Windows 8 start menu app Start8 1.03 released

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 16, 2012
Software, Windows, Windows 8, Windows software

The third upgrade of Stardock's Windows 8 start menu application Start8 has just been released, only weeks after we have taken a look at Start8 1.01 released in early November. The new version of the program introduces several new features that users of the Windows 8 operating system may be interested in.

The main feature of Start8 is to add a start menu back to the desktop of Windows 8, so that users who have been working with previous versions of Windows before can use it again after buying a PC with Windows 8 or upgrading an older version of Windows to it.

Start8 is one of the few programs to include Windows Store applications in the start menu by default - the free Classic Shell application is another one - while the majority of start menus for Windows 8 limit the list of programs to desktop applications. One of the new features introduced in Start8 1.03 is the ability to disable the listing of Windows Store apps in the start menu.

start8 update 1.03

Here is a list of the most important changes in Start8 1.03 and Start8 1.02:

  • Typing a drive letter like c: in the start menu opens that location in Windows Explorer.
  • Option to control on which taskbar the start menu button is placed on by the application.
  • New keyboard shortcuts to emulate right winkey: Cltr-Windows, Shift-Windows, holding down Windows-key for more than half a second (optional).
  • Shortcuts can now be dragged onto the start menu from the desktop.
  • Search all locations on the system, not only standard libraries and folders
  • Holding down Ctrl while shutting down, rebooting or signing out will force those operations
  • Holding down Shift while shutting down will force a full shutdown of the system
  • New themes for the start menu

Some features, like the ability to enter a drive letter or path to open Windows Explorer from the start menu displaying that location, add functionality that the start menu of previous versions of Windows offered. Others improve the usability of the program or make it more versatile.

In the end though it is a personal decision whether you want to pay $5 for the program or instead use a free alternative such as Classic Shell which is really on-pair with it on many levels.

You can download the upgrade to Start8 1.03 from the official website after logging in there, or from third party websites like Softpedia without logging in. Just run the installer after you have downloaded it to update to the latest version.


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  1. Paul(us) said on November 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I could not found the link to

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

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