A few days ago, I spoke about the fact that I thought Microsoft made a very big tactical error by removing the start menu from the Windows 8 desktop.

I said that there were a bunch of companies that had stepped in to fill the void.

Well today, I’d like to introduce you to RetroUI™ by Thinix.

Bypass the Modern UI

The good folks at Thinix designed MetroUI™ to allows users to bypass the Windows 8 Metro User Interface (Metro UI) and automatically return to a classic Windows desktop after login.

Users can then return to the Metro desktop or use any Metro UI function. This allows users to switch back and forth freely, but causes the PC to switch to a classic Windows desktop following each login.

RetroUI can also be configured to eliminate all Metro UI features.

In this mode, users are sent to a classic Windows desktop at Login, and all the new Metro features; Charms Bar, Hot Corners, and Metro Switcher – are completely disabled and inaccessible.

Enhanced Start Menu

RetroUI not only brings back the Start menu, but they also enhanced it.

Their new touch-friendly design works as well with a finger as it does with a mouse, and brings back all the functions you have used in previous versions of Windows.

RetroUI Enforce

Their new tool RetroUI Enforce allows you to ‘force’ the Windows 8 Start Screen and Windows Store apps to run in a way that allows the classic desktop, taskbar, and start button to remain visible.

This allows you to toggle between full screen and windowed mode and run apps at any size and position you prefer.

Here’s a video from the company describing the core product

And here are some screenshots.

If you have a company and it’s important for your employees to bypass the Modern UI, you probably want to check this product out.

You can head over to Thinix to buy or for more details..

RetroUI by Thinix

Also, look out for some free sample licenses on this site…

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

Related Posts

Netflix has released a new trailer for its upcoming documentary on Bill Gates, the...

Venue NYC. Microsoft today sent out a ‘Save the date’ email to journalists for an...

What in blue blazes! If you needed more proof that Microsoft wants to keep the Surface...

  1. Why can’t people just let the past go and embrace the changes that Microsoft has made to Windows? The new UI is very nice and has a ton of really useful functions. The start button and menu are 17 years old. It was time for a change. Microsoft knew it, took advantage of it, and executed it in a really nice way. Windows 8 is a very nice looking OS. I like the style they went with. It’s about time that something they released was new and refreshing. This actually feels like a new version of Windows instead of the same old thing with just another coat of paint on top of it. Windows 8 is new. The Modern UI is the future of Windows. The start menu is old, outdated, and now gone. I say good riddance. I want to see what the future of Windows holds.

    • I agree that it’s a good change, but I would still like to have my computer boot to the desktop as a default. That’s really the only option I would love to have

    • i completely agree with you. but there is a learning curve… and most people (esp. working people) don’t want to do anything apart from what they are used to. so many companies still rely on xp…
      win8 is so much more productive than many people believe. i use win8 for about 3 month now and never had any problems that i couldn’t do or find things or get things done fast enough.

    • I like 8 and will be sticking with it, I like the look, modern feel and OS features. But in defense of all the Start Button lovers, new is not always better and for some UI is a step back.

      Ever wondered why the start button stuck around for so long? Well put simply it’s because it worked and worked well. Change for changes sake doesn’t always mean better. For most the new UI doesn’t make computing more productive, in a lot of case it’s just the reverse which is the whole point of an OS in the first place.

  2. Things change. Get over it. Windows 8 is a great UI – just a bit different. Don’t know what all the fuss is about.

  3. So you would rather users have to go through hoops using two or three steps to do what you could took one step previously,how is this a change for the good and I thought the idea was to listen to the user base not force a style on someone just because you the manufacturer finds it cool

    • agreed. why do i have to PAY to be able to switch back to the standard desktop? Also, put the start button back. I AM for change but at least give me the option to go back to the other way as part of this change. In other words, let ME choose. This allows me to 1) see this change is HERE and 2) go back to the other way. Then, you can make it more concrete in later versions. The GUI Devs need to understand there are so many users out there who are going to be perplexed by this new GUI. In all honesty, I AM getting used to it and sort of like it but make it EASIER for the transition to occur for those who don’t GET IT. Respectfully my two scheckles.

  4. Try using the windows key you might like it!

  5. Looks neat. Microsoft should have had this stuff in there by default.

  6. I love the new start screen, and I fully embrace the change. However, I thought I would check this out as it had a few features I thought were cool (like being able to run metro apps in windows .vs full screen). What a pile of shit. This program is horrible. It’s slow, it’s more confusing than the start screen, the “Mail” metro app opens a new Outlook email instead of the mail app. Crap crap crap.

