Windows 8 Start menu app Start8 released

It was first announced earlier this week, and now it's official. Software developer Stardock has released Start8, a free app which offers users of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview version a way to launch the familar Start menu in Windows 8's desktop user interface. The Start8 web page lets people type in their email address and then Stardock will send a link to that email with the download link.

While there have been other ways to enable a version of the Start menu in the Windows 8 desktop, this is the first such public app that we know of that was made specifically for Windows 8. Not only does it add a Start menu, it also offers a way to search for your Windows 8 apps. You can also choose to put in a custom Start menu button. Finally, the Start8 app comes with Run and Shutdown options by right clicking on the menu.

Stardock has been in the business of making Windows desktop apps for a long time, including its well known Object Desktop software which allows users to customize the look of the desktop for previous versions of Windows. So far, Stardock has not announced plans to release an Object Desktop version for Windows 8.

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Err ... sorry, what? MS make some changes to try and move in a better direction (I think it's better in WIn 8) ... and you lot all want to revert to Windows 7? INSTALL WINDOWS 7 THEN. LOL! Idiots

LOL

Stardock always manages to find a way to slow down your computer with crap code.

"All your idle cycles are belong to us" - Stardock

My main problem with Windows 8 so far is that it has two competing and contradictory user experiences. In Metro, their "taskbar" is on the left side and only shows Metro apps. On the desktop, the taskbar is on the bottom and only shows Win32 apps. Of course, the average user is not going to understand the difference and just be confused and annoyed.

Heck, I get confused and annoyed having to jump between Metro and the desktop constantly depending on what app I'm using.

What Start8's main goal was was to demonstrate that you can bring a piece of Metro onto the desktop. Once you have that, then everything else becomes a matter of polish and usability enhancement. But the million dollar question was, could you bring Metro onto the desktop so that users could stay on the desktop all the time if they wanted.

By the way in regards to how modern Metro is... auto updating real time apps have been available in phones and tablets for almost what?, 4 or 5 years?

That is how modern and innovative the concept is...

Edited by mizur, Mar 7 2012, 9:33am :

Mazhar i never said i could not use it, in fact i could and i did, it just was ugly and obtrussive.

And modern????????????, what is modern about primary color boxes and a ketchup colored origami fish?????

FalseAgent, when i eventually buy (if i ever do), windows 8, i want it morphed to my needs, i'm the final user, the one spending money in something to make my life easier or better, not going to spend my money on something that wants to change me.

This is ****ing stupid.
The only reason microsoft lets people download Windows 8 is to try out the new features and provide feedback. Now we see utilities like these that makes Windows 8 no better than Windows 7. So much for 'beta testing'. All those so-called 'beta testers' who rushed out to download the Consumer Preview aren't testing the system and the new WinRT platform at all, they're only interesting it morphing it to their own needs. ****ing stupid.

I can't imagine people doing such a thing and take a step back just because they cannot use modern software.

First a bit about me, I have been a loyal fan of microsoft since windows 95, even had a "Me" computer, I even liked and used Vista (or as some called it "Windows 7 ALPHA"), and I have never before rolled back and operating system like I just did with Windows 8.

I can see why many users are calling the Metro interface for tablet or phone use only, this is a very accurate opinion.

Come on, weather, facebook, maps, all in your face with huge horrible boxes?????

But let's start from the beginning, it's time for Microsft to urgently add to the design team a graphic designer, from the start Windows 8 is plain awful, for god sake kill the freakin origami fish.

Then you go to metro...

Awful colors, giant boxes, everything plain, no bezels, shapes or hd textures, everything in a horrible new Ketchup and blue gray tones.

I understand and know that you can actually hang everything in the Metro screen, from the pc icon to a desktop app, and even control center, but what happens when you want a plain clean desktop, not all of us use our pc for the weather and social networking, most of us use it for more complex work, and need several windows, recent documents, easy to reach settings and all available withot spending ten minutes personalizing and hanging stuff in metro.

Metro should not be a default style, it should be an option, as uninstallable as gadgets were.

I also know that this is just a preview but for me it was very difficult to open the left ribbon pop up, sometime it appeared some times it did not, there is no "close" or "x" to shut down programs, etc.

