Of all the start menu replacements available for the Windows 8 operating system, I like Start8 from Stardock the most. The program, currently available as a beta version for Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 8, will be released as a final version this Fall. It was not clear up until now whether Stardock would continue to offer the program for free, which the company did as far as the beta version is concerned, or turn the application into a commercial program that users had to purchase if they want to keep using it once the final is released.
When you visit the Start8 page right now you will notice the new get it now button near the bottom of the page. Beta downloads are still available, but you can alternatively purchase the app for $4.99 to get direct access to the beta and an upgrade to the final version when it is released by the company.
While not explicitly mentioned, it is likely that the beta version will run out eventually so that users will either need to upgrade to the final version of the program or use a different start menu program on Windows 8. A program that is freely available is Classic Shell that is providing a similar experience to what Start8 offers. The major difference here is that Start8 includes Windows Store apps in search and the start menu, while Classic Shell does not.
You can check out our review of Start8 by following the link. Here are the core features that Start8 makes available for those in a hurry:
- Adds the start menu back to Windows 8
- Option to use a classic start menu, or a Windows 8 startpage like menu on the desktop
- Search apps, desktop programs, files and settings
- All classic start menu functionality available, including one-click shutdown
- Customization options available
Start 8 is definitely a great program, and the price seems to be just right for this kind of application. Still, if you do not want to pay $5 for a start menu, you can easily use Classic Shell or another free alternative instead. What's your take on the price?Enjoyed the article?: Then sign-up for our free newsletter or RSS feed to kick off your day with the latest technology news and tips, or share the article with your friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ using the icons below.