Windows 8 optimize

Add a self-made Start button to the Windows 8 desktop

Greg Shultz shows you how to create the CLSID shortcut to the Apps screen and set it up like a Start button.

After my You don't really need a Start Menu in Windows 8 article was published, the ensuing discussion really took off sprouting points from both sides of the issue. It seems that a lot of people are really ticked off that the Start menu is no longer a part of the operating system. While my guess is that a lot of those folks will opt for a Start menu replacement, such as StartW8, Classic Shell, or Start8, I heard from plenty of others who stated that they were willing to give the new Start screen and Apps screen a shot even though they lamented the passing of the Start menu.

As you probably know by now, my method of choice for launching applications in Windows 8 it to press the [Windows] on my keyboard, which immediately brings up the Apps screen along with the Search panel into which I just type the first few letters of the application that I want to launch. While some folks like that technique, others detested the thought of typing anything into a GUI in order to launch an application. They'd much rather just click with the mouse. Thinking that was a reasonable request, I began investigating a way to create a shortcut that would allow you to directly access the Apps screen with a simple click of the mouse.

It took a while but I finally unearthed a CLSID key in the Windows 8 registry that can be used to construct a shortcut that will instantly access the Apps screen. I then pinned that shortcut to the taskbar, changed its icon, moved it to the left edge of the taskbar, and Voila! I had a Start button to access the Apps screen.

So using this technique, you can just click a Start button to bring up the Apps screen and then click the icon of the application you want to launch. No keyboard, no shortcut keystrokes, just mouse clicks. And, best of all, if you implement the technique I showed you in the article Make Windows 8 boot straight to the desktop, you'll basically have a Windows 7 style interface in Windows 8 without having to use any third-party utilities.

In this post, I'll show you how to create the CLSID shortcut to the Apps screen and set it up like a Start button.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

The CLSID

While you won't have to go traipsing around the registry in order to implement this technique - I already did that - you may be curious as to where the CLSID came from. Essentially, a CLSID key is a part of the registry that contains code that provides access to specific system objects in the operating system, such as system folders. The CLSID keys can be found in two places in the Registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID.

Now, under normal circumstances, you would never need to use a CLSID because it is specifically designed to be used by developers and the operating system. In fact, a CLSID is a 128 bit Hexadecimal number enclosed in braces, so it's not very user friendly.

In any case, the CLSID that provides access to the Apps screen is

{2559a1f8-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}

The shortcut

To use the CLSID to launch the Apps screen, you'll use the Shell command. In order to launch a Shell command from a shortcut, you need to use the explorer.exe command. As such, the shortcut to launch the Apps screen consists of the following command line. (Take note that there are three colons between the word shell and the left brace. Also keep in mind that there is only one space in the whole command line between the .exe file extension and the word shell.)

explorer.exe shell:::{2559a1f8-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}
To create the shortcut, just open the Documents folder, right-click on the background, and choose the New | Shortcut command. When you see the first screen in the Create Shortcut wizard, type the shortcut in the text box, as shown in Figure A. Then, click Next.

Figure A

As you type the shortcut, beware of typos.
When you see the second screen in the Create Shortcut wizard, type a short name for your shortcut. As you can see in Figure B, I named my example shortcut Apps. To complete the wizard, just click Finish.

Figure B

Just use a short name for the shortcut.
As soon as you see the shortcut icon, right click on it and select the Properties command, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Right click on the shortcut and choose the Properties command.
When you see the Properties dialog box, click the Change Icon button to open the Change Icon dialog box, as shown in Figure D. By default the Change Icon dialog box displays the icons from the explorer.exe file. As you can see, none of the available icons are very exciting. However, if you click the Browse button, you can search for other files that contain icons.

Figure D

By default, the Change Icon dialog box displays the icons from the explorer.exe.
I first found a nice Windows flag in the imageres.dll file (C:\Windows\System32.dll) that I considered using, but then I remembered the green Orb icon from Windows Media Center was very nice and found it in the ehshell.exe file (C:\Windows\ehome). Both are shown in Figure E.

