Windows 8 gotten rid of the Startmenu in the classic desktop found in Windows 7, Vista, and XP. However, there are now 3rd-party software makers like Stardock, and Pokki which makes a Startmenu program to add a Startmenu button to Windows 8 classic desktop. The Startmenu button program which Stardock and Pokki made may be better then the default start menu on older versions of Windows since they have better features, design, and usability. Plus, you can uninstall startmenu program which is not possible with the startmenu in Windows 7 and below if you find you rather use the modern touchscreen desktop more, or use the classic desktop without the startmenu because you mostly click on shortcuts on the modern or classic desktop, taskbar and use Windows 8 built-in program search features.
Maybe getting rid of the Startmenu is a new trend for Windows where MS bundle fewer programs, and features people don’t really want or use like MS Paint, Windows Live Messenger, etc, and choose to download and install programs which they want instead which would make Windows use less disk space, RAM, and CPU cycles because fewer un-needed programs are installed on a PC making a computer faster and more stable.
How to get the Classic Desktop back in Windows 8?
Click or tap on the Desktop Tile/Square on the bottom right of the Modern touchscreen user interface to switch to the classic Windows 7/Vista style Desktop.
You’ll notice the desktop is missing a startmenu button on the bottom left of the desktop. You’ll need to use a third party startmenu program like Start8, or Pokki to add a Startmenu back to Windows 8, and make Windows 8 start into the Windows 8 classic desktop when you turn-on or restart your computer.
Startmenu programs for Windows 8
Start8 by Stardock has a search, most recently used programs, jumplist, and it looks like the Windows 7 and Vista Startmenu.
You can also set Start8 to boot directly to the Windows 8 classic startmenu which save you time by not having to click on the Desktop Windows 8 tile on your computer. Start8 cost 4.99 USD according to http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/download.asp
Pokki is a free Windows 8 Startmenu App which also supports desktop search, apps, games and notifications. Pokki also has the familiar Windows Startmenu features like shortcuts, shutdown, and program search. You can download Pokki at https://www.pokki.com/ for free. Pokki also let you use web apps on your desktop from its apps store. If you are a web developer, you can also submit your app to the Pokki App and Games store. Pokki also can be set to start your computer into the classic desktop when you start your computer.
http://lee-soft.com/vistart/ makes a startmenu program which is like the startmenu on Windows 7 and below. It is also free to download and use on Windows 8. You can also use it in Windows XP to give a Vista/7 style startmenu to XP computers.
These startmenu programs would be good for people who want to use Windows 8, but prefer the classic desktop with the startmenu button, or to install on a guest computer where your guest can easily use your computer because it has the startmenu and classic desktop from Windows Vista, 7, and below.
You can also more easily learn Windows 8 without affecting your productivity because you are too used the startmenu, and when you feel you don’t need the startmenu anymore, you can uninstall your startmenu button program, and use the space to pin a program like Google Chrome web browser in the startmenu’s place, or just leave it blank to make your desktop look more minimalistic, and clean while saving a few MB of RAM because you are not using a startmenu program.
How often do you use the startmenu in Windows Startmenu?
I sometimes use it, but I mostly just click on shortcuts on the desktop or taskbar in Windows to open my files, folders and programs which I use most often. Although, I sometimes use the Startmenu search in Windows 7 to search for rarely used programs like MS Office Word which I need to use once in a while.
Do you feel that it is a good feature that Windows 8 does not have a Startmenu?
Yes, I think it is a good feature that Windows 8 does not force people to have the Startmenu on the bottom right since some people may not want a startmenu button, and prefer to use the space on the bottom right to add a shortcut for their most used program like Google Chrome Web Browser, Skype, Outlook, VLC Media Player, etc.
Windows 8 not having a startmenu also make Windows use less disk space, and possibly use a little less RAM then previous version of Windows.
Plus, there are now people who first computer is a Video MP3 player like the iPod Touch, smartphone, tablet, eReader, or non-Windows computer which uses Ubuntu Linux, Google Android, Apple Mac OS X, and Google Chrome OS which don’t have a startmenu, so adding a startmenu might make it harder for people to use the computer because the startmenu is new to them.
Using shortcuts on the desktop, taskbar, and by searching for them is also faster at opening files, and folders from the startmenu which just tends to group all programs together in All Programs folder.