That didn't take long. Barely a week after the Windows 8 Consumer Preview's release, someone has whipped up a substitute for the decommissioned Start menu. That someone is Stardock, and their Start8 application is now available as a free download. That is, so long as you're good to volunteer your e-mail address.
Start8's Start menu is covered with a coat of Metro paint, but underneath, it sounds a lot like its translucent Windows 7 counterpart. Stardock says you can launch apps, perform searches, and use the "Run" and "Shutdown" functions if you right-click. The firm has even resurrected the old Start orb at the left of the taskbar.
Here's hoping the final release of Windows 8 has a similar, perhaps optional, feature built in. The way pre-release versions of the OS force users to weave in and out of the Metro Start screen is a little awkward, to say the least, and some users (including our own David Morgan) aren't too thrilled with it.