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A few days after Microsoft launched the Consumer Preview build of Windows 8, developer Stardock launched the first beta of Start8, which aimed to give a version of the familiar Start menu to Windows 8 Metro owners. Today, Stardock has released a new and free beta of Start8 that adds quite a few new features.
While previous versions of the Start8 beta only put in a start button that opened up the "Modern" user interface for Windows 8, this new version has a number of new features, including:
Windows 7 style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements
- Users can search for Windows 8-style (Metro) apps with it
- Users can pin Metro apps to it
- Full support for Jump Lists
- Unified Search
- Automatically matches color to the color of the taskbar
- Start button is now skinnable
- Users can boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
- Optionally disable the desktop “hot spots”.
- Fast access to shut down, devices, music, documents, videos
- Supports WindowFX 5.1 startmenu animations (currently in beta)
- The Windows 8 Start screen becomes accessible from the Start menu
- Start menu size fully configurable
- Adds option for WinKey to show fullscreen Metro desktop.
You can check out a video showing off how the new version of Start8 works below. It will work with both the preview and final versions of Windows 8.
Source: Stardock | Image via Stardock