Figure E

While the Windows flag icon is a good choice, I like the Windows Media Center icon better.
I ended up choosing the Windows Media Center icon because it resembles the Start button but since it is green, it is different from the blue Windows 7 icon. Of course, you can use any icon that you prefer. As soon as you choose your icon, right click on it and then select the Pin to Taskbar command, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

Select the Pin to Taskbar command.
Once your custom Start button appears on the taskbar, drag it all the way to the left side of the taskbar, as shown in Figure G. As you can see, using the green Orb icon and positioning it at the end of the taskbar really makes the desktop look like Windows 7.

Figure G

Drag the pinned icon to the left side of the taskbar.
Now when you click your custom Start button, the Apps screen will appear, as shown in Figure H. You can then click once to dismiss the Search panel, and then select the icon of the application that you want to launch. And, as I mentioned, if you combine this custom Start button technique with the trick I showed you in the article Make Windows 8 boot straight to the desktop, you'll basically have a Windows 7 style interface in Windows 8 without having to use any third-party utilities.

Figure H

Clicking your custom Start button brings up the Apps screen.

What's your take?

What do you think about creating a Start button to access the Apps screen in windows 8? Will you try it? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

Also read:

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

358 comments
passer.by
passer.by

This doesn't work in Windows 8.1, and neither does Win-Q.  Unfortunately, both of them now just bring up the search bar (on the side of the desktop, if that happens to be on screen).  Pressing Win and then Ctrl-Tab works.  Alternatively, you can turn on the "Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start" option, and then pressing the Win key will open the Apps screen.  To find the option, right click taskbar, click Properties, Navigation.

mark.stewart
mark.stewart

Win-Q You need two fingers... I have a friend for whom that would be a challenge. And she refuses to use that voice thing. But for 88.888% of us, press Win-Q and Programs opens with the Gem bar thingy too! Thanks for your tip, Greg. I have added that ehshell.exe decorated link to a toolbar. Keep up the good work. :-)

critofur
critofur

To me, the point of adding the Start button back is to avoid the "Start Screen" and being able to have a menu pop up instead of switching to a full screen "start" interface which obscures other windows (which may be an irritation, or worse, if you have a window which you need to keep open and observe while you are launching another (non-full screen) app)!

critofur
critofur

Because it appears to be trying to force us away from the windows paradigm. Tell me, how do I get IE10's .PDF viewer to switch from full screen to a window?

BentLightyear
BentLightyear

I followed your instructions and made an icon that works great with no problems! It was helpful to learn about the CLSID concept and using the Documents directory. I'm already thinking of other ways to use these tools! The only thing I would add is that it's easier to select the text from your article and copy-and-paste it into the shortcut than typing it in. And you can avoid fat finger mistakes that way. Also, instead of pinning it to the taskbar, I dragged-and-dropped the new shortcut into one of my preexisting toolbars. That's just a personal preference. As for all the whining about how Windows 8 isn't exactly like Windows 7, I remember when Windows first started and people were crying, "I'll never use a mouse!! If I want to execute a command, I'll type it in." We've come a long way since then and I'm sure there will be plenty of changes ahead as well. My philosophy is, "Suck it up and learn it or do it with the old system, but don't rain on our parade."

smileybri
smileybri

So, I don't mind the new Start screen. I just miss the start button. This article almost gets me there, but I don't want the "all apps" view. I want the regular Windows 8 customized start screen. Is there a CLSID for that? I searched but didn't find one.

