WikiWealth

16 Sep 2012 08:48 | metro win8 windows

Once you have installed Windows 8 and started it up for the first time, you are given a quick tutorial on the changes, then are faced with the Metro interface.

For those that are willing to try something new and to take advantage of the benefits that the Windows 8 Start UI provides (such as improved search and live tiles), go for it. All editions of Windows 8 (Standard, and RT for tablets) will feature it.

Anyone that is unwilling to try it out, or has tested it for a while and is convinced that they don't want it - you're in luck. There are already several options that you can take advantage of:

Name Short description Quick Review Cost
Classic Shell By default it installs a Classic-style Start menu, as seen in Windows 2000. Configuring settings you can set this to be the Windows XP or Windows Vista/7 style Start menu instead. The Start screen (Windows 8) is still accessible using Shift+Win instead of just the Win key alone, so you've got the best of both worlds. I've heard that it's imperfect, and doesn't support all features of the original Start menu. 5/10 Free
Start8 Windows 7 style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements, optionally disable the desktop "hot spots", the Windows 8 Start screen becomes accessible from the Start menu, and more. Apparently this one is pretty good. It has some limitations, but is worth a try. 8/10 Free
RetroUI Extremely good solution, with many nifty features. It also allows you to disable specific Windows 8 features, and can be pushed across a network in a business environment. I have heard very good things about this one. 9/10 $5 x 3 PCs (personal), $5 x 1 PC (businesses)

Disclaimer: I must admit that I have not tried any of these solutions myself - I love the Metro interface as it is. Review scores are based on feedback from friends that have tried them, and from the product description on the linked websites. Use these products at your own risk.


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