How to bring back the Start menu and button to Windows 8(Part 2)

Windows 8 Start menu replacement: The Metro Start screen... as a menu!

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Classic Shell

Classic Shell is free, open-source donationware that gives you the option of a classic (Windows 98ish), Windows XP, or Vista/7 Start menu. At its most basic, it replaces the Windows 8 Start button on your taskbar — but as always with third-party utilities, it has a ton of other features and settings that you can tweak to your heart’s content (in Classic Shell’s case, there’s probablytoo many tweakable settings). There is apparently an option for Classic Shell to boot straight to Desktop, but I couldn’t find it.
One strong point of Classic Shell is that it successfully rebinds your Start key, so that the Start menu pops up instead of the new Metro Start screen. Hitting the Start key from Metro pops up Classic Shell, too. Other Start menu replacements don’t usually cope quite so well.
Windows 8: Classic Shell Start menu replacement
Take care while installing Classic Shell, though: It’s not just a Start menu replacement, and if you’re not careful you will end up installing Classic IE and Classic Explorer, too.


Finally, a commercial offering that will set you back $5: Start8. Start8 is very similar to Classic Shell or StartMenu8, but it’s just a little bit smoother. Start8′s configuration interface is much easier to use (and easier on the eyes), and the actual Start menu replacement feels much more like a contiguous part of Windows.
Start8 has a curious option where you can actually have the new Windows 8 Metro Start screen pop up as a menu, rather than full-screen (pictured at the top of the story). This is kinda neat, though you’re probably better off sticking to the normal Windows 7-style Start menu replacement.
Windows 8: Start8 Start menu replacement
Like Pokki, Start8 can disable your hot corners and boot directly to Desktop. Start8 also has a bunch of configuration options for how the Start key interacts with Desktop and Metro, which can be useful if you’re looking for a very specific functionality.
Download Start8 ($5, free 30-day trial)