dev
dev

Hi. It was nice, to get back a similar startmenu like the prev versions of windowses. But about a month ago, an automatice update downloaded fir windows ( dont know whcih one .. :( ) - but since then not doig anything if I click on that icon. I made it again, from the above presentation, start with sys admin, but no success. Anybody has same experience, or maybe you - Greg could you give some advise how can I get back again? Cheers Zoltan

quickt
quickt

I have used every Windows version since conception. Each had benefits and problems. Windows 3.x truly had the best human interface for a user that has many different programs and demands icons over program names to manage access. The Windows 3.x's ability to create sub-windows on the desktop to manage applications related by type was an invaluable option. Had this concept been incorporated in Windows 8, The metro interface would then be meaningful. It would provide an uncluttered start screen and the ability to group tiles (Icons) so as to be useful. This would provide easy access by both the tablet user and the desktop user. A win-win situation. Windows 8 as it stands will not be useful to professional desktop users unless the missing start menu is replaced. Once the start menu and the metro interface are made optional, Windows 8 will be a perfectly usable OS for the desktop user.

jolisadillard
jolisadillard

I have too many friends complaining about these Windows 8 issues. I have to do the work or still hear their moans and groans. I hope this will quiet them down so I will do it. I do not know when I will take the plunge and update...

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

It's about as useful as having every application icon on the desktop. For example there are many icons under "Microsoft Office" in the “old” hierarchical structure. This and similar groupings allows for a relatively parsimonious display listing and the ability with a couple, no doubt, very arduous mouse clicks to get to the program required. Good research on your part but about as silly as having to type the name of an application.

tkainz
tkainz

When I first tried "8" i wasn't a big fan - the missing start button was one of the big reasons. But what Microsoft - in their infinite stupidity - won't provide, others will. I just installed pokki - works like a charm (so far anyways!). I get my "start button" back, access to all my apps including a favorite apps list, control panel, library and more. Until I can afford a touch screen monitor, I learned the keyboard shortcuts (windows + d for the desktop - for instance) and now I find I'm actually enjoying Win 8. With a dual screen setup, I have the tiles UI on the left screen and the desktop on the right screen at all times - the best of both worlds. Personally, I still feel that the new interface has some blatant "issues" and many of the apps are too "simple" and bordering on juvenile, but in that case, I just run the not-tiled version of the program (Skype for instance). Done deal! Eventually, Microsoft will see the error of their ways and give the power users back some of the power they need, such as running multiple Windows on a single desktop at once (all being visible to some extent), Otherwise we probably will end up with just another "ME"

tkr
tkr

Thanks Greg. I may or may not use it, but good to know it is available.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Dell says customers purchasing a Latitude, OptiPlex, Precision Workstation, Alienware gaming system, or an XPS product through business configuration services with Windows 7 will be fully supported per the terms and conditions in the customer's warranty or service agreement. Lenovo's Think-branded notebooks and desktops support customers downgrading from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 7 Pro on all but a few select new touch systems where the Windows 7 touch experience would not be as good, the company states. Acer, which also sells Gateway branded PCs, says that if it offers Windows 7 as a downgrade option, then it will fully support the drivers and hardware. In other words, if Acer doesn't offer a Windows 7 downgrade option for your PC then they won't provide Windows 7 support. (Expecting Linux trolls to start with their nonsense right now.)

myangeldust
myangeldust

Example: •Your customer's organization needs a new system running on the same platform as its existing systems—Windows 7 Professional. Downgrade rights offer a practical solution. The customer can: •Purchase a PC with Windows 8 Pro preinstalled. •Downgrade—at no additional cost—to Windows 7 Professional. •Move to Windows 8 Pro at the appropriate time. The system is licensed and ready for conversion. OEM versions of Windows 8 eligible for downgrade Windows 8 Pro includes downgrade rights to: •Windows 7 Professional •Windows Vista Business

