Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

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Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:35 am

A friend of mine went to a local Best Buy and bought himself a Samsung Series 7 notebook with Windows 8 preinstalled. He cannot stand the fact that it lacks a Start Menu. I have convinced him NOT to return it just yet, mentioning to him that there are Start Menu alternatives out there. I just don't know which one to get him.

Which Start Menu alternative is the best one for Windows 8?
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:42 am

Classic Shell, as it's free.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:09 am

Classic Shell is what I use but I'm on the look out for other options. I've been generally unhappy with Classic Shell. The response time isn't where it should be.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:23 am

What does he need in a start menu? Comfort?
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:24 am

Start8 was amazing but I did not want to pay for it so I ended up using Classic Shell.

Of the 2 Start8 was definitely better... $35 better (7 computers x $5) not really.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:34 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:What does he need in a start menu? Comfort?



I like windows 8 well enough but it was too bold of a change too quickly. Microsoft should have 1/2 stepped to Modern UI in Windows 8 and then once people had the feel for it moved fully to it in Windows 9.

The start menu is MUCH faster to get to commonly used features. It's more intuitive and just plain easier.

I just upgraded a few hundred users at work with new PCs and people mentioned going to Windows 8.. I didn't allow it. As I said before it's too big of a change. I wouldn't want to train all my users and listen to months of complaints of people struggling to adapt.

In my server room I built 6 new 2012 servers and I like it just fine but man the lack of start menu can be a pain until you fully relearn where everything is.

Maybe in this instance Microsoft should have left well enough alone.

All that said. I love modern UI on my phone! I have a iPhone 5, HTC DNA and a Lumia 920. I love my 920 more than both my other phones combined. I can never go back to the disjointed feel of iOS or Android full time again. I will use them to test apps and what not but my daily driver will be Windows Phone for a long time.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:37 am

It's all about personal experience. That's why I was asking what that particular user wants.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:40 am

xtalentx wrote:In my server room I built 6 new 2012 servers and I like it just fine but man the lack of start menu can be a pain until you fully relearn where everything is.

Classic Shell works on Server 2012. My in-house IT boffins were very happy when I pointed them in that direction as Server 2012 was really harshing their mellow.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:05 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
xtalentx wrote:In my server room I built 6 new 2012 servers and I like it just fine but man the lack of start menu can be a pain until you fully relearn where everything is.

Classic Shell works on Server 2012. My in-house IT boffins were very happy when I pointed them in that direction as Server 2012 was really harshing their mellow.



Almost everything you need (probably 99%) is right there in front of you on server manager. The only thing I did was make a shortcut to cmd on the desktop and I was rolling. but yeah.. a start menu sure feels good sometimes!
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:10 pm

xtalentx wrote:Almost everything you need (probably 99%) is right there in front of you on server manager. The only thing I did was make a shortcut to cmd on the desktop and I was rolling. but yeah.. a start menu sure feels good sometimes!

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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:35 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:It's all about personal experience. That's why I was asking what that particular user wants.


You are right about personal experience. This notebook lacks a touchscreen, so the Modern UI of Windows 8 is problematic for him. He really needs to multitask, such as using Excel and PowerPoint and Word all at the same time. Tablet UIs do not allow this at all.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:47 pm

You may also want to try out Pokki. I was recently in a similar situation and it seems to be filling my needs for now (I've only used it for a few days, so I can't totally recommend it yet). But it does allow you to: Boot straight to classic desktop, disable all "hot corners," and have the Win Key open the "Start Menu" (Pokki Menu). So far it's decent enough.

(There's also an option to change their dumb acorn icon to a new Windows style icon similar to Start8)

http://www.pokki.com/windows-8-start-menu
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:23 pm

xtalentx wrote:Almost everything you need (probably 99%) is right there in front of you on server manager. The only thing I did was make a shortcut to cmd on the desktop and I was rolling. but yeah.. a start menu sure feels good sometimes!

I don't make a shortcut on the desktop anymore since I subscribe to the "Pin to Start Menu" and "Pin to Task Bar" paradigms since Vista. And I really dig Spotlight-like search (don't like they split the combined search into Apps/Settings/Files in Win8 though).
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:56 pm

riviera74 wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:It's all about personal experience. That's why I was asking what that particular user wants.


You are right about personal experience. This notebook lacks a touchscreen, so the Modern UI of Windows 8 is problematic for him. He really needs to multitask, such as using Excel and PowerPoint and Word all at the same time. Tablet UIs do not allow this at all.


Hmm, if only Windows 8 had a desktop. :lol:
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:36 am

I went with Classic Shell. I also disabled the boot to the metro screen. I generally do not even consider messing with the registry on my computers. But the outright hatred of the Metro screen overwhelmed my normal caution after a weeks exposure to it.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/quickly-easily-disable-metro-user-interface-windows-8/
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:07 am

Khali wrote:I went with Classic Shell. I also disabled the boot to the metro screen. I generally do not even consider messing with the registry on my computers. But the outright hatred of the Metro screen overwhelmed my normal caution after a weeks exposure to it.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/quickly-easily-disable-metro-user-interface-windows-8/

Classic shell has an option for that... you did not need to do it with the registry.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:09 am

I had disabled the metro screen long before I came across Classic Shell. Just thought I would toss the link out there for those that wanted to go that route.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:26 pm

Start8 is pretty decent for a single-user case. I've been using it on my server/VM box for a few months now and haven't had any issues that I can blame on Start8 :)
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Thu May 23, 2013 10:15 am

