Part of the nature of Microsoft Windows is the ability to load the programs, apps and UI shells you want– at least in the traditional desktop.
There are many Windows users that feel that the newest OS is trying to hard to lock down and restrict us, luckily this isn’t really true and options exist that allow us to turn Windows into whatever we need it to be. If you are one of the anti-start-screen consumers out there that want Windows 8 but feel like the start menu should still be there, Start8 is a good alternative.
We’ve talked about Start8 before. It is a simple program, but it can return some of the functionality that a few users might crave. Now the Start8 program has entered its final non-beta commercial stage. The Start8 program will allow you to use a traditional start menu that can also integrate and search for Modern Windows 8 apps.
You can even pin and launch these new apps right from within the desktop apparently. This is important because it means you can still get the best of the new Windows Modern world without sacrificing the start menu.
Microsoft has been very firm about how they feel that the new UI is the future. It requires a bit of getting used to and is probably worth the adjustment in the long run, especially since it is likely that Microsoft will eventually phase the desktop out completely.
Still, if you just can’t see yourself parting with the desktop’s start menu, this could be the right choice for you. Start8 has a now has a 30 day free trial. After its expiration, the addition of the start menu will set you back just $4.99.
If you don’t want to spend $4.99 for something that arguably should be free and included in the first place, there are several alternatives out there that offer similar capabilities without the cost. Keep in mind that most of these alternatives aren’t going to include Modern/Metro integration into the start menu, though. What do you think, worth it or not?[ source ]