myangeldust
myangeldust

Yes, customers can downgrade to Windows 7, but Microsoft has different terms regarding users’ downgrade rights and paths. HP recommends customers check with Microsoft for the terms governing their specific operating system edition. Customers who are able to and choose to downgrade their HP Windows-8 compatible products to Windows 7 will remain protected by HP product warranties. However, HP has not tested all Windows 8 platforms for Windows 7 and we may not have your particular drivers available. If you choose to install a different operating system (OS) and have a problem that requires HP support, you may need to restore the original OS to fully diagnose your problem. Please check with HP Customer Care for questions related to your specific product.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Now, first finding the printer adding in the start menu is a chore, you have to type for it. When you pick it, it loads a Metro style that searches for printers, but doesn't let you choose where. Then all you can do is click the printer, and it invariably says failed because, it doesn't let you locate a driver, it just tries and fails. The Windows 7 trick doesn't work either. Where you share the printer you want from another workstation that functions, and add it from there. Then delete it and add it from the server. (thus it now has the driver that it downloaded from the workstation in the first add process). In short, they managed to make it even more difficult.

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

I am starting to feel the same about MS windows as much as I hate to clean real windows :-) That is why many of my friends have moved to MAC's and some have started to look at Linux. I for one have moved to only using Linux for all my needs at home and office. I only VM XP to use occasionally a few needed windows only apps but not too often need to do that lately. And unless something requires me in the future weather XP is supported or not I will not upgrade to a later version of windows to use for those windows apps. I do run a VM for all the later version only to be familiar with in case I need to test something, support, etc. People like improvement, mostly to something that was broken to be fixed, or a simple feature added, but not radical changes to how they are use to using an application, trying to force one to use desktops the same way the need to use a tablet is not the answer.

faustolg
faustolg

Although I have a Windows Phone 7 device and I like the metro interface, many people have expressed the same way as I think, Metro IS for tablets and phones, I have tested Windows 8 and the lack of Start Menu and the Metro interface don't encourage me to upgrade my OS... I'll pass on Windows 8, and hope Microsoft understand the need for the little button and correct that mistake on the next windows.

carlsf
carlsf

I have just ordered two new systems (1 x Desktop and 1 x Laptop).... For the laptop I tried in stores but no salesperson was interested so I went onto the net until I did find what I wanted and also got WIN7 pro and that was a Lenovo E520 ver well specked at a very favorable price. Next for a high end specked Desktop I went to a custom builder of power computers after doing my research and again got what I wanted, with WIN7 PRO and MS Office 2012 PRO also a a very favorable price. They worked with me to gain some savings and decreasing the price at the same time increasing the power of the system. So why do people insist on going to RETAIL who are only pushing the main OEM (HP, Compaq, Acer, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony) These sales people only know what the are told by the big suppliers. 1 x Asus P8Z77-V Intel Z77 ATX Ivy Bridge Socket 1155, 1 x Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5Ghz Socket 1155 Box Unlocked, 1 x G.SKILL Ripjaws X 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) High Per, 1 x Corsair Force GS Series 3 480GB SSD with SandForce SF-2200 Series controllers and fast Toggle NAND SATA3 6Gb/s R/W: 555/525 MB/s (MLC), 2 x Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EZEX 64MB 1TB, COOLER MASTER HAF XM MID TOWER 200mm USB3.0 with add Fans, along with Key/mouse WIN7 Office 2012 I am very happy total for both systems with WHAT I WANTED was NZ$5500.

santoshbalram
santoshbalram

hope they fix the start button just like win 7 in win 8 by releasing service pack or any other form of update from MS.

Tiger-Pa
Tiger-Pa

Everyone seems to be annoyed and confused about the (Metro) interface. It is not your desktop - it is your START screen. Easily enter your Desktop by selecting its Icon on the Start screen or press the Windows Logo key and the letter D. If there are frequently used apps on the Start screen that you want on your Desktop then simply Pin them to the Task Bar. My opinion: If you can't cope with Windows 8 - DON'T - get your inner child an Etch-a-Sketch.

Koko Bill
Koko Bill

..don't get those people complaining on Win 8, it's a good system and the diff from erlier versions is meaninless. Same story was going for years about Win 7, too. Today everyone knows Windows 7 is the best OS ever. So is Windows 8 going to be after SP1. Wait, and you'll see it.....did you forget about DOS , black screen and command line....?? or what....!!!

