As we know, Microsoft has killed off one of the most recognisable mainstays of computing for Windows 8 – the famous Start button. If you’re one of the many eager beavers who has taken the finger-friendly Windows 8 consumer preview for a test drive, the first glaringly obvious change is the replacement of the Start Menu with the Start page.
Given the Start button’s 17 year long reign, it’s understandable that its presence is going to be missed. But fear not, Stardock has a promising solution to your Start button woes with Start8.
Start8 is an app designed to merge the convenience of the Start button with the functionality of the new Metro interface. It’s more than just the classic Start button, though – it brings a few of its own features to the table as well.
Installation is quick and easy – just download Start8 from the dedicated site and install it in the current official beta version where it will pop up in its usual bottom left corner position. By default it throws up the Metro Apps screen and Search pane, as opposed to the traditional Start Menu – but this is customisable.
Right clicking the Windows orb throws up a variety of options – like disabling the App page so that hitting the Start button throws up the Metro UI instead, either in full view or side-by-side with your desktop. Alternatively, you can customise the orb to pull up the Apps page when clicked and the Metro UI when pressing the Win key.
Your customisation options don't end there. You can determine how much of the Metro interface and how much of the desktop you want to see together, choosing between small, tall, wide, large and full screen – either in full view or side by side.
You can even change the image of the Start button from an orb to the classic XP button, the Windows 8 logo or something else. Lastly, right-clicking the orb pulls up selections for the run and shutdown commands for easy accessibility.