Brad Wardell talks Start10, the follow-up to the popular Start8 Start menu app

Earlier today, Stardock released Start10, a Start menu replacement for Windows 10 and we had a chance to chat with its creator, Brad Wardell about the new application. If you want to learn more about the new app, you can check out our post here.

Start10 follows up on the success of Start8, can you talk a bit about the traction you saw with Start 8 and now it influenced Start10?

With Windows 8, Microsoft at first eliminated the Start menu. This was a big problem for both consumers and enterprise customers who wanted a quick, obvious way to get to their documents, images, most used apps and search. Thankfully, Microsoft added the Start button back in Windows 8.1 but it just took users to the start screen which, again, was non-ideal for users to get to their stuff on a desktop.

Start8 was designed to bring the Start menu from Windows 7 to Windows 8 with an refreshed UX to make it match the look and feel of Windows 8.

In Windows 10, the Start menu has returned, why are you building Start10?

Originally, I thought Windows 10 would make a program like Start8 obsolete. Unfortunately, the new "start menu" on Windows 10 is really just a miniature version of the Windows 8 Start screen.

For instance, the search bar is in the taskbar using space all the time. If you search something in it, there's no context menu, no jump lists, no way to go to the directory of the file.

The Start menu itself doesn't allow you to drag and drop things to and from it. It mixes multiple interfaces together in a way that makes getting to desktop related content harder.

Do you see Start10 as a compliment to Microsoft’s Start menu or a total replacement?

Total replacement. The final version is expected to be a superset of the Windows 10 start menu but have sufficient customization options to make it work like the traditional Start menu that our enterprise customers are looking for or a hybrid that matches the preferences of power users.

Do you see Start10 primarily for desktop users or for touch-enabled devices like tablets?

Most definitely desktop users. The basic problem with the Windows 10 start menu is that it is trying to be all things to all people. Design means tough choices and unfortunately, the Windows 10 start menu tries to be both "touch friendly" and suitable for desktop users. As a result, it is non-ideal for either.

Are there any features coming to Start10 that are not present in this build?

This first build of Start10 is an evolution of Start8 with more access to Universal (modern/metro) apps and a UX that matches Windows 10. But as we go forward, we will be integrating more features unique to Windows 10 into it.

What is the timeline for the final release of Start10 and how much will it cost?

The final release depends on the launch of Windows 10. It'll be $4.99 on its own, just like Start8 or you can get Object Desktop, our suite of desktop enhancements and get it on there.

Anything else you’d like to add about Start10?

Mainly I'd direct this towards my fellow Neowin users. Windows 10 is a huge improvement over Windows 8.1. I actually like Windows 8.1 more than Windows 7 (with ModernMix and Start8).

But just as there were people on Windows 8 who thought the Start screen was just fine and everyone needed to adapt, the real issue out there is that there are decades of training and experience in using the Start menu that you can't just expect people to throw away.

Similarly, I've yet to meet a power user who is happy with the current implementation of the Start menu on Windows 10. A desktop OS is not about launching apps. i can do that on a tablet or an iPad. A desktop OS is about managing your "stuff" -- your data. We really need Microsoft to understand this distinction. What Start10 is designed to solve is the issue of ensuring that it is always easy and convenient to get to your stuff.


If you want to learn more about Start10, you can check out our post here or download it here.

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