Tiger-Pa
Tiger-Pa

How is it that someone will spend an enormous amount of time and effort putting 'Bandaids' on Windows 8 instead of spending a little less time just learning the differences. I find it much easier to use as is. For those that want the bandaids, you probable created shortcut icons on your previous Desktops instead of enabling the Built-in ones in Settings. You tech writers should have been teaching how to properly use previous versions of Windows instead of modifying Windows 8 to continue bad habits.

wbobrowski
wbobrowski

Not missing it. I've always been annoyed by the Start | Programs 'drill down' in prior versions so I launched everything I needed from Quick Launch toolbar. Now I'm launching my favorites apps from the Win8 UI without the useless icon clutter of apps I'll never need. I get it.

FreakNClown
FreakNClown

Well, I'm not sure where to start. I've had my Windows 8 Laptop for less than a month. It's OK. Not a big thrill like with XP or Win 7. I run a little IT biz here in Texas. I have customers returning Windows 8 to the store and when hearing that Win 7 isn't available unless they order it... are either buying Macs or ordering WIN 7. I spent an hour reading MS blogs offering everything from excuses to cram it in your face reasons for the new WIN 8. They have made several fatal errors. They think most people are using Laptops or tablets at work and home. Fools. I bet their design staff is using Mac Pros at MS. Ever try to design a floor plan with your finger? Or a flux capacitor? Yes, if they are web designers, executives, managers etc. However, the laptops they use are Macs. Publishers use Macs, Writers use Macs, Musicians use Macs. Hollywood loves Macs. The people who use Windows Laptops are usually buying a 2nd or third pc and you folls just stabbed 90% of them in the back. I'm sorry your phone su*ked so bad we all bought Iphones. The real customer that uses Windows, have a desktop PC first and foremost. When MS loses corporate to Linux or Mac, the dominoes are all going to fall quickly. Nice call MS. Idiots. You missed your target audience, you missed their age demographics and you flubbed the chance to make a good OS. The good OS you had 7, you yanked the rug from under. MS needs to grownup. The commercials they are running make WIN 8 look like a toy. We MCPs were counting on you guys to give us a stable mature platform to blow Apple out of the saddle. But you gave us a cheap looking token of what we deserve. Thanks for giving me the push to get with the future, Apple.

dtroup
dtroup

Seroiously, if you don't like it don't use it. Did we all go out and buy Vista, no becasue it was awful. Windows 7 is still great and still supported so why are you all crying about Windows 8 being crap, you'd think it was the end of the world. I'm using Windows 8 on a tablet, a desktop and a laptop and to be honest it's not that much of an issue. I just cick the start button and type the name of the app I want when I'm on my PC or laptop and use the touch on teh tablet, it's not difficult people. If you're unhappy vote with your money and don't buy it, go with Mac OS, if you have 3 times the money to spend on hardware or Linux if you don't need MS office.

enderby!
enderby!

Windows 8 is like the old story about the bad tailor. The bad suit looks fine as long as you keep one knee bent, shove one arm forward,hold the other arm behind your back, and hop around. Go through enough contortions and you might even make WIndows 8 look okay. After two decades of making a living with only Windows apps I guess it is time for me to move on.

mcblaesing
mcblaesing

can you figure out now how to make the import pictures app give the options that were available in W7?

andyhartono2
andyhartono2

Again, I am wondering with most people who whining about the start button in Windows 8 My personal opinion is: If you are always looking for a Start button in Windows 8, why do upgrade to W8 in the first place? I guess it's better you stick with Windows 7, because Windows 8 just a bit enhancement from 7 (additionally some features on Task Manager, which is rarely used in day to day activities) Why nobody shouting at the time Microsoft replacing XP to Vista or Windows 7? Because of the basic interface since Windows 1.xx? I tried all the third party start button, it's all very good, except, of course you have to wait a bit longer on start up time, around 3-5 seconds longer The Windows 8 Start screen is beautiful... my critic is only about flexibility to change the color for individual tile and change its size to our like, because I find it a little to big Bottom line is: If you don't like to eat burgers, then let it be and don't buy burgers... But please don't criticizer all the time I find this is more appropriate

