Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Start Menu for Windows 8

  1. #1


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin

    Start Menu for Windows 8


    I have posted previously about using Vista start menu Vista Start Menu Convenient alternative to Start menu

    I thought it may get buried and deserved it's own thread - because so many want to be able to navigate easily from the win 8 Full scale interface.

    The developer informs me there is now also a freeware version of Windows 7 start menu with 64 bit support

    Start Menu 7

    I expect he will looking at tailoring a version specifically for win 8.

    Click image for larger version
    Last edited by SIW2; 06 Mar 2012 at 11:13.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 60
    Windows 7 Professional x64


    Not bad, but I kinda like the Metro UI start screen. The only thing I dislike is having to do all of your navigation within Windows Explorer. It would be much easier if I could do a quick links toolbar, etc. Wouldn't be a bad idea.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    It depends what you are doing.

    For a lot of things, it is better to navigate from within Windows main interface.

    With some kind of start menu you have a choice.

    It saves being forced back to the window full of shortcuts ( metro).

    If you are doing something complicated - metro is very tiresome.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    The more I read this forum, the more I'm puzzled by all the people talking about the Start Menu as if it's not 99% just a very infrequently accessed dumping ground for program installers. I'm even more puzzled by those who enable the Quick Launch Bar. Are you guys unaware you can pin programs to the Windows 7 taskbar? They don't move around, so they're easy to find, and they don't require navigating the cumbersome Start Menu, which I considered unusable as the main program organizer and launcher since I first saw the NT4 beta in 95-96. Plus, pinned programs give you ready access to the jump lists. Enabling the Quick Launch Bar is completely pointless in Windows 7, because all it does is decrease the area where you can pin programs in the taskbar, causing them to take up even more room when you run them, and from run to run, these unpinned programs appear in the taskbar at a random location that depends on what you're running at the time. This randomness factor was always a huge weakness of the pre-7 taskbar, as it meant you still had to hunt for windows in it, but Microsoft fixed that in Windows 7 for pinned programs, yet people here have said that they don't like to pin programs to the taskbar. Puzzling.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8 CP


    Quote Originally Posted by crawfish View Post
    I'm even more puzzled by those who enable the Quick Launch Bar. Are you guys unaware you can pin programs to the Windows 7 taskbar?
    I repair a lot of laptops/desktops and it would surprise you just how many 'ordinary' users don't even use the quick launch on XP/Vista, never mind pinning programs to the taskbar on 7, and still have a whole raft of shortcuts and 'My Computer' on the desktop. Sometimes I'll drag those shortcuts to the quick launch/taskbar and remove the desktop ones. Almost inevitably results in a phone call wondering where IE has gone.

    since I first saw the NT4 beta in 95-96


    It's exactly those type of users that are freaking out that they don't have their Start menu to fall back on. Even with quick launch/taskbar pins they still operate in the world of desktop shortcuts/frequent dips into the start menu.

    For what it's worth, W8 user experience is almost identical to 7. I have my main programs pinned to the taskbar and launch from there. I have hardly needed to go near the Metro interface.
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  6. #6


    Covington, La
    Posts : 1,184
    Windows 7 HP 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64BIT


    Quote Originally Posted by kbronski View Post
    Not bad, but I kinda like the Metro UI start screen. The only thing I dislike is having to do all of your navigation within Windows Explorer. It would be much easier if I could do a quick links toolbar, etc. Wouldn't be a bad idea.
    On the desktop, right click on the Task Bar, select Toolbars and activate Desktop. Click on the ">>" Lets you navigate the whole system.

    Jim
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by gavin19 View Post
    I repair a lot of laptops/desktops and it would surprise you just how many 'ordinary' users don't even use the quick launch on XP/Vista, never mind pinning programs to the taskbar on 7, and still have a whole raft of shortcuts and 'My Computer' on the desktop. Sometimes I'll drag those shortcuts to the quick launch/taskbar and remove the desktop ones. Almost inevitably results in a phone call wondering where IE has gone.
    Ah, the desktop. Besides the Start Menu, that's the other traditional unusable program organizer and launcher. The Windows 8 "Metro" thing is just another desktop or Start Menu. FWIW, here is my Windows 7 tasbar:

    Click image for larger version

    I was willing to sacrifice a small amount of vertical space to have everything I use regularly at my fingertips in fixed locations. I can still get 45 lines of text in a Visual Studio text window without going to full screen mode or hiding the taskbar, and that's good enough. To my surprise, the small loss of vertical space has been a complete non-issue for me. I'm so glad I tried it.