I was very happy downloading and installing it, but two hours later i was actually regretting it , and for the first time with microsoft beta or previews.

I hope Microsoft reconsiders, i am as loyal to instaling previews as to actually buying their final software, and as it is right now i dont see myself buying Windows 8 when it is actually released.

For all of you that love metro and the ketchup colors all I can say is there are tastes for everything, but in Microsft's interest why alianate all the people that hate it, have an option to use one style or the other.

A new interface is not a technological advancement, is just a new interface, I like my tecnhnology to evolve under the hood, why change desktop when it actually works great.

Metro wich is actually gadgets on steroids is going to be eventually uninstalled by many people as gadgets were, for bloating ram, and obtrusiveness in real work.

Sorry for any mistakes, english is not my first language.

This whole post drives me nuts and makes me fuming mad.

Metro is a design language. It is not gadgets on steroids. And Live Tiles represent applications. They are not gadgets that people are going to uninstall. And for god's sake, the Live Tiles do not take up any RAM at all.

You like your technology to evolve under the hood? Great, you'll be glad to know that the 'gadget engine' you describe as is actually a whole new Windows Runtime that runs alongside our old Win32 runtime. And that, is under the hood.

Also, the simple design is meant to keep you in the center of whatever you're doing. It's a little less shiny than other OSes, but it is actually more focused is less distracting than ever before.

This is getting tiring. You're a loyal beta tester, right? Then all the more you should be the kind of person who'd embrace change. How disappointing.

Edited by gcaw, Mar 7 2012, 9:41am :

I was looking forward to this when I first heard about it. I've installed it and tired it but it doesn't feel right too me. Uninstalled it a few mins later.

Does anyone know the technicalities behind this? Does it:
1. actually force the real Start Screen into a window?
2. cause the real Start Screen to draw in a region in the lower-left of the screen?
3. generate a fake/replicated Start Screen?

jd100 said,
You can bet they will eventually charge for it.

You got a problem with commercial software or what?

techguy77 said,
I found a way to force Desktop to show up after you login by changing group policy settings.

Congrats! You are now using Windows 7.

FalseAgent said,

Congrats! You are now using Windows 7.

No he isn't, just forced Windows 8 to go straight to the Desktop. He didn't remove Metro altogether. Heck, if it's a GPO, then it's legit!

if you want the windows 7 start menu follow this install start8 and then install vistart if will have the start menu like in windows 7 that's how i have it on my computer because vistart by itself does not work very good but with both it works perfect

This does not work or look well, and ViStart does not work because it's pointing to functions that are no longer there.

"A" for effort but overall even more confusing and clunky feeling. I suggest people try it to appreciate how Win8 as it is, is just fine.

I suppose if you don't want to use the Metro apps at all this type of start menu might be better for you. But even though I have good eyesight, I love the large icons and the new Start Screen. It actually forces you to use more keyboard commands, which is really a quick way to get around Windows anyway.
Plus I actually like many of the apps so far.
I usually like Stardock programs, but this is one I won't be using. It is a step backward.

I used it for about 5 mins. 5 mins to long!!!! I like what SierraSonic said
but make it click for start screen and click&hold for start menu.
and need to remove the metro for this start menu
it don't look right with Aero

Before this app: "The start screen sucks! I hate metro! Bring back the start menu!"
After this app: "Waste of time, start screen is better. Took the time to get used to it."
I love this community <3

When i first started to use Windows 8 CP i was like "errrr nope not going to be using this and i am sticking with windows 7" However after actually taking 5 mins to bother to get used to the Windows key + Button short-cuts i like it.

The only thing i dont like is the being forced into metro. I mostly hate that it starts in metro as normally when i turn the computer on i click google chrome and go on facebook / check news papers etc etc... I know with metro the apps do this.. but its not the same i like to view the actual website.

Anyway thanks to Start8 i have started to look into the windows shortcuts and got used to them. To thanks Start8 for showing me that windows 8 is not all that bad when you give it a chance..

I can't see any reason why a business would want to use Windows 8 though. I think Microsoft are going to have a tuff sale to the business market with metro. (at least for desktop computing anyway) i guess they could offer "major security benefits" and a low upgrade fee as a good intensive.