Also, maybe it's just me, but I haven't seen this mentioned: http://startisback.com/#features-tab
StartIsBack provides a Win7-like start menu and so many options but is a bit cheaper than Start8. $3 vs $5 may not sound like much, but hey, this functionality should have been included with Win8 to begin with, so any money for it is a bit too much in my opinion. :roll:
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Thu May 23, 2013 11:47 am

rado992 wrote:hey, this functionality should have been included with Win8 to begin with


Yeah, I'm all for progress but like so many others have said - Microsoft removed the start button to serve their own unified cross-platform agenda, not because it was a desirable thing for most people.
I am glad they received as much backlash as they have and I am glad it has hurt their sales; I think the abysmal adoption of Win8 in the corporate sector is especially telling - Their main market segment has completely ingnored their current product because it is grossly unsuitable. If Windows Blue isn't Enterprise-friendly then Windows 7 will soldier on until Microsoft stop releasing junk.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Thu May 23, 2013 12:26 pm

rado992 wrote:Also, maybe it's just me, but I haven't seen this mentioned: http://startisback.com/#features-tab
StartIsBack provides a Win7-like start menu and so many options but is a bit cheaper than Start8. $3 vs $5 may not sound like much, but hey, this functionality should have been included with Win8 to begin with, so any money for it is a bit too much in my opinion. :roll:

I think the 2 price points covered were the free one and what most people consider the gold standard.

The one thing I miss with Classic Shell is pinning apps, can't seem to do that. Start8 recovered all my previously pinned apps for me.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Thu May 23, 2013 1:15 pm

Second vote for startisback for anyone else looking at this thread. It's really great.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:00 am

I got sick of the Metro interface after 2+ months of daily use of Win8 on my gaming machine.

Start8 is gr8! Having a traditional Windows experience with all of the under-the-hood optimizations Windows 8 offers is awesome.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:17 am

Like Prestige Worldwide, I gave the Modern UI about two months hoping I would get used to it. I didn't.

I bought Start8 for $5, which is really trivial in price. That's a medium-sized combo meal from McDonalds, except the benefits count every day and will continue to for years.

Start8 feels really natural and makes the OS much more usable, if you're accustomed to older generations of Windows (as most of us are). But Windows 8 is simply super fast, and the new task manager and file transfer dialogs are worthwhile too. And, of course, it will be supported longer. I'd recommend Start8 in a heart beat. Definitely worth it, definitely the way to go.

However, Windows 8 still has some annoyances. For example, videos and pictures will open by default in the metro apps for them, which are awkward and featureless and difficult to close. And if you change the default program for several of the file extensions, Windows will still surprise you sometimes by using the metro apps for less-used file extensions you didn't get to. Anyone on TechReport is smart enough to handle it, it's just an annoyance. But for your less tech-savvy friends, it can be close to a deal-breaker without a bit of coaching.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:42 am

LukeCWM wrote:For example, videos and pictures will open by default in the metro apps for them, which are awkward and featureless and difficult to close. And if you change the default program for several of the file extensions, Windows will still surprise you sometimes by using the metro apps for less-used file extensions you didn't get to. Anyone on TechReport is smart enough to handle it, it's just an annoyance. But for your less tech-savvy friends, it can be close to a deal-breaker without a bit of coaching.

Just uninstall those metro apps, only need to do that once. ;)
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:51 am

yup uninstall that junk with powershell:

Code: Select all
Get-AppxPackage –AllUsers
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppXProvisionedPackage -online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage –online


Edit: this also removes it for all users, even new ones.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:00 am

tanker27 wrote:yup uninstall that junk with powershell:

Code: Select all
Get-AppxPackage –AllUsers
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppXProvisionedPackage -online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage –online


Edit: this also removes it for all users, even new ones.


Thank you for that.

But why, in a supposedly "modern" OS, do we need to use powershell (or anything smelling like a command line) to make basic customization decisions such as this? Shouldn't there be a control panel (sorry, "System Settings") option?

Oh I know the truth, and it is this: This option, along with basic fine-tuning of desktop colors, brightness, and contrast, has been intentionally hidden by Microsoft, to encourage conformity and to discourage deviation from the "Church of the Modern UI".
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:59 pm

So after several months of Windows 8 on my laptop, I've installed Windows 8 on my desktop as well.

Basically I like some of the new bits (file copy dialog), loathe a few others (ribbon-ized Explorer and Start Screen), and simply do not care about nor care to learn to use the majority (Metro-All).

I have installed Classic Shell and am happy. I think this qualifies as an MS-fail.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:06 pm

BIF wrote:But why, in a supposedly "modern" OS, do we need to use powershell (or anything smelling like a command line) to make basic customization decisions such as this? Shouldn't there be a control panel (sorry, "System Settings") option?


PowerShell has become a fundamental part of administrating Microsoft products. That includes becoming an objective within the education curriculum for Microsoft products.

It's getting to the point that one could accuse Microsoft of deciding that the GUI is no longer king.
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Re: Have a Windows 8 notebook and need a Start Menu

Postposted on Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:21 pm

riviera74 wrote:A friend of mine went to a local Best Buy and bought himself a Samsung Series 7 notebook with Windows 8 preinstalled. He cannot stand the fact that it lacks a Start Menu. I have convinced him NOT to return it just yet, mentioning to him that there are Start Menu alternatives out there. I just don't know which one to get him.

Which Start Menu alternative is the best one for Windows 8?


Try this out, you can use it instead of the Windows 8 "start screen"

http://theprompt.com

I've liked it so much because you can use it from anywhere in Win 8 even on top of the full-screen metro apps or 'Start-Screen'
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