Start8 1.56

Reviewed by Pete Daniel

"Bring back the Windows® "Start" menu"

Overview

Start8 is a Start Menu replacement for the missing Start Menu in Windows 8/8.1. Microsoft saw fit to replace the traditional Start Menu with the Start Screen which didn't sit well with many users of Windows 8.x. Stardock came up with their own Start8 product which delivers a Start Menu experience once again but inside Windows 8.x.

The Start Menu from Start8 is essentially a Windows 7 style Start Menu but with some Windows 8 improvements to functionality. This means that Metro apps get some inclusion with this Start menu. Desktop and Metro apps can be pinned to the Start8 Start Menu.

It is possible to boot up directly to the Windows 8.x desktop rather than to the Windows Screen. Less aesthetically pleasing perhaps but more useful for many users of this Microsoft operating system.

Search has been unified to make it work across files, apps and settings. Therefore, the user can search more quickly for many files they want to find, apps they need to load quickly without hunting through the Start8 Start Menu to find them first, and pull up settings to tweak these to the user's liking.

Windows 8 “hotspots” can also be turned off which may have some appeal.

The Start8 Start Menu provides fast access to Shut down, devices, music, documents and videos.

Installation

The installation proceeded without any issues.

There were no malicious content included with the setup package.

Start8 requires Windows 8/8.1 to avoid conflict with an existing Start Menu.

Interface

The interface for the Start8 Start Menu is similar to Windows 7. The menu itself matches the color of the taskbar to blend in perfectly.

The Start Button can be skinned to change its appearance too.

The Start Menu itself almost perfectly matches the one that comes with Windows 7, but with some Metro UI touches thrown in. Many users will barely be able to tell the difference here.

Pros

  • Add a Start Menu instead of being forced to use Windows 8.x Start Screen
  • Interface blends colors with the theme used already
  • Blends in Metro UI features of Windows 8.x to make them accessible to users
  • Get access to shutdown options quickly
  • Unified search for files, apps and settings
  • Fast and responsive

Cons

None.

Alternatives

StartItBack is an alternative to Start8 which offers a different approach to adding a Start Menu back into Windows in version 8.x. Classic Shell is even more popular.

Conclusion

Start8 is a useful addition to Windows 8.x because it adds a replica of the Windows 7 Start Menu but blends in Windows 8 Metro UI feature as well.

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Antivirus information

Download3K has downloaded and tested Start8 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
Start8 Antivirus Report
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