Really they need some option to just disable metro or use classic mode or something. A simple few tick box's like the power options is enough. Just stuff like "Disable metro on start up" or "enable windows classic" (this could bring the orb back and stop metro coming up)

I get the whole "things need to change, people need to move on." "if nothing changed we would still be ****ting in a bush, not a toilet" etc etc etc.. i get that i really do. But still i see no reason not to at least add an option to enable classic mode its a very basic function to add the coding is already around for gods sake and it would make people happy and make it more easy for them to sell..

It also means you wont have ??% of the customers QQ for months. Just add a damn dialogue to enable/disable and keep people who dont want to adjust happy its not hurting anyone by adding that option at all it could only be a benefit for them to add this option.

Anyway enough QQ, bad spelling and bad grammar.

p.s. you can disable metro by making a .bat file or service and putting it in the startup folder to bring the desktop up at startup instead of metro..

or you could just press WINDOWS + D once you logged in... heh

Here is that startup to desktop trick http://www.addictivetips.com/w...ctly-to-desktop-on-startup/

Tried it on my netbook.. thought it was horrible. I did like the Windows 8 logo start button graphic though.. If I ever move back to windows 7 I might but that logo as my start button as far as the Start Screen goes it's great on my Netbook!

Unsure about it on my 24" monitor as their aren't enough Metro Apps/Live tiles for me to fill that up yet. The only thing they need to work on apart from Metro content is Multi-Screen behaviour. Lack of Start Menu is a 'moving forward' feature and only relocates functionality, it doesn't remove it.

i like it, its buggy but way better than the start screen, be nice if Microsoft included something like this in the final version

Get used to it crybaby's. Make a list of things you THINK you can't do efficiently and then come up with a way to do them just as efficiently. Then memorize the steps. I can't wait to leave those behind that won't change, going to make my job a lot fooking easier.

Microsoft wants us to think of Desktop as another Full Screen Application which is completely wrong. I don't think they will change anything.

techguy77 said,
Microsoft wants us to think of Desktop as another Full Screen Application which is completely wrong. I don't think they will change anything.

why is that 'wrong'? they're making a new OS with a new platform, moving away from the desktop. I don't think that's wrong at all. I'm personally sick and tired of the desktop and all of the nonsense it has thrown at us over all these years (i'm sure we've all enjoyed our explorer.exe crashes). Now is a good time to dump it and move on.

Windows 8 is a new OS, and the desktop is no longer the center of Windows. That is not wrong. People are just not used to it.

Great. You asked for it, now you got it. Now you are back at using a tiny fraction of the whole screen to see only a handful of your applications, instead of being able to use the whole screen. Every attempt to bring the Start Menu back just proves that the Start Screen does the job better. Don't think about what you are used to, think about how you use the start menu and what do you use it for. It is for seldom used apps. Then realize the Start Screen does a better job and get over that attachment to the old Start Menu. Good bye Start Menu, you served us well, but we have bigger monitors now and many more apps that you can fit, and digging into your complex hierarchy has become inefficient. R.I.P

Idea is OK, but I still prefer old style Windows 7 menu start, ViStart, this semi metro thing and metro as well are only prostheses....

Temuulen Battumur said,
Just add some option to disable metro Microsoft, please!

You already have it, it's called the Windows 7 Install DVD.

Temuulen Battumur said,
Just add some option to disable metro Microsoft, please!
Don't upgrade to Windows 8 then while the rest of us reap the benefits.

TCLN Ryster said,

You already have it, it's called the Windows 7 Install DVD.

This is precisely why Windows-7 will be having a very long lifespan--most especially in the Enterprise (i.e., serious PC user) arena.

If I wanted a Windows 7 menu, i would stick with it. I want the latest and greatest.. if the future is the new start menu, which actually IS an app, then why bother looking back to the older implementation. File Manager was great, but we moved on, didn't we? Well the same for the Start orb... After 10 years I think we can move on

vhaakmat said,
If I wanted a Windows 7 menu, i would stick with it. I want the latest and greatest.. if the future is the new start menu, which actually IS an app, then why bother looking back to the older implementation. File Manager was great, but we moved on, didn't we? Well the same for the Start orb... After 10 years I think we can move on

New doesn't mean it is better, you should use your own brain instead of saying OK to whatever MS tells is you better.

techguy77 said,

New doesn't mean it is better, you should use your own brain instead of saying OK to whatever MS tells is you better.

