fact active and working right now (which is unlikely) that still means eight percent of Windows 8 users have downloaded these two programs.

Of course, there are even more Windows 8 Start menu replacements out there to download, such as ClassicShell, RetroUI, StartisBack and more. While many may want Microsoft to go all in with a full Start menu for Windows 8.1, the truth is that third party software companies have to be quietly thanking Microsoft for keeping the menu out of the desktop UI.

Disclaimer: Neowin's relationship to Stardock

Source: AllThingsD.com | Images via Stardock and Pokki

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I have a confession to make. I am a pro user / system admin. I bought Win8 with downgrade rights because I didn't like Win8 in the developer preview. Yet I haven't downgraded, I've gotten used to most things and pinned a whole lot on the taskbar. I admit, I used Classic Shell. For one day, then removed it.

Most of the time in Desktop Mode. It's more annoying though, that by disabling the UAC (which really increases productivity for me - and I make sure I have enough other protection including common sense), you can't run apps in Modern UI / Metro style.

"that still means eight percent of Windows 8 users have downloaded these two programs." That's probably right, but jumping to conclusions. Yes, they've given these two programs a shot 8 million times combined. But maybe users tried both.

After 6 months or so of trying Windows 8 I just downloaded Pokki - really, really neat utility I can't see it going anywhere now!

Chicane-UK said,
After 6 months or so of trying Windows 8 I just downloaded Pokki - really, really neat utility I can't see it going anywhere now!

Yeah pokki is very cool and I love the look of it and the added apps are great

Wonder will the return of the Start button mess up all those Start menu apps?
I suppose they will fix it when leaks with the Start button is out.

As a technician the start menu is essential to me because I work on many pc and when I wanna start a program (admin ones mainly) I type it in the search menu as soon as I whether click the start menu or hit the windows button (also ctrl+esc) and every pc are different in the place I work. Even Windows XP start menu irritates me because I need to click on run before. I also work on Windows 2008 Server + R2, since I tried 2012 I don't get it why the Start menu is gone, like I would run a server on a tablet makes no sense.

Such a sad commentary when third-party software developers have to come up with what Microsoft should have retained in Windows-8. Removing legitimate choices from users, by taking the "my way or the highway" approach, is never a good business decision or philosophy.

I know you had formatted your windows 8 million times as well otherwise I don't see any reason for you to uselessly downloading these program million times unless you are mentally challenged. LOL

Why does this need to spark the same war over and over again?

You have one side trying desperately to use these download figures as evidence of how 'terrible' win 8 is and then another side trying desperately to attack user that want to customize their os in some way. Both are gross exaggerations.

First of all, both the 100million win 8 and the 8 million ui app figure are not accurate enough to tell us exactly how many unique users are using either. I can punch holes in both, so let's try not to push them as the gospel.

Secondly, why are we suddenly treating these ui altering apps as a new phenomenon in the os world? As if these apps can tell us whether the market as a whole hates an entire os. Get real here. There have been apps like this for decades and many people have made use of them. They didn't stop an os from being successful and that isn't changing now.

Finally, its actually great to see that you can still build apps that can customize the ui so much. That is a great thing about windows, you can usually find apps to tailor the experience to your needs. This hasn't changed with 8. The reason this is so important is that MS will never please everyone, regardless of how 'good' an os is. So the next best thing is to allow customization by 3rd parties.

I think both sides of this need to take a break. Win 8 has issues like any os, but they aren't impossible to overcome, nor are they a deal breaker imo. I've had to teach enough new buyers about win 8 to know that the general public is a lot more accepting then you might think if you just read online comments. In fact, they even like it once you show them features they can use (shocking I know). Its the online bs that I have to clear up nearly daily that does more harm then good for the general user.

So I say its great to see users treating 8 like any other windows release by seeking out ways to make it work better for them.

If we sum all the windows 8 users that added a start menu + added the number of users that aren't installed a start menu but they aren't happy with the new modern ui menu then, we have a lot of users that aren't happy with modern ui at all.

Personally, i don't like modern ui but i can live with it. However, i don't like the attitude of MS to force us to use a new technology without asking to the customer what we want, nobody asked for metro!.

The problem with that argument is that your adding unverifiable numbers. How in the world can you quantify unhappy users? I don't think counting online commenters is reasonable at all.

What is clear is that there is a large number of people that have some problems with the metro side of win 8. Is that number 50% of the user base? 10%? No one knows and claiming otherwise comes off as biased imo. Its all subjective. I can tell you first hand that there are many new users out there that feel differently, but what does that matter? Its still subjective.

