I've set up Windows 8, and upgraded to Windows 8.1, and I really miss the Windows 7 Start menu. Yes, Windows 8.1 has a Start button, but all it does is take me to the full-screen apps. I want a Start menu like I had in Windows 7. Is there some way to get that back?
We generally try to use the newest, “shiniest” features of every operating system, but to be honest, at least one of us (Ken) really misses the Windows 7 Start menu as well. Doug has reconciled himself to liking the new tiled interface, but some habits die hard, and Ken agrees with you—we miss the Start menu.
If you search online, you’ll find a number of different products that promise to return you to Windows 7 happiness and comfort by providing the old standby, the Windows Start menu.
Ken uses a product from Stardock, called Start 8 (http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/). Currently, it costs $4.99 (we think that’s an incredible deal for a really useful product). This application replaces the Windows Start menu and gives you a ton of options for customizing the behavior of the menu, as well. If you miss the Windows start menu, we highly recommend Start8.
Doug, on the other hand, has grown accustomed to the new technology, and likes pressing the Windows key and then just typing the name of the application he wants to run. For example, to start Word, he press the Windows key, then types “Wo” and Enter. That’s enough of the name to help Windows find the right application and start it up.
You know, in the long run, it may be best to take the time to get used to the new paradigm. Ken still thinks that in Windows 8.2, or Windows 9, or whatever, you’ll see the old-style Start menu, or something like, make a re-emergence. That’s all just speculation, of course. If you just want things back the way they used to be, check out Start8. It works well!