Some of us are actually capable of liking something without being told to like it. Troll.

TCLN Ryster said,

Some of us are actually capable of liking something without being told to like it. Troll.

This. The rejection to the improvements Windows 8 offers reminds me of the people that refuse to upgrade from Windows XP saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

satukoro said,
This. The rejection to the improvements Windows 8 offers reminds me of the people that refuse to upgrade from Windows XP saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Ribbon Interface is improvement, new Task Bar is improvement, New Copy is improvement. Metro is not. We don't reject everything.

techguy77 said,

Ribbon Interface is improvement, new Task Bar is improvement, New Copy is improvement. Metro is not. We don't reject everything.

If you don't like it, don't use it. Simply put, Microsoft isn't going to tailor its OS to power users. However, there have been (and will be) plenty of hacks ands mods from the good people at DeviantART and VSB forums over the years, so salvation might be closer than you think.

techguy77 said,

Ribbon Interface is improvement, new Task Bar is improvement, New Copy is improvement. Metro is a great improvement! We don't reject everything.


Fixed

Unless you can resize it I'm not really liking it. On the screenshot it looks useful but on my screen (1366x768) it still took up about 60% of the screen so was impractical for the purpose, and showed less apps.

CentralDogma said,
Was hoping for something like the classic start menu ala ViStart.

Why? This is a great compromise, after all the main complaint in 8 is that you get dragged off the desktop when you want to launch a program from start. This should negate that particular complaint, while still presenting apps in the metro way.

What do the majority of people use the start menu for? Starting apps. This tool gives you that option.

If you want something that looks like and works like Windows 7, then use Windows 7.

TCLN Ryster said,

If you want something that looks like and works like Windows 7, then use Windows 7.

That's not a valid option when Microsoft realeases new APIs found only on Windows 8.

FalseAgent said,

Go back to XP. Please.

So, your saying to go back to an Operating System on Extended Support? An operating system that will be completely unsupported(security patches and all) in 2 years?!? I don't think it's even possible to buy a retail license anymore.

That's incredible, really incredible that you see XP as option at this time.

I too have gotten used to and I'm just fine with the Start Screen. Windows Key -> Start Typing - same outcome as with Windows 7.

Don't need useless apps like this. I wish people would spend their development effort and skills on more useful apps rather than trying to reinvent what Microsoft is reinventing.

Obry said,
I too have gotten used to and I'm just fine with the Start Screen. Windows Key -> Start Typing - same outcome as with Windows 7.

Don't need useless apps like this. I wish people would spend their development effort and skills on more useful apps rather than trying to reinvent what Microsoft is reinventing.

But that is all that stardock can do.. useless software!

Not liking it. It seems to make things more difficult by shrinking down the start screen. I like the Win8 setup much better. Thanks anyway.

The only start screen problem that is solves is the context switching. It's still an inefficient way to see all programs. It needs to be more start-menu like.

I'd also appreciate it if the start orb wasn't truncated on top. Honestly, Microsoft need to fix this themselves.

And here's a bug report - the mouse wheel can't scroll the left panel - it needs to use x-mouse and scroll both panels.

a1ien said,
The only start screen problem that is solves is the context switching. It's still an inefficient way to see all programs. It needs to be more start-menu like.

I'd also appreciate it if the start orb wasn't truncated on top. Honestly, Microsoft need to fix this themselves.

And here's a bug report - the mouse wheel can't scroll the left panel - it needs to use x-mouse and scroll both panels.


The start menu was inefficient - so little space to actually display stuff, scrolling around in a list that didn't fit into the box that displayed it was a pain.

And at least in the Developer Preview there was the possibility to open a app/file/settings search box in the right-side "metro slot" without opening the complete start screen, which would solve the context issue AND give a lot more space to display stuff.

If you have to download a 3rd party app just to use a normal operating system that means their OS is already a fail so Microsoft need to man up grow some balls stop trying to be cool and hip and add back the freaking start menu, get rid of the grand mom metro and go back to making operating systems and leave metro for tablets and tablets only.