Again, I'm not saying unhappy users shouldn't complain or that its unfair to criticize , I'm just pointing out how some take it too far and bash the os to the extreme. There are plenty of things MS needs to improve, so constructive criticism is essential.

Win 8 is more than metro, much more. For those that have serious problems with the metro side, there are apps to change that. Again this was the case with win 7, xp, 2000, 98, etc. The option is there to make it work as you prefer.

The blanket statements do more harm than good.

Brony said,
Personally, i don't like modern ui but i can live with it. However, i don't like the attitude of MS to force us to use a new technology without asking to the customer what we want, nobody asked for metro!.

I'm sorry, I think you're confused about how a free market works. Microsoft does their own product research to try to determine what will sell, and then releases that according to their own strategy. Your choice is not "Windows 8 or the highway". It is one or many among: Windows 9, Windows 7, OSX, Linux, Windows RT, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS (to name the biggest).

As a consumer, it is your prerogative to either a) choose the OS that works best for you or b) (as trooper11 points out) make a choice and modify it to fit your needs.

Microsoft's "attitude", as you put it, with metro is no different than the "attitude" they had when they introduced the Start Menu in the first place. No one asked for that either. It worked for a while but consumers are voting with their wallets and buying tablets instead. of PCs now. Metro is Microsoft's reaction to that.

"Even if all of those licenses were in fact active and working right now (which is unlikely) that still means eight percent of Windows 8 users have downloaded these two programs."

Do we know they're unique IP downloads and not repeat downloads?

Also do we know how many downloads were uninstalled?

Edited by brianshapiro, May 8 2013, 3:55pm :

Packet1009 said,
So with Windows 8, where is the 'Recent Items' list/menu?

Or is the only way to use jump lists for each pinned app?


Recently used apps isn't in Windows 8, now, but it will return to START in Windows "Blue".

well,,,there are many users who are not "PRO" in computers/OS(s). It might take such people a time to figure out where is the "HIBERNATE" option gone, when hibernate.sys is still eating up memory in C drive. START8 has made this task easy like in win7. But who says that these 8 million people don't enjoy a metro interface, you have the option is start8 to skip metro screen and its your choice. People install start8 to make their task easier.
as per what i feel is that, probably Microsoft won't bring back the START MENU, as it has very "LITTLE" to do with their "LOSS/GAIN" thing. May be that STARDOCK has secretly partnered with Microsoft, so that whatever Microsoft gets(profit), it will get it(while purchasing windows 8), but it will also make profit for STARDOCK. May be that in next version of windows microsoft may bring back the start menu as windows 8.1 is just a sort of "SERVICE PACK 1" type of thing for windows 8, which the users will get for free if they own windows 8 using windows update, which means a bit of labour for microsoft will earn them nothing, so they might leave it up to Stardock and bring it up possibly in their next release.

(JUST MY REVIEWS)

Indeed, Metro extremists seem to be the annoying people on forums at the moment. Just like Firefox fanboys were back in the day.

Personally I say use what ever suits you best and keep quiet.

I wonder how many of these 8 million downloads actually paid for the app.

Also, how many people using a start menu app are using it on a pirated copy of Windows 8

These companies should thank Microsoft. Since Vista/Windows 7, less people bothered with visual customization software. Now that Microsoft changed the interface, they not only can cash in on returning familiarity, but also can advertise their other products that many people may never have bothered with in the first place. Say what you want about Windows 8, it basically reinvigorated their businesses.

I'm sure Classic Shell has been downloaded a considerable amount of times too.

Bottom line? The numbers don't always add up.

I've been using Windows 8 since the Consumer Preview and I've completely forgotten Start button ever existed. BUT, I completely understand people who want it back. So, to satisfy both parties, all it takes Microsoft to do is a simple switch in settings. Show/hide Start button. I'd keep it hidden, but 8 million people would probably enable it.

On the other hand, there are probably 8 million people in the world who want Windows 95 support back because that's the last iteration of Windows they were most comfortable with.

Choices. Give users show/hide switches and everyone will be happy.

CaptainBeno said,
Pokki is great and has NO DRM like stardocks crap

pokki hardly uses any resources at all and is really nice looking .

Nice looking? It doesn't even fit in with Windows 8's OBE...

So long as fully-fledged start menus continue to exist there shouldn't be an issue for anyone. Those that want it can have it, those that don't are not forced to use it.

I find it interesting that Start8 has more sales than Pokki, normally I would have expected the free software to have more downloads. I guess people feel that by paying money they are getting a solid product.

My first stop will probably be Pokki. Looks like a nice little change.