Mooreman
Mooreman

A confusing product like Windows 8 is what you end up with when you involve too many focus groups on a single project. As a system builder I won't touch it, till I'm forced to. I am stocked-up on enough Win7 OEM install packs to last me through 2014. First off, no one should ever have to go to this much trouble just to create a start button, that should never have been removed in the first place. And Greg while you are at it, don't forget to include the other article links on how to create a shutdown icon and a stand-by icon as well. MS should include a free download for StarDock's, Start-8 product, until they can issue a major update to Win8, to replace the missing start menu code. All these years we have been trained to expect more in each new version of Windows, not less? This offer would be limited to the desktop and laptop users who were mislead into buying what they thought was Windows on their new PC's. Windows 8 should never have been marketed for desktops and laptop computers in its current configuration. Even naming it Windows 8 is a misnomer and is simply using the Windows brand recognition to market a product that is not designed for productive use, on either desktop or laptop computers. Windows 8 should have been marketed as Windows Metro For Tablet Computers. A separate full version, without the start menu code missing, should have been marketed separately as Windows 8. They could also charge the regular higher prices for the full featured version as well. Gee it took a system builder to figure that one out. Another advantage of marketing two separate product lines, is that the stock holders are protected, in the event the new tablet product line tanks. By combining all of their code eggs into one big basket, if it sinks, so does the mother-ship. Not so smart product marketing on MS's part. I think that Windows 8 when all is settled and done will make the "New Coca Cola" and Windows ME look like marketing genius. Microsoft's board needs to get the guts to fire/retire most of the executives running MS and get some fresh blood into the company before the stock ends up tanking. They also need to hire some experienced product marketing people.

pauljoneshogan
pauljoneshogan

I cannot understand why so many people find Windows 8 so difficult to use. For me it is so easy, I must be very lucky not to have a complicated brain that expert computer users need to compete basic tasks.

mijcar
mijcar

It's not getting to the Apps Screen that's the issue. Press Windows+W and you're virtually there. It's what you see when you get to the Apps Screen! I want an old style drop-down menu. I must have about 100 - 200 apps on my computer, most of them never addressed by me. These never-used apps are probably links to the app-maker's site or to a help menu for the product. There's no reason to get rid of them; and there is always the chance I might actually need one at some time in the future. BUT I DON'T WANT THEM TO HAVE EQUAL TIME ON THE DISPLAY! (shouting intentional) When I click on the programs menu - the way I had it set up - I got less than a full-screen's work of apps and app-folders listed. Because that is essentially what I had. And it was the app-folders that saved the day and made my computer workable. The folder structure is still the easiest and most manageable method for handling abundance of data. I had a DVD copier app, but it didn't have the company's name in the title nor did it have the word "DVD" in its name. In Win 7, that wasn't an issue. I could have name the folder DVD or I could simply scan the short main app list and recognized the company. In Win 8, it has become a huge issue. Smeared across my screen is every app on my machine. Yes, they seem to be organized, but a horizontal (sort of) -- vertical (sort of) distribution of data is unscanable. Let me say that again. The Win 8 presentation of apps present does not lend itself to quick product locating. Because keywords are neither vertically nor horizontally aligned, the eyes must make too many movements to find an object it is looking for by mere scanning. The searcher must peruse. That's a short fancy word that means "examine carefully." And perusing is the very opposite of what I want to do when I am in the middle of a music editing job and I need an app that properly stitches two segments together. (Oh, yes, Audacity!) I can't speak for every "complainer" here, but I bet most of them don't mean what you appear to think they mean. They aren't searching for the Apps. They are searching for an App!. And they want to be able to get there quickly. They want a menu structure. There is a reason the history of desktop computers is rooted in menus. And it isn't because there was no alternative. I've programmed for about forty years, and the reason for menu-driven processes is that they are easy for the user. Touch-driven and voice-driven processes conflict with menus, because menus have to be dropped. And it is why so many of us had problems using software like Dragon - moving around the menus. And name-driven processes are insanity. The value of a computer is its handling of large amounts of data -- most of which we do not know the exact name of. That means we need to know where we put it and that means an organizing principle that follows a menu structure. Pictures in this folder. Family pictures in this subfolder. Games in that folder. And so on. That is one of the fundamental differences between PCs and Macs. PC users do more; they need a logic that allows this to happen. Mac users do less (really, I've watched them). And they're happy (about half the time) with what they need to do to find something they forgot the name of. Count the number of applications on a typical PC and compare that to those on a typical Mac and you will see why PCs need to have a menu-access structure.

