Anxious to move to Windows 8 when it launches, but still hate the Metro-styled Start screen? Lucky for you, there already exist a few good options for restoring the Start menu as we’ve come to know it. The folks over at ITworld have taken a look at three, and believe it or not, some are in fact better than others. If you’re not set on restoring a 1:1 Windows 7 Start menu, you can opt for a replacement that might offer unique abilities.
Start8, by Stardock, is the only commercial Start menu restorer that I’m aware of, and judging by the screen, it’ll give you the most faithful recreation of Windows 7’s Start menu of any of the apps out there. It costs $5 though, so if that seems to be too much to pay, you might be interested in the alternatives – both of which are open-source.
Power8 is another attractive offering, though it’s in fact a Start menu replacement, not just a restorer. This would make for a good choice if you are looking to spice things up a little and not tie yourself into the Start menu styling of old. Finally, ClassicShell goes a step beyond these other two and actually offers you the ability to use a “Windows Classic” (eg: Windows 98″) style and also Windows XP – perfect for that hit of nostalgia.
Of course, a surefire alternative is to just stick with Windows 7, but it’s hard when Windows 8 polishes its other elements so well. Microsoft, why did you have to put us in this situation?