Intrinsica said,
So long as fully-fledged start menus continue to exist there shouldn't be an issue for anyone. Those that want it can have it, those that don't are not forced to use it.

I find it interesting that Start8 has more sales than Pokki, normally I would have expected the free software to have more downloads. I guess people feel that by paying money they are getting a solid product.

My first stop will probably be Pokki. Looks like a nice little change.


Could also be the human nature of not liking change coming in. For 5 bucks you get exactly what you know, whereas with poki there is a small learning curve, even though it's free.

Intrinsica said,
So long as fully-fledged start menus continue to exist there shouldn't be an issue for anyone. Those that want it can have it, those that don't are not forced to use it.
Except for the vast majority who doesn't visit tech sites and doesn't know that start menu replacements exist. These people just put up with it or go back to Windows 7. It won't be fine in my book as long as people have to mod Windows to get it to behave in a sensible way.

It won't be fine in my book as long as people have to mod Windows to get it to behave in a sensible way.

I agree that I don't consider it right that I have to mod Windows to get it to a level that I like, but at least I have the ability to do it. If Microsoft aren't going to fix my issue then I will.

If you don't like something, voice your opinion, its obvious Microsoft is listening and there are enough people complaining or they wouldn't be making changes to Windows 8.1

Voicing your opinion is fine of course, but all I've seen for the last year is endless petty squabbling and outright flame wars over Windows 8. Besides we all know OS X is the best.

TRC said,
Stop being nerds.

I thought we were a technology community?

Although certainly the never-ending arguments get tiresome. Just agree to disagree and move on, we need to stop trying to convert one another.

TheLegendOfMart said,
If you don't like something, voice your opinion, its obvious Microsoft is listening and there are enough people complaining or they wouldn't be making changes to Windows 8.1

this

TheLegendOfMart said,
If you don't like something, voice your opinion, its obvious Microsoft is listening and there are enough people complaining or they wouldn't be making changes to Windows 8.1

They're bringing the start icon in the bottom left corner back, not the start menu. I'd rather not have the icon there wasting pixels which are valuable on my 1366 pixel wide X230T.

efjay said,
Compared to 100 million licenses sold I guess the majority have spoken in favor of the start screen.

not really not even close.

100 million people are waiting for microsoft to fix the mess that is called windows 8 with windows 8.1

Let me go back again to the Ribbon UI in Office 07, and the reasons MS wouldn't allow the use of the traditional UI.

Cascading menus were getting clumsier and clumsier, and navigation was getting harder. As well, yes, MS wanted to move to a more touch-friendly interface. Granted, a lot of people didn't like it, and I sympathize, but not only were there some solid benefits to almost all users, it would have been extremely difficult (if not impossible) for MS to accomodate an alternative UI.

With Win8, though, Metro provides little to no benefit for a mouse user. It requires larger hand movements and spreads out the information and makes it harder to see. Both of these changes are needed and welcome on a touch screen, especially a smaller one, but when you blow that up to 24" it just seems bloated.

What's maybe the worst part of this is that technically it would have been easy for MS to allow the option of a Start menu. The only reason I can think of is that MS wants to deliberately discourage users from using traditional interface devices.

Fus10n said,
Start8 Rocks.. Only reason I am using Windows 8..well 8.1

ONLY reason? Then why not just use Windows 7?

The Start Menu itself it not why. It's what it does, it's location and convenience, and flexibility. If MS can replace those things in the Modern UI, you and those 8 million could care less about the actual Start "menu".

That so many people want the Start Menu and are willing to pay for replacements, is a testament to the investment and research into how people use Windows that led to the development and placement and design of the Start Menu in the first place. Microsoft's need to penetrate the mobile market does not change any of that.

Fus10n said,
Start8 Rocks.. Only reason I am using Windows 8..well 8.1

Start8 and ModernMix have made Windows 8 a much more enjoyable experience. This is how Windows 8 should've acted from the start for desktop users.

And at which point to you force the evolution in touch based direction? you tell me. Dont tell me we will use mouse and keyboard forever. this would simply be stubborn reaction on change

-adrian- said,
And at which point to you force the evolution in touch based direction? you tell me. Dont tell me we will use mouse and keyboard forever. this would simply be stubborn reaction on change

Whats wrong with asking the user or detecting the input devices and giving you the appropriate interface accordingly, instead of forcing people down one road for the sake of parity between platforms.

-adrian- said,
Dont tell me we will use mouse and keyboard forever. this would simply be stubborn reaction on change

On desktop systems used for things other than entertainment? Yeah. We will. Its def not going to be replaced by a finger.