Real Ali Baba
Real Ali Baba

I am sorry but all these articles about getting the start button back or fixing Windows 8 limitation is truly ridiculous. People need to stand up to the corporation and let them know who the real boss. I have been using Microsoft Windows since Windows 3.11, and I have never been more disappointed with the company. I am one of those people who never bothered to adapt Vista, and whole heartedly accepted Windows 7 as a acceptable update to Windows from XP. Windows 8 removed quite a few things that I loved in Windows 7 that forced me to upgrade from XP. I am getting Windows 8 for free from my university and I am still unhappy because they are forcing me to comply to their new interface with no option to turn off unwanted features and get back lost features. I am also a Mac User and I refused to upgrade to Mountain Lion from Lion due to the fact that they removed features I liked and also returned features that took away with the update. What I am trying to say is we the consumers need to start fighting with our wallets, and not become mindless drones like the ones you see throwing their cash away at Apple for inferior products.

cmwade1977
cmwade1977

This is what we are moving to at my work, I don't see the point in overpaying for Windows 7 when Windows 8 Pro is so inexpensive. I mean even a new license can be had for $69.99 by installing without a license key, then clicking Get Genuine in the activation window. Additionally, Windows 8 has many great features, is more stable than 7 and is faster. So, while I don't like the Metro UI, it isn't a deal breaker as there is a solution for that. And even with the costs of Start8, Windows 8 is far less expensive than 7 is.

inertman
inertman

while i understand the tentative outrage from those who refuse to change, why is it so much easier to use a start buttoin than a short cut on your desktop or task bar? i dont like it much either but i got used to it quickly. of those i support and those i know, few are using 8 anyway. my sis who is quite savy (works in GIS for 911), she had the same response, "wtf?". but once i mentioned to her that she really doesnt use that many programs and most of them are on her desktop or taskbar anyway, she quieted down quickly, tho still hasnt made the move on her work machine (and i understand why as some of her programs are quite specific in what os they will work under and how). my cousin who is not savy at all recenlty bought a new 8 machine for her work and needed an emergency tutoring session. but similarly, once i showed her how to place what she needed where she could easily start them (more easily even than the old start menu), as well as clean up the start menu, she was happy as a clam. for the rest of my support clientelle, they would also refuse to change so it's irrelevant as they will be sticking w/ xp or 7 anyway. and even if they did, their short cut array is so disorganised on the desktop that the organisation of the new start menu wont be any more difficult to navigate when they do move ahead.

Gisabun
Gisabun

Just spwend the $5 and But Stardock's Stast8. This is probably the closest you will get to a Win 7 menu in Win 8 without the tinkering.

Loaded4th
Loaded4th

I use 8Start on my XP installs which is even better than a start button. I know it works on Vista and 7, not sure about Win8, if not maybe soon. All my systems are dual boot XP/Kubuntu.