    I've got around 50 programs pinned to the taskbar with room left for 5 transient programs. They are grouped by purpose, with all the multimedia viewing programs together, office programs together, etc. To the right of the pinned icons, there are 12 folder shortcuts. The top six contain additional shortcuts for infrequently used programs that I copied from the Start Menu using drag and drop. The bottom six are for frequently accessed file folders. To the right is the notification area, and Windows makes great use of the vertical space. Because everything stays in the same position, I'm quick to locate programs to start them, and I never have to hunt for (say) the Windows Explorer icon to locate open Explorer windows on the taskbar; I just look for the topmost leftmost pinned icon.

    I rarely use the Start Menu for anything, I never use the desktop for launching programs, and the Quick Launch Bar is nowhere to be found. I pretty much live in the taskbar all day long. It's the best interface I've used in 30+ years, and it ain't close.

    When I see the Windows 8 "Metro" thing, I just see another desktop or Start Menu, only worse. It's horribly modal, and the "Metro" apps exist in their own little universe, fractured from the traditional Windows environment, in particular, the taskbar, where real Windows programs can be pinned and have jumplists, show progress, etc, and you can use the taskbar while you're working with a program maximized in the space above it. The "Metro" thing is not better in any way than what I already have; it's actually much worse in every way that matters to me. As I wrote a couple of days ago, with this "Metro" thing, Microsoft has thrown out many tenets of basic desktop UI design:

    1. Modes are now "good".
    2. Hidden, poorly discoverable features are now "good".
    3. Hotspots are now "good". (There was a reason GEM was the only graphical environment that implemented dropdown menus as opposed to pulldown menus.)
    4. Tiny mouse targets are now "good". Putting them in the corners does mitigate that, except they ignored the use of multiple monitors.

    Microsoft should rename "Metro" "Facepalm". Yet there are people praising it whose only complaint is the missing Start Menu, which they use as a poorly navigable program launcher, that GOES AWAY when you select something from it, meaning you have to navigate the thing every time you use it. Like I said, I rejected that thing the first time I ran an NT4 beta 16 or so years ago, and I can only conclude everyone lamenting its demise never figured out how to use Windows 7 effectively. The Windows 7 taskbar was a genuine home run for Microsoft, yet many people still don't get how to use it.

    Here's what I would call an improvement. I'd like to take my six program shortcut folders described above and make them appear as tabs in a container, that would open and close from the taskbar sort of like a menu. That would be slick and useful. But I can sort of accomplish the same thing anyway, because those folders are all in the same folder "Progs", and if I open one and want to switch to another, I don't have to go back to the taskbar. I can just click in the Explorer address bar and select the sibling folder from the dropdown menu that appears. That's the sort of thing that falls out of good basic design, so I don't really need the tabs after all. I can't think of anything else off the top of my head. The Windows 7 taskbar pretty much got everything right. But no one seems to use it. Like I said, it's puzzling.
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  8. #8


    wellington somerset uk
    Posts : 4
    Windows 7/windows 8

    Get your start menu back


    For those who miss the start menu this is the solution

    Start Menu, Windows 7 Start Menu

    Works great
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  9. #9


    Posts : 993
    Windows 8 pro Retail




    What a BLOODY mess! What you have here is NOTHING more than Windows 3.1 with smaller icons!
    The VERY reason Microsoft brought out Windows 95 was to give the end-users a way to run their computers
    cleanly and Microsoft just PUT the essentials on the desktop (I.E. My Computer - My Documents - My Network - Recycle Bin), and
    anything else the end-users wanted to clutter up their desktops with. From what I see of your program icon
    bar, sort of proves Sigmund Freud correct
    Humans that have cluttered minds, have clutter through out
    their lives.
    I personality dislike my desktop being cluttered, outside of the programs that Windows 95 thru
    Windows 7 put there on the desktop by default, I have an additional 6, that I use for day to day work/life.
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  10. #10


    Posts : 142
    Windows 8 Enterprise 64-bit (7 Ult, Vista & XP in V-Box)


    My brother runs a taskbar like that, and I don't like it. The term 'Dog's Breakfast' comes to mind.

    Start Menu 7 and Quick-Launch are neater, and I like the taskbar to hold RUNNING
    progs, apart from the occasional prog I may temporarily pin there.

    But, it's all about what suits the individual concerned. None of us are right
    or wrong, we just do things in different ways.


    Click image for larger version
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