A fat finger is no substitute for a highly accurate mouse pointer. An on-screen keyboard is no replacement for a physical keyboard. How the hell do I type on my desktop screen? Lean over? Am I expected to write multi-page documents like that??? Lmao.

Try using fingers and on-screen keyboards for REAL work 7 days a week for more than a few hours. I'll laugh at your pain, and the RSI you'll get in a few years.

Just because its change does not mean its good change. Just because Microsoft has a hard on for Apple at the moment is no reason to force this abomination on desktop Windows users. Its insanity and arrogance to think one size can fit all.

-adrian- said,
And at which point to you force the evolution in touch based direction? you tell me. Dont tell me we will use mouse and keyboard forever. this would simply be stubborn reaction on change

There's no reason that all computers should have touch. I don't care to touch my dual monitor (30" + 27") setup. I like it just fine with a mouse. I have Windows 8 without any third party start menu installed though because the default UI works just fine with KB/mouse.

I use the touch features on my tablet PC though.

-adrian- said,
And at which point to you force the evolution in touch based direction? you tell me. Dont tell me we will use mouse and keyboard forever. this would simply be stubborn reaction on change
Touch doesn't make keyboard and mouse obsolete. A keyboard and a mouse remains a vastly more powerful and comfortable set of input devices than a touchscreen, and the only reasonable choice for serious productivity tasks. Windows 8 should make both experiences as seamless as possible.

Sean Oliviero said,
Start8 and ModernMix have made Windows 8 a much more enjoyable experience. This is how Windows 8 should've acted from the start for desktop users.

Metro works perfectly with desktops now, and will be getting significant improvements by the end of next month. There's nothing in the rule book stating desktops must suffer through a horrendously outdated UX in order to be functional. The 3.11/95 desktop UX has run its course. It's time to take that to the next level.

Dot Matrix said,

Metro works perfectly with desktops now, and will be getting significant improvements by the end of next month. There's nothing in the rule book stating desktops must suffer through a horrendously outdated UX in order to be functional. The 3.11/95 desktop UX has run its course. It's time to take that to the next level.

I really really don't understand why you think metro is a better user experience than the desktop. A PC is way to powerful a tool to be crippled by a UI that can't multitask properly. I can't have windows up on the screen at my fingertips in metro. Yes I am aware you can do side by side but that is not the same thing, it just doesn't feel natural to turn my dual 24" screens into oversized tablets. The desktop is MUCH more effective for my workflow.

Oh and to address your comment about 8.1 getting significant changes in search, I know since I'm running a recent build of 8.1. It's an improvement, but not completely unified yet, hopefully that changes.

siah1214 said,
So 8 million installs out of 100 million Windows 8 users. Yeah, everyone wants the start menu back....

There aren't 100 million Windows 8 users, a lot of them are classed as "sales" to OEM vendors like Dell etc.. even if Dell hasn't sold the computer yet.

You forget all other free possibilities. You forget that 100 million sold licences is not to compare with 100 million users. And you forget that people who use the Startscreen must not be happy abut it and maybe don't know about alternatives.

Yeah, but there is quite a few free programs, so total number can be higher, lest say, 10 millions, so 1/10, IMO, we can say this is something.

And we don't know activation numbers, for example I also have one upgrade copy on shelf

TheLegendOfMart said,

There aren't 100 million Windows 8 users, a lot of them are classed as "sales" to OEM vendors like Dell etc.. even if Dell hasn't sold the computer yet.

Just as these "downloads" include re downloads, downloads people never use and downloads people did then removed.

Not everyone is tech savvy and think of a possible solution to replace the start screen. Eventually they will find out and the numbers will increase

There is not 100 million Windows 8 users, that is the number of issued licenses many of which are probably still not sold yet.

Also bear in mind how many do not know they can download a 3rd party app to do the job, I know several Windows 8 users that have gone back to Windows 7, a couple that have given up.

The Windows 8 fan boys seem to think everything is brilliant, like it or not there is a massive amount of users that are unhappy with Windows 8 out-of-the-box.

siah1214 said,
So 8 million installs out of 100 million Windows 8 users. Yeah, everyone wants the start menu back....
No: less then 8 million, Poki does exict for Windows XP, Vista and 7 too.

Studio384 said,
No: less then 8 million, Poki does exict for Windows XP, Vista and 7 too.

They probably looked at the useragent string of the person requesting the download.

siah1214 said,
So 8 million installs out of 100 million Windows 8 users. Yeah, everyone wants the start menu back....

Firstly there are definitely not 100 million win 8 users..
That the number of LICENSES sold,
The actual number of win 8 USERS is probably 1/2 to 2/3 of that number.

