I see from email that StarDock has released an updated (beta) version of their Start8 utility that I wrote about recently. This neat little app puts the Start button back into Windows, meaning it’s easier to use (at least for some!).
When I last wrote about it, I got a lot of comments – as expected. Some of the comments, received in mail, on the blog and via twitter, were along the lines of ‘Windows 8 is different, get over it and learn it’ - something I can’t really rebut! But I also got quite a lot of agreement as well as lots of cool tips on how to improve one’s experience with the Windows 8 UI. For all those comments, thanks.
It’s true that I can live without the start button and by using a combination of new keyboard sequences and pinning what I need to the desktop’s task bar (and ignoring the Start Screen) I can get by. BUT: why should I have to go to all that effort? If Microsoft had listened to folks like me, they would have given me the freedom and the opportunity to choose. It would have cost them nothing to have left the start button in the UI (if anything, ripping it out probably cost Msft more in engineering and testing than leaving it in would have cost). And it would have made the Windows team seem a bit less arrogant. But they didn’t and so I’m left with dealing with that. But anyway – if you are missing your start button – Start8 is a way to reclaim it. I like it and it, for me, makes Windows 8 a whole lot more attractive AND it makes me more productive.
One small thing – although in beta, Stardock have started charging for it. From their web site, the cost is US$4.99 or around £3.33. This is a sufficiently cheap price that I said yes in a flash.
And two final things: If you DO buy Start8, and want to save 10%, cite this discount code: RC-00017391. Second, thanks to John J Kavanagh, there’s an open source project that does much of what Start8 does – see http://http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/