    Oh and I love some of the statements in the video…

    “It’s more of a learn as you go kinda thing”… cause everyone knew how to use Windows (whatever version you want) when they first started using it. Either that or I’m the only person on the planet that had some re-learning to do from XP to 7. This is NO different than Windows 3.1 to 95. Everyone freaked out, then a year or two later realized how great 95 was compared to 3.1.

    “Extra steps to do things like launch word or excel”. Um, how exactly are there extra steps??? Let’s see, Windows 7… you have 5 options to launch Word.

    1. Click on Start or hit windows key, then All programs, then expand the office folder, then click on Excel. 4 steps to open
    2. Pin excel to the taskbar so you can launch from the desktop. 1 step to open
    3. Put a shortcut on the desktop to launch from desktop. 1 step to open
    4. Click on start, type in excel and hit enter. 2 steps, 3 if you include hitting enter.
    5. Win+R, type in excel and hit enter. 2~3 steps

    I’m sure there’s a few others but that’s all I can think of. Now let’s see how many steps Windows 8 takes.

    1. Still move to the lower corner and click on start or hit windows key, click on excel icon. 2 steps. That’s less unless my kindergarten math is wrong.
    2. Same. 1 step
    3. Same. 1 step
    4. Same. 2~3 steps
    5. Same. 2~3 steps

    Windows 8 wins in my book. Last one, sorry for the long rant… “And since there’s no start menu”… WTF is the start screen??? It’s just a full screen start menu. Get used to it. Times change.

    • jep.
      and the new start screen does everthing so much better,faster and nicer than the old startmenu… but time will tell… 😉

      • Junior Shepherd / November 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm /Reply

        yessir you are definitely right about that. You forgot to mention though that you can search for literally anything by just typing on the start menu screen. Just start typing anything (for e.g. a name of a document) and it finds it in less than 3 secs for you. #bliss.

      • No it doesn’t.

  7. Oh, and to top off the crap fest that is this program. When you install it, it puts 2 icons on your desktop. A tutorial icon, and a settings icon. On the start screen it puts those 2, plus icons for Windows Explorer, Run, Show Desktop, Metro Search, Computer Management, Disk Management, Mobility Center, and Event Viewer. When you uninstall the program, it leaves the 2 icons on the desktop, and all of the icons on the start screen minus the RetroUI icons. They can figure out how to write a program to do all the stuff that this program does, but can’t figure out how to remove icons when uninstalled??

  8. I am using Classic Shell, which is free, and gives me the XP look in Windows 7.

  9. I was one of the haters but have started to come round to 8’s UI. It can be frustrating but that’s my lack of knowledge rather than UI itself.

    With touch devices it amazing,but as a desktop GUI it’s not so good and probably a step back to what 7 had evolved into from years of careful development. Throwing the baby out with the water is probably a mistake, one I fear Microsoft may regret.

    Personally I think they should have offered an option like Retro UI which would have kept both desktop users and more importantly business users happy. Since most businesses won’t use touch, it would make sense.

    I do understand the logic behind of not offering the traditional desktop and start button, the idea being is to force users to adopt and learn the new UI. However if users are honest, if there was a Retro UI type of interface, would we all continue or ever start using UI? I think most users would have dropped it like a stone, not all, but certainly most. That’s saying something, it’s saying that UI is accepted because it’s the only option, not necessarily because it’s better.

    I love 8, but can’t help feeling that MS have made a big mistake. Just hope 8 doesn’t become the equivalent to Vista….If so then Windows 9 should be just about perfect 🙂

  10. windows 8 is worse then vista i would revert back to vista before i upgraded to windows 8 i am a computer tech , i bought a brand new laptop a few days ago it had 8 on it and was bios locked i didnt have the option of format and reinstall , you also have to jump through more hoops just to boot into safe mode oh and i thought untill microsoft relesed windows 8 that vista was there worst mistake heck at this rate i will eventually revert to linux and refer my customers to do the same it is also not compatible with games and freezes

  11. I use Stardocks Start8 program.The new user interface uses to many steps to do what you could do in one with the old start menu.Guess i just don’t have the patience.

  12. richard undrwood / November 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm /Reply

    Am I missing something? I don’t see the app doing anything that one mouse click and a desktop toolbar won’t do. It doesn’t bring back the Start button, C/A/D takes you to the shutdown options, task manager etc. so why would one need it?

  13. why dont we just agree to disagree i still prefer the start button idea but use both. but the only difference is i use a boot menu to load either or both and have a switch mode in both screens makes life simple. but as for the argument microsoft should be the ones who offered this kind of facility not others, and also having gone through beta testing and contributing to the microsoft think tank i would say its microsoft that needs to listen especially since there already on the bandwagon of thinking about windows 9 and need to listen to people not forge ahead with their own total thinking.

  14. I like the idea of this software but without question it should have been from MS and included in the OS for free.

Leave a Reply