Last week I wrote about my Windows 8 install experience. After I’d used it about 4 days, I decided I really missed the Start Button so I went in search for a replacement. Sure enough, there are several choices out there already. The one I first found was one where changes could be made to the registry editor. I followed all those instructions only to find out at the last step that Microsoft had removed the line of code that needed to be changed to get the start button. I think they did it to prevent people like me from using their own software to get a start button!
So I did another search and found Classic Shell from SourceForge., a trusted resource for great, free and open source software. How could I go wrong? Lucky for me, they had just released ver. 3.6.2 which includes support for jump lists and Metro apps.
With this download, there’s a choice of three start menu options:
- Windows Classic
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista and Windows 7
I chose Windows 7
It was a quick download and then I clicked to install and did the typical install. When it was finished, no logging out or rebooting necessary, I had a Start Button back! It’s shaped a bit differently, but functions the same way as before. I can pin things to the start menu and even can pin the apps – cool.
There’s even help available, simply type in ‘classic shell’ at the start menu and you’ll get help and you can even upgrade from this menu.
Having Classic Shell installed also disables the ability to access the Windows 8 ‘Start Area’. So if I hover my mouse over in the left lower side, I won’t get the Windows 8 Desktop. But I can still get to it via clicking on the Window’ ‘charm’, so I can still enjoy that interface too.
The default Windows 8 interface is beautiful, but not all that functional for my needs. It’s great to look at, but using the mouse to flip, oh I mean, click through all the tiles is like trying to pick up coins with mittens on – not the right tools! If there’s a way to get to the ‘front’ of all the tiles quickly, I haven’t found it intuitively. It seemed like I was wasting time going back and forth through the tiles. It’s much faster to type the program I want right from the Start Menu. So for the foreseeable future, I’ll be sticking with the Start Button. If I get a Surface Tablet some day, it’ll be fine using the touch interface.
What about others of you out there using Windows 8 with your current computer – how are you managing with the desktop apps? I’d like to know your experience and how long it took you to get used to the new interface. Please leave a comment.