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

It is such a sad commentary on Microsoft that users have to resort to third-party developers and/or Registry file hacks to restore in Windows-8 what never should have been removed from Windows-7. The arrogance of Microsoft to assume that no one needs or wants the Start button from the desktop is beyond the pale. However, with history as a guide arrogant behavior is often very harshly punished. Just review what has happened to huge corporations in the past who got arrogant and took the "customer be damned" attitude. Not a pretty sight.

pcollett
pcollett

Free program that puts the start menu where it should be.

inertman
inertman

, it's windows 8's built in reader app, all of their 'apps' are full screen. try another reader program. I use nitro as it's small and has it's own 'printer'.

myangeldust
myangeldust

I think this is why Linux isn't mainstream or even relevant. It's because Linux users use most of their time on Windows forums trashing that OS. I like Linux, don't get me wrong. However, the closest Linux it has come to popularity is on smartphones. Naysayers tout Windows 8 as solely for tablets. Though one could say Linux is good for smartphones and nothing else, and they would be completely right. If Linux users would spend more time on helping the different distros stabilize and popularize their products, perhaps even merge them into major titles, their dreams of Linux as a viable competitor to Windows and Mac would come to fruition. Until then I guess it's going to be more and more TR articles filled with Windows-hating rants by Linux users. Time suckage. I would find it really hilarious if someone realized the Start Screen makes sense and puts it on a Linux distro. Funnier still if that distro gets installed more than any other (non-Start Screen) Linux.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

There isn't an SP 1 yet, and I'm not aware of it being developed.

janitorman
janitorman

a "start SCREEN" in windows before this because there never was a need for it since there is a prominent START BUTTON. The only reason you would want to do something this way would be if you have a small device where menus don't show up very well, but on MY PHONE there are menus, and they work quite well, without using a touchscreen, even, so that disproves that this interface is for smaller devices, either. Touch screens are the way someone had to put UN-neccesary CHEAP equipment that will BREAK together and charge more for it, rather than using durable buttons, which makes sense, and you don't have to continually WIPE OFF to see what you're trying to view, and costs less to build. Quite simply, I don't need Windows 7, either, don't like how it works, nor the horrible UI changes they made to it. I have XP, and even IT doesn't work properly like Windows 2000 did. I have my XP set to Classic, and it still doesn't work properly, like it should. I had to DO A WORKaround to put picture backgrounds in my folders for instance... They took too much out, and put in too much garbage no one needs, as they do with every version. They should have quit while they were ahead with Windows 2000, and let the innovation occur on Linux, where at least it's FREE and you can do things HOWEVER you want. Old versions work and you're not FORCED to get a new version if you don't want to, simply because you bought new hardware. Typically I USED TO run whatever came on the machine, and would NOT update, as that always caused problems. Updates from Microsoft that would cause a machine never to reboot again, caused this phobia, and they haven't gotten much better with it from what I can see. NOW I simply want to buy hardware, and not have some particular OS shoved on there by the manufacturer. APPLE could listen to this as well, they should get rid of their proprietary software and allow people to choose, at first startup, whether they want Linux, Windows (pick a version) or Mac. There is no reason to bundle software with a machine, other than a small device that needs it to say, connect to a cel network, to talk on. (And there is NO reason I want to use my phone browse the internet, unless my modem hooks it to my COMPUTER to do so.

JJFitz
JJFitz

"[b]The real customer[/b] that uses Windows, have a desktop PC first and foremost." /sarcasm Do you hear that laptop users? You're nothing but a bunch of posers! /sarcasm

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

a new system from their local store as the OEM people are only shipping them Win 8.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Windows 7 has that classic Start menu. Just stay with that.

Slayer_
Slayer_

MS had ample time to correct this problem, they decided not to, I don't see them changing their minds any time soon.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

here's how I checked to see if it's available from MS www.microsoft. com - - click on the hot link 'Store' -- click on the hot link 'Windows' and you get a full page ad about Win 8 with a line 'Like Windows 7 only better' with all the prices. Hover over the hot link on the left that says 'Windows' and you get the choice of two links "Windows 8' or 'Windows 8 Pro' - nowhere in the store is there Windows 7 available for sale or download.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But there's no direct link to it except from search results. And don't even go there. I don't know you, but I know we both know users incapable of using search.