Windows 8: To Add Start Menu or not add Start Menu, That is the Question

Windows 8 represents a shift in UI that is the most dramatic we’ve seen since Windows 95. It is so radically different that you might not realize it is Windows at all on first glance. This approach has been meet with some positive and some negative- as all of us already know this.

For those that don’t like the UI, there tends to be this imaginary concept that Microsoft is making a mistake that they will ultimately back out of. There is nothing new in Windows 8 at all, according to these types of stubborn anti-Windows 8 users. I’ve addressed how the desktop truly is improved in a different post.

The point is that Microsoft has drawn the line in the sand. The Modern Start Screen is the future, the old menu is the past.

The old start menu WILL NOT return under any circumstances. Even if users have massive disdain, Microsoft is going to push forward. Eventually, people will get used to it and move on. What Microsoft might do is revise certain UI elements in the start screen, including the odd placement of the “Shut Down” button.

Okay, so if you really can’t stand the new UI, what are your choices here?

  • Stick to Windows 7. You have about 10 years that you can cling to it. Maybe you’ll like what Microsoft is offering in another decade.
  • Suck it up. Sure, the Start Screen might be more suited for tablets— but just place your favorite icons and programs on the dock and desktop menu and move on. Who knows, maybe the new screen will grow on you.
  • Get the dock back. Using a 3rd party utility you can get all the great new features of Windows 8 without having to conform the new changes.

Bringing Back the Start Menu

Most of the readers here probably feel that you should just stick with the start screen and move forward. I personally agree. Having the start button returned by a 3rd party application is just delaying the inevitable. There will be a time when the desktop is thrown out the window and there will be no way to get it back. The transition will be much harder at this point.

Still, I love that Windows is still open and flexible enough to give you that choice. I would prefer that someone put their beloved Start Menu back and jump into Windows 8’s other great features than try to fight with the type of user that says there is NOTHING good or new in Windows 8.

For those that are considering Windows 8 but want the start menu back – at least while they adjust and get used to Metro – there are a few options:

  • Start 8: This program was one of the first major solutions released to bring the traditional Windows 8 menu back.
  • Samsung S-Launcher: If you buy a Windows 8 Samsung device, this is an optional add-on that will give you back the start menu.
  • Pokki Software: This alternative Windows 8 store is designed to bring more applications to Windows 8, but it also has an optional Start Menu that doesn’t just bring the start menu back– it brings you a new and evolved version of the Start Menu.
  • Classic Shell: Brings a traditional Windows start menu and even allows booting directly into the desktop.

What do you think?

Time to move on to the Start Screen or will you be using Windows 8 with a 3rd party Start Menu alternative?

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