Secondly there are at least 10 replacement programs

not to mention, i have downloaded startisback/start8 and installed it on about 10 computers, and im sure there are many other people who do the same for family and friends, and a ******** of people who simply arent aware of alternatives or are not tech savy enough to install a replacement program

i think anyway you look at it its a huge amount of disgruntled people.


siah1214 said,
So 8 million installs out of 100 million Windows 8 users. Yeah, everyone wants the start menu back....

8 million of the 2 apps that were mentioned. Probably more than that considering there are several that were not even mentioned/calculated. And that is licenses sold, like others mentioned. Not the amount that is in use.

What the article fails to mention is that the Windows Store has seen 250 million app downloads to date. So, 8 million downloads of these two apps is still a very small minority of that. 3% or so.

So, if we're comparing number of downloads, there's not that many people that seem to miss the start button at all.

Wyn6 said,
What the article fails to mention is that the Windows Store has seen 250 million app downloads to date. So, 8 million downloads of these two apps is still a very small minority of that. 3% or so.

So, if we're comparing number of downloads, there's not that many people that seem to miss the start button at all.

huh? These apps are not available in the Windows store. So not sure why you are comparing the 2.

Hitman2000 said,

not to mention, i have downloaded startisback/start8 and installed it on about 10 computers...

Excellent point, we've done the same thing here at my job with our replacement choices. Simply download once when a new version comes out, and save it to our network drive.

As to a previous posters comment about having one upgrade still sitting on his shelf. We have probably over 2 dozen or so boxed Pro boxes that were bought back when it was discounted.

ledgori said,
You forget all other free possibilities. You forget that 100 million sold licences is not to compare with 100 million users. And you forget that people who use the Startscreen must not be happy abut it and maybe don't know about alternatives.

Wait, so 100 million licenses sold != 100 million users, but 8 million downloads == 8 million users, maybe more? At least Microsoft is reporting actual sales of licenses where money has changed hands. When money is involved, even as little as $1, its amazing what that will do to sales.

Apps that go from free to pay see an order of magnitude drop in downloads. For instance, Stardock is reporting "downloads", which includes free trial versions, rather than actual sales to customers. If they have 5 million downloads, I would expect less than 1M actual licenses sold. I know I've downloaded Pokki, Start8, Vistart, classic shell, etc. numerous times on each release for multiple computers to see how it worked. If any of them charged even 10 cents to just try the software I would have skipped right over it.

Hitman2000 said,

That the number of LICENSES sold, The actual number of win 8 USERS is probably 1/2 to 2/3 of that number.

If you're going to cut the number of users in half for a product people paid to actually use, expect the number of users for a free product (StarDock is reporting downloads not sales) to go down by a factor of 10 or more. Giving something away is incredibly easy. Ask people to open their wallet, even for $1 and suddenly they aren't so willing to try something out. Ever work in sales?

not to mention, i have downloaded startisback/start8 and installed it on about 10 computers,

A sale correlates to one user much more closely than a download correlates to one user. For instance, Stat8 has had 7 releases since Windows 8 was launched. So for the user who downloaded Start8 in October and has since downloaded every release from Stardock, 1 download = 1/7 of a user.

i think anyway you look at it its a huge amount of disgruntled people

Yeah, even if 100,000 people wanted the start menu, that's a lot of people. But this is a market of billions, and the clear shift in the industry is away from the traditional PC. These disgruntled people have clear options for easing their pain. The fact that these programs exist is proof of that. But what more do you actually want? These programs solve all their problems. Why is there a need for a response from Microsoft?

TheLegendOfMart said,

There aren't 100 million Windows 8 users, a lot of them are classed as "sales" to OEM vendors like Dell etc.. even if Dell hasn't sold the computer yet.

Most companies buying those computers will install Windows 7 anyway.

TheLegendOfMart said,

There aren't 100 million Windows 8 users, a lot of them are classed as "sales" to OEM vendors like Dell etc.. even if Dell hasn't sold the computer yet.

Not this again, if it mattered then Windows 8 wouldn't be selling anymore.

stevember said,
There is not 100 million Windows 8 users, that is the number of issued licenses many of which are probably still not sold yet.

Also bear in mind how many do not know they can download a 3rd party app to do the job, I know several Windows 8 users that have gone back to Windows 7, a couple that have given up.

The Windows 8 fan boys seem to think everything is brilliant, like it or not there is a massive amount of users that are unhappy with Windows 8 out-of-the-box.