Dumping metro just isn't going to happen. Hopefully they'll add something similar to this though.

Totalaero said,
If you have to download a 3rd party app just to use a normal operating system that means their OS is already a fail so Microsoft need to man up grow some balls stop trying to be cool and hip and add back the freaking start menu, get rid of the grand mom metro and go back to making operating systems and leave metro for tablets and tablets only.

you mean kinda like when iOS came out thousands of hackers had to jailbreak it so you could install your own programs.. ya i know that has also been a huge flop it the industry as well /S!!!

Totalaero said,
If you have to download a 3rd party app just to use a normal operating system that means their OS is already a fail so Microsoft need to man up grow some balls stop trying to be cool and hip and add back the freaking start menu, get rid of the grand mom metro and go back to making operating systems and leave metro for tablets and tablets only.

No, it's only the people who can't accept the change or don't like it. This does not represent all the current users of 8.

Totalaero said,
If you have to download a 3rd party app just to use a normal operating system that means their OS is already a fail so Microsoft need to man up grow some balls stop trying to be cool and hip and add back the freaking start menu, get rid of the grand mom metro and go back to making operating systems and leave metro for tablets and tablets only.

I know right how stupid is that, at installation it should detect weather you are on a PC or a tablet if on a tablet only then enable metro if on a regular PC use the regular desktop with start!

God I'm already tired of the complaining trolls. Use the hotkeys and you can get around much faster than on Windows 7.

Totalaero said,
If you have to download a 3rd party app just to use a normal operating system that means their OS is already a fail so Microsoft need to man up grow some balls stop trying to be cool and hip and add back the freaking start menu, get rid of the grand mom metro and go back to making operating systems and leave metro for tablets and tablets only.

No, it just means you are able to customize your OS, unlike some...

Totalaero said,
If you have to download a 3rd party app just to use a normal operating system that means their OS is already a fail so Microsoft need to man up grow some balls stop trying to be cool and hip and add back the freaking start menu, get rid of the grand mom metro and go back to making operating systems and leave metro for tablets and tablets only.

You are so correct. Especially the part about leave Metro for the casual users of smartphones and tablets.

Totalaero said,
If you have to download a 3rd party app just to use a normal operating system that means their OS is already a fail so Microsoft need to man up grow some balls stop trying to be cool and hip and add back the freaking start menu, get rid of the grand mom metro and go back to making operating systems and leave metro for tablets and tablets only.
they should have made an independent tablet os in the first place!

jasonon said,
they should have made an independent tablet os in the first place!

No, that's exactly what they're trying to avoid. This isn't XP age anymore, man.

Totalaero said,
If you have to download a 3rd party app just to use a normal operating system that means their OS is already a fail so Microsoft need to man up grow some balls stop trying to be cool and hip and add back the freaking start menu, get rid of the grand mom metro and go back to making operating systems and leave metro for tablets and tablets only.

Microsoft is not the fail here but you are. You need to grow up and accept that changes happen.

jasonon said,
they should have made an independent tablet os in the first place!

we already have that in the market - and that is exactly why Microsoft has chosen a different path.

Daniel_Pooh said,

I know right how stupid is that, at installation it should detect weather you are on a PC or a tablet if on a tablet only then enable metro if on a regular PC use the regular desktop with start!


AAAAAAND if they did that how the **** would it be any different from Windows 7? And since you guys are talking so much ****, would you upgrade if Windows 8 just had an improved Start Menu instead of a Start Screen? Nope.
You wouldn't. Majority of users wouldn't feel compelled to upgrade just for slightly faster boot times and a slightly improved desktop.

Daniel_Pooh said,

I know right how stupid is that, at installation it should detect weather you are on a PC or a tablet if on a tablet only then enable metro if on a regular PC use the regular desktop with start!


I don't want the old start menu on my regular PC.

Possession said,

No, it's only the people who can't accept the change or don't like it. This does not represent all the current users of 8.

The way I see it, there is no golden rule that all tech savvy or not savvy person has to like a change. Everyone has their opinion and for good reasons. Not all changes that have happened in any aspect of life has been good and productive.