Start Menu 8 from IObit is a free app that brings the Windows 7 Start Menu to Windows 8. The Start Menu and the Start Button are probably the most missed features in the latest Windows editions, as they used to offered quick access to favorite programs, files, and system tools. What this application does is install a Start Menu that integrates seamlessly with the operating system to offer the full functionality and comfort of this Windows feature.
What is great about this app is the set of customization options it includes, which allow you to configure the menu as you wish, customizing its style and functionality. The app provides 19 Start button icons to choose from, of different shapes and designs, and more icons can be downloaded from the app's website. The Start menu can be fully customized as well; you can choose between the classic Windows style or the modern UI, set the transparency level, choose a background color, and font size.
As far as functionality goes, the app can be set to start with Windows and skip the Metro UI, booting directly to the desktop. Among other options, it lets you determine the number of programs you want the menu to display, the number of recent items, as well as the power button actions, frequently used apps, etc. You can also select the system features and folders you want the app to show as links in the menu, such as administrative tools, PC settings, Control Panel, etc., and even set custom hotkeys for quick access to any of these features. In addition, this version adds the possibility of pinning any apps or files you want to the Start Menu by using the right click.
Besides the possibility of skipping the Modern IU, Start Menu 8 lets you modify other OS features, like disabling the hot corners and deactivating the sidebar. The new version of Start Menu 8 also adds few improvements, like an enhanced search function.
To sum up, Start Menu 8 is an app that emulates the Start Menu in Windows 8, putting your favorite files and apps at hand. It works in Windows 8 and 8.1 but can also be used to replace the Start Menu in Window XP, Vista, and 7.