Still don't understand why people who have no problem with Windows 8 and are as productive or more than before have to labelled "fan boys". Juat because you haven't figured it out yet, doesn't mean others weren't more resourcefull and didn't look back.

Not sure where exactly the maasive amount of users unhaply come from. In fact, at our company we started rolling out Windows 8 and of the 16 persons who are currently running it, only one tried a start menu replacement, the rest without exception, had no problems operating it.

Brony said,
Like what?, an ugly frontend?. A fullscreen menu that lacks of several features.

Yes like live information and not deep structured folders and missed clicks as well as finally less space on the task bar again

Dot Matrix said,
8 million people missing out on some great things.

I use start8 and I don't miss out on anything. The unified search in the menu is highly superior to the segregated search on the start screen. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I would type event viewer into the start screen search only to be completely ****ed off that I had to click settings. With the menu I type and enter, that's it.

Unify search on the start screen and MAYBE I'll consider trying to give it a fair shot.

And add a more direct path for shutdown/reboot controls. Shutting down your PC is not a ****ing setting, and this is the single biggest thing people have trouble with. I know several people with Windows 8 who were physically pulling the plug on their PC because they couldn't figure out how to shut it off.

Dot Matrix said,
8 million people missing out on some great things.

Not really, they have the best of both worlds, I have the link to the Start Screen on my start menu in WIndows 8 and I use Metro apps pinned to my desktop such as IRC client.

It's all about choice.

Chris123NT said,

I use start8 and I don't miss out on anything. The unified search in the menu is highly superior to the segregated search on the start screen. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I would type event viewer into the start screen search only to be completely ****ed off that I had to click settings. With the menu I type and enter, that's it.

Unify search on the start screen and MAYBE I'll consider trying to give it a fair shot.

And add a more direct path for shutdown/reboot controls. Shutting down your PC is not a ****ing setting, and this is the single biggest thing people have trouble with. I know several people with Windows 8 who were physically pulling the plug on their PC because they couldn't figure out how to shut it off.

Power status isn't a setting? How is powering my PC off, not a "setting"?

Also, Search is getting massive changes in 8.1.

Dot Matrix said,

Power status isn't a setting? How is powering my PC off, not a "setting"?

Also, Search is getting massive changes in 8.1.


No one is disputing its not a setting, but its not very well advertised for non savvy PC users, it could have easily been a button on the start screen instead of hidden behind the charms bar.

TheLegendOfMart said,

No one is disputing its not a setting, but its not very well advertised for non savvy PC users, it could have easily been a button on the start screen instead of hidden behind the charms bar.

Maybe. But the point of Metro is to keep the UI as clean as possible. Start is all about apps, not PC functions.

Dot Matrix said,

Maybe. But the point of Metro is to keep the UI as clean as possible. Start is all about apps, not PC functions.


Then why is your username and picture in the top right with settings hidden under the menu.

Chris123NT said,

I use start8 and I don't miss out on anything. The unified search in the menu is highly superior to the segregated search on the start screen. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I would type event viewer into the start screen search only to be completely ****ed off that I had to click settings. With the menu I type and enter, that's it.

Unify search on the start screen and MAYBE I'll consider trying to give it a fair shot.

And add a more direct path for shutdown/reboot controls. Shutting down your PC is not a ****ing setting, and this is the single biggest thing people have trouble with. I know several people with Windows 8 who were physically pulling the plug on their PC because they couldn't figure out how to shut it off.

If I enter event viewer into the start menu it does come up without having to go to settings. Of course it will on your end, as all you need to do is set administrative tools to active in the settings of the start menu.

the shutdown issue is too silly to even talk about, if one cannot figure out how to shutdown a Windows 8 computer, it might be better to refrain from using pc's altogether.

The 8 million number indicates that people that cannot live without the startmenu is indeed a minority, as their percentage might be ranging from as low as 8% if the Microsoft license sales are considered, or maybe as high as 12% if usage share figures are to be believed.

sjaak327 said,

the shutdown issue is too silly to even talk about, if one cannot figure out how to shutdown a Windows 8 computer, it might be better to refrain from using pc's altogether.

It's easy to say that on a tech website full of people who use computers day in day out, its hidden enough to confuse the hell out of people who are used to XP/Vista/7.

Dot Matrix said,
8 million people missing out on some great things.

We all know you like Metro...and more power to ya. But many do not like the start screen. Why I am glad there are replacements available and I am guessing that combining the other replacements not listed in the OP, the number of people who have replacement start menus probably are over 10 million.

@Ace, just because it is "change" doesn't mean it is good change. Much prefer the jump from Gnome 2 >3 than this garbage.. Thankfully, as the topic states, the solutions work well.

