Start8 1.01 for Windows 8 brings lots of improvements

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 2, 2012
Software, Windows, Windows 8, Windows software

Start8 is one of my favorite solutions when it comes to adding a start menu back to the Windows 8 operating system.  While not free, it is reasonably priced at less than $5 considering that it is one of the best start menu programs for the system. Stardock has released a new version of Start8 today which brings the version of the application to 1.01. The version makes it look like a minor upgrade but it is anything but that.

The list of improvements and additions is long, and even longer if you have only worked with a beta version of the product but not a final version. The first thing that I noticed was the extensive configuration tool that is displayed after installation. Here you can change the appearance and functionality of the operating system so that it suits your needs.

This includes selecting the Windows 7 or Windows 8 style for the menu, how the button should look like, which shortcuts you want listed on the start menu (e.g. Documents, Control Panel, Printers, Administrative Tools), and how you access the start menu and Windows 8's start screen.

Start8 1.01

As far as improvements and feature additions goes, here are some of the more important changes in Start8 1.01.

  • Added support for command line parameters in the start menu's search form.
  • Configure the Windows key when in a Windows Store app to open the Start8 menu on the desktop, the Windows 8 menu or the last Windows Store app used.
  • Right to left language improvements, including correct orientation, position, and fix for text being displayed backwards.
  • The height of the start menu now adjusts according to the number of shortcuts placed in the right side list.
  • Fixed drag and drop sorting of pinned shortcuts if more than 10 shortcuts are pinned

Start8 offers several smaller features that I really like. It lets you for instance configure the left Windows-key to open the start menu on the desktop, and the right Windows-key to open the Windows 8 start screen. It is also one of the few applications that displays both Windows store apps and desktop programs in the start menu, and lets you disable hot corners when you are on the desktop (great when you work with fullscreen apps and the close button).


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  1. David Hess said on November 3, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Classic Shell is infinitely more customizable and infinitely less money.

  2. ftitctaj said on November 3, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Another start menu replacement option is Pokki. It does everything that the start menu should, has a modern design, and cool apps like Instagram and Gmail. And it’s free.

  3. bungeshea said on November 2, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Start8 looks really cool! I like the idea of having a new start menu design for Windows 8, rather than just re-creating Windows 7’s start menu. Also, I like the idea of mapping one Windows key to the start page, and the other to the start menu. It’s just a shame the program is commercial. Oh, well, I suppose $5 isn’t too much to pay for an awesome program like this.

    1. imu said on November 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      I agree,personally I was playing with POKKI for the while but after few weeks I realized I didn’t use menu anymore since I found my way through Winkey to get fast to everything I need.
      BTW. do read this post the guy who has written it worked on “Longhorn” (Vista) and seems to know a lot about the idea of Metro and why is that etc.

  4. not ilev said on November 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    StartIsBack looks and feels much better than Start8, no service gunk and exe running like Start8.

    I will have to buy a new button then!, my button purchases would then exceed what I actually paid for Windows 8.

  5. ilev said on November 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Seems like StartIsBack (beta 4) is more polished and close to Windows 7’s
    Start Menu.

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