And so it begins… Those of us who have to support the average user guessed it was only a matter of time before manufacturer’s added a Classic start menu to Windows 8.
Samsung are the first to break cover – Neowin report that Samsung’s S Launcher replacement for the missing start menu in Windows 8 will be available as a free download for Samsung’s W8 buyers.
Looking much like the Classic start menu present in XP through to Windows 7 (only bigger), S Launcher includes the usual features: Links to Documents, Pictures and Music folders are present as well as access to Control Panel features, quick search and a standard Shut Down button.
Tech journalists and bloggers have argued for months on the pros and cons of Microsoft’s decision to remove the traditional Start button and menu from Windows 8. However, in our opinion, the only people that really matter are those who will actually be buying Windows 8.
Whilst power users may have the time and inclination to learn the intricacies of the new Metro Modern tiled Start screen, the typical home user and small business may have neither. It therefore seems likely that Samsung’s S Launcher will be followed by similar apps from other manufacturers – wary of potentially increased returns, support costs and user dissatisfaction.
In the meantime, any Windows 8 user could use a program like Stardock’s Start 8 ($4.99) – a more faithful reproduction of the Windows 7 Start Menu or the free Classic Shell – a customizable replacement Start Button and Menu for Windows 8 (and 7) with added features.
In fact there are currently at least 10 such programs to choose from.
Samsung’s decision to release a Start menu replacement for its Windows 8 computers, and the sheer number of similar utilities, suggests that whilst Microsoft may be prepared to write off a certain amount of goodwill in their quest to crack the tablet market, manufacturers who have to sell Windows 8 computers to consumers are not…