Dot Matrix said,
8 million people missing out on some great things.
Your ability to come up with the most incredibly s**t I've ever read remains unmatched.

Dot Matrix said,

Power status isn't a setting? How is powering my PC off, not a "setting"?

Also, Search is getting massive changes in 8.1.


No. Settings are something to be adjusted to change various functions of the system, not something as trivial as shutting the PC off or restarting. This is why shut down isn't a setting.

All they would have to do is add power options to the menu that comes up when you click your username.

Do you go into settings to turn off your phone? Because I sure as heck don't. Although I wouldn't be surprised if Windows phone made you do that just because they have to be different.

Chris123NT said,

No. Settings are something to be adjusted to change various functions of the system, not something as trivial as shutting the PC off or restarting. This is why shut down isn't a setting.

All they would have to do is add power options to the menu that comes up when you click your username.

Do you go into settings to turn off your phone? Because I sure as heck don't. Although I wouldn't be surprised if Windows phone made you do that just because they have to be different.

To turn off my phone, I simply press and hold the power button, which is the same thing I do to shut off my PC...

Fus10n said,
Much prefer the jump from Gnome 2 >3 than this garbage..

Ouch no.. if you prefer the classic setup, Gnome 3 takes a pantload of tweaks/changes to get it semi-usable, and then it's still questionable.. Win 8 just takes a menu replacement and done, classic experience. Can't possibly see how the stupidification of Gnome is in any way better than the start screen. If anyone wants to talk about "forcing a dumbed down tablet experience", look no further than Gnome 3.

Dot Matrix said,

To turn off my phone, I simply press and hold the power button, which is the same thing I do to shut off my PC...


You press and HOLD your power button? Well that's wrong, because holding it will force an improper shutdown. If you want to be technical you should just be pressing. But either way that's an absolutely moronic way to turn off a desktop PC.

Chris123NT said,

You press and HOLD your power button? Well that's wrong, because holding it will force an improper shutdown. If you want to be technical you should just be pressing. But either way that's an absolutely moronic way to turn off a desktop PC.

I press the power button on my PC. Missed a word there, sorry.

Chris123NT said,

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I would type event viewer into the start screen search only to be completely ****ed off that I had to click settings. With the menu I type and enter, that's it.

Lol dude to access Event Viewer I just right click the bottom left and press event viewer or do win + x + v!! Windows 8 actually makes it faster than having to search it! Just a tip

Chris123NT said,

You press and HOLD your power button? Well that's wrong, because holding it will force an improper shutdown. If you want to be technical you should just be pressing. But either way that's an absolutely moronic way to turn off a desktop PC.

Why would pressing the POWER button be a moronic way to shut down a pc. It is certainly more intuitive than going to a start menu, clicking shutdown to do the same. In fact most appliances like a vcr, dvd player, stereo set are all being shutdown pressing a power button, and in fact so can computers.

sjaak327 said,

Why would pressing the POWER button be a moronic way to shut down a pc. It is certainly more intuitive than going to a start menu, clicking shutdown to do the same. In fact most appliances like a vcr, dvd player, stereo set are all being shutdown pressing a power button, and in fact so can computers.

Holding the power button down until the PC shuts off is different then pressing it once and having it go thru the correct shutdown procedure.

Dot Matrix said,
8 million people missing out on some great things.

No I'm not. I'm missing out on touch screen features that I don't want to use on my DESKTOP PC.

Wow people still shutdown their PC now a day ...

Dot Matrix said,

Power status isn't a setting? How is powering my PC off, not a "setting"?

Also, Search is getting massive changes in 8.1.

Regarding the event viewer.... Win + X combo is faster. Just need to learn the shortcut.

I hate TO DEATH Windows 8 search mechanism. But I got to say, that most of the settings that I look (Control Panel, Disk Management, Device Manager, System Properties), I have them on the keyboard with the Win + X shortcut.

I left Win 8 and went back to 7 because of this and other reasons. Took me 15 minutes to find the setting to shut down the machine. They do not make it easy. I did not press the power button because I wanted to do it thru the software. The system is also ugly and I cannot stand the start screen as it is now. The UI looks worse than XP, etc.

Until they can give me straight to the desktop without third party and a UI similar to 7 I will stay away.

Dot Matrix said,

Power status isn't a setting? How is powering my PC off, not a "setting"?

Also, Search is getting massive changes in 8.1.

Are you for real? Shutting down a PC isn't a setting

TheLegendOfMart said,
It's easy to say that on a tech website full of people who use computers day in day out, its hidden enough to confuse the hell out of people who are used to XP/Vista/7.

