Right since Windows 8 customer’s preview was released, a wave of disappointment has been felt by several Windows fans with regards to the Metro UI. Actually, this disappointment is not for the Metro UI, but it is for the absence of the Start button, the most accustomed feature in Windows via which one accesses the different programs and utilities.
Now, to overcome this disappointment, a registry hack and a third-party tool called ViStart were introduced for those ardent Start Menu fans who desire to see the typical Start Orb and its menu in Windows 8. However, the former solution does not retain the Metro UI, while the latter option does not hold up the Aero Glass effect and also occasionally fails to pin programs and folders.
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So, if you wish to have that Start Orb back and do not want to interact with the new Start Screen for accessing the installed apps and built-in utilities, then you might want to try the new Start8 app for Windows 8. Through this app, you can have your beloved Start Orb and yet open a Metro style Start Menu in Windows 8. So, let’s explore this app in more detail!
Getting A Metro-Style Start Menu And Start Button In Windows 8
Digging out the Features of Start8
In Windows 7, the Metro-style Start Menu wasn’t there at all. However, when you click the Windows 7-style Orb in Windows 8, the popping up menu displays the Apps section that you see on the Metro Start Screen. The menu by Start8 offers a search box to locate the system utilities, widgets, shortcuts to apps, and metro apps.
So, this menu facilitates searching and launching both metro and desktop apps quickly. If you compare Start8 with ViStart, you will know that the former has no icon overlapping issue, and that the Start Orb sits perfectly well in the bottom left corner, and that too, without any need of creating a new toolbar. In addition, the app adds the run, power, and Shutdown options in the context menu and allows selecting a custom image for the Start button.
It is commendable that the Start8 app does not disable any new functionality of Windows 8 Start Screen. However, it is vital to know that the Start8 menu never fully disables the new Start Screen that you can yet access from the Switch List. In short, Start8 works impeccably on both 32- and 64-bit versions.
Grabbing and Using a Free Copy of Start8
Yes, Start8 is a freeware! To grab your free copy, visit the URL http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ wherein you must enter your e-mail address and click the Sign Up button. Doing so will process your e-mail address and will then offer you a download link. You can now download the app after which you can easily install it by simply clicking Next each time in its typical wizard.
After completing the installation, you will be able to see the Start Orb that is used almost billions of time in a day. Now, just click it and you will get to view a striking new Metro-styled Start menu. So, Start8 is really a nice to have although there might be some discrepancies with regards to the shortcut keys. Did you install this app? What was your experience? We would appreciate if you can share it with us.