Start10 0.50 Beta

Reviewed by Pete Daniel

"Adds the familiar Win 7 start menu to Win 10."

Overview

The Start10 from Stardock is a Windows 10 Start menu replacement product. The idea behind it is that however the final version of the Start menu will be in Windows 10, the Start10 version will be superior.

The current version is based around the January 2015 Build of Windows 10 Preview Edition with the developers committed to updating their Start10 product to ensure it is compatible with the final Windows 10 commercial release.

The Start menu from Start10 looks very much like the Windows 7 Start menu (there is also a version that looks like the Windows 10 Start menu with Metro UI touches). It looks, acts and feels awfully familiar which is a good thing. The Start menu matches the color used for the taskbar so it fits right in. The Start button is skinnable with several choices immediately available. The actual behavior of the Start button can also be altered to suit the user.

Both modern apps and desktop Windows apps can both be accessed from the Start menu with Start10. There is Jump list support incorporated into the menu system.

Search has also been unified between files, apps and settings so any search will usually bring up something across the system.

Installation

The installation of Start10 went as expected. There was no adware, toolbars, malware or other unwanted extra included with the setup program.

Start10 requires Windows 10 January Technical Preview v10.0.9926 or later and will be updated to function perfectly with Windows 10 commercial release. The product is not recommended for use with other versions of Windows.

Interface

The Start10 Start menu looks pretty similar to what you can see in Windows 7, so it doesn't hold any surprises visually. At least not at first.

The Start button is customizable and the behavior of the Start button can be altered.

The configuration panel is quite different through. No hunting through the Windows Start menu to figure out how to get it to do what you want here.

The user can switch between a Windows 7-style Start menu and a Windows 10-style Start menu. The level of translucency can also be controlled.

Unified search brings up a different menu instead of the Start menu so that the user can perform complex searches and see various results and quick access to popular items quickly.

Pros

  • Replace the Windows 10 Start menu with Start10 alternative
  • Skinnable Start menu that can look like Windows 7 or Windows 10
  • Unified search across files, apps and settings
  • Jump list support
  • Customize Start button appearance
  • Customize Start button behavior
  • Pin modern apps and desktop apps to the Start menu
  • Developer committed to updating Start10 for the commercial release of Windows 10 at no extra cost

Cons

  • No doubt other Windows 10 Start menu replacements will be released in due course.

Alternatives

Classic Shell is another Windows 7-style Start menu aimed at Windows 8.x users, but which recently got updated to support Windows 10 as well.

Conclusion

Start10 is an interesting alternative to the Start menu that already comes with the Windows 10 Technical Preview edition and will be included in the final release of Windows 10. It adds new customization of appearance and behavior which will please users who like to tweak everything.

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Antivirus information

Download3K has downloaded and tested Start10 on 28 Apr 2015 with some of Today's best antivirus engines and you can find below, for your convenience, the scan results:
  • Avast:

    Clean
  • Avira:

    Clean
  • Kaspersky:

    Clean
  • NOD32:

    Clean
Start10 Antivirus Report
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