And people who are now used to XP/Vista/7 were at one time very confused to shutdown a PC you would go to a menu labeled "Start". These same people I've seen very confused at how to find "Sleep" or "Log off" functionality in XP/Vista/7.

Just because people are used to doing things one way does not mean it is the best. With the new menu, it's still in a very prominent place (the setting menu is a very important place in Windows 8) and the options for sleep are easier to find. But it's not so prominant that the shutdown button is literally inches from a function that you use very often, like search or app launching.

Log off is also separated from these functions and grouped with user account settings, as it should be. You don't know how many times I've gone to log off/lock and have accidentally shut down or slept the computer instead.

Javik said,

Are you for real? Shutting down a PC isn't a setting

You are setting it to the off state. How is that not a setting? It's in the same place on xbox.

Dot Matrix said,
8 million people missing out on some great things.

Ehh not really. I like Windows 8 how it is out of the box but I rarely use the start screen for any more than launching programs and looking at 4 different live tiles. If these dumb programs let people stop whining about Windows 8 then so be it.

And seriously guys are you all still REALLY arguing the same tired points over and over? Omg power is moved!! It's not a setting!! Why would you go to START to SHUT DOWN‽‽‽‽ These are all very old arguments that everyone has heard a billion times. Move on already.

ModernMech said,
You are setting it to the off state. How is that not a setting?

The computer is always in a particular state. And any activity requested of it will result in a state change. Whatever you do, you're "setting" it to a new state. Thus, anything and everything is a "setting".

TheLegendOfMart said,

It's easy to say that on a tech website full of people who use computers day in day out, its hidden enough to confuse the hell out of people who are used to XP/Vista/7.

Yet, if they did it once, I am betting they will know it next time, it isn't hard at all.

Dot Matrix said,
8 million people missing out on some great things.

Flamebait as usual. How are they missing out? They have Win8 and all its functionality and added a functional start menu to their desktop.

How exactly are they "missing out"?

No.

Metro's great as a touch interface, but for a traditional mouse user it means more, larger hand movements and more stress.

This is not the same situation where MS introduced the ribbon UI in Office '07; in that case the UI had some very clear benefits and there were some very compelling reasons for moving to it. Also, MS couldn't provide both a traditional menu system AND the ribbon; there were clear technical hurdles.

With Metro, there is no clear benefit for a desktop/laptop user from an actual use perspective. Worse, it's clear that there was no good technical reason for MS to NOT include the traditional Start menu. Not when Stardock can provide Start8 for $4.99.

"Well then let people pay $4.99 and get Start8 if they really want their start menu that badly..." you might argue. Trouble is, many users (particularly older users) don't download a lot of software, and many are uncomfortable having to customize Windows with a third-party utility.

I appreciate that Microsoft wanted to prod users toward a new "mouseless" kind of design paradigm. I don't even mind it myself, but they didn't HAVE to force users to adapt to this, and if they're smart they'll at least enable a way for users to choose.

Chris123NT said,

You press and HOLD your power button? Well that's wrong, because holding it will force an improper shutdown. If you want to be technical you should just be pressing. But either way that's an absolutely moronic way to turn off a desktop PC.

Hitting the "power button" is a moronic way to "turn off" a desktop PC? It's how it always should have been, IMO.

Chris123NT said,

I use start8 and I don't miss out on anything. The unified search in the menu is highly superior to the segregated search on the start screen. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I would type event viewer into the start screen search only to be completely ****ed off that I had to click settings. With the menu I type and enter, that's it.

Unify search on the start screen and MAYBE I'll consider trying to give it a fair shot.

And add a more direct path for shutdown/reboot controls. Shutting down your PC is not a ****ing setting, and this is the single biggest thing people have trouble with. I know several people with Windows 8 who were physically pulling the plug on their PC because they couldn't figure out how to shut it off.

lol its called eventvwr

MDboyz said,
Wow people still shutdown their PC now a day ...

Shut down and start up is fast in Windows 8 (with SSD) so I don't see why not
Well I don't need to remote access my home pc anyway.

Dot Matrix said,

Maybe. But the point of Metro is to keep the UI as clean as possible.

bwahahahahahaha - so that's why they fill up the main screen with useless tiles is it? Instead of a "self expanding/hiding" start button/menu

I have SSD, and I still don't see the reason to shutdown. My computer goes to sleep mode after period of inactive. Then wake up instantly when I need to use it.

iron2000 said,

Shut down and start up is fast in Windows 8 (with SSD) so I don't see why not
Well I don't need to remote access my home pc anyway.