Windows 8 Start Menu? Kind of – from Samsung

Windows 8 Start Menu? Kind of - from SamsungSince the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, this has been an oft-discussed and heated subject: the omission of the Start button. Even though many users across the Internet also recognize this as the demise of the Start menu, this is not true. It has merely been replaced by the full-screen Start screen, which now greets users after switching on their computers.

There have been a couple of workarounds for those die-hard Start button fans. Samsung is taking it upon itself now to help ease the transition to Windows 8. Every one of its own computers will come with the S Launcher widget pre-installed, which emulates a taskbar with a hovering menu, like it is in every version since Windows 95.

According to Mashable, which had a chance to catch it in action, it will mimic the Windows 7 menu. Yet, judging from the screenshots, it looks even more out-of-place with its brightly saturated blue color than do the Modern UI elements of Windows 8. The widget also provides a Settings icon, which centralizes your PC settings, unlike the Settings charm.

It’s apparently not the last time we’ll hear about the “missing” Start button. It still remains my own humble opinion that the changes introduced with Windows 8 will lead to a greater, more versatile line-up of hardware this coming holiday season. It also shows that the general public seems to have forgotten about the ever-present Windows key on most any keyboard, whether desktop or laptop. Also, most the computer geeks complaining about the Start screen seem to have forgotten the basic Windows shortcuts. It remains a mystery to me as to why the normal user usually adapts much better to change than those who are supposedly at the frontline of the cutting edge.

For everyone not planning to buy a Samsung computer and still craving for an old Start menu, there exist a couple of options. These include the Start8 add-on from Stardock, and the useful program multi-display DisplayFusion. Both of these will simulate a traditional looking Start menu. Beyond this, I believe it’s time to move on.

What do you think about Samsung’s attempt to gratify the Start button/menu fans? Drop us a line and share your thoughts!

Article Written by

He's a writer and photographer living in Sweden. Technology, philosophy, and films are some of his other interests. In 2008, Maximilian completed a BA in creative writing in London. So, being a writer has been important to him for a long time -- although he prefers to be called a "storyteller."

  • Brady Brown

    Personally, I dont think this will make a difference at all. My grandpa had a computer with vista for quite a while. He programs in visual basic and was perfectly fine with vista. When he heard windows 8 was coming out, he bought a new laptop with windows 7 just so he didn’t have to buy a computer with windows 8 in the future (if his vista laptop ever broke)

  • Curtis Coburn

    I do hear that Samsung is making a new touch screen computer. A 27 in all in one computer. It’s the one they showed off at CES in January. I’m looking forward to that computer. I think I can adapt well to not having a start menu, and just having the start menu that they now have.

  • Jordan Vasquez

    Microsoft should just make a toggle for it. To have it either on or off… Like what Apple did for “natural scrolling”

  • Joe_HTH

    Just more crapware from OEMs that I would uninstall.

  • David Spector

    They should have the option like they did on XP to have a classic view so you can have the old view if you still want it.

  • LukeLC

    Did anyone else find the Stardock demonstration video for Start8 a little bit humorous? “Microsoft just put a ton of man-hours into making a bunch of new features, so now we’re hard at work to undo them.” That was kind of the vibe I got from it, but hey, I love the new Start screen, so that may just be my bias.

  • Kade

    The should have the option

  • Matthew Cheung

    I feel that it is unnecessary to add on more bloat-ware in this case from Samsung since all of the main place you will be in when using Windows 8 will be the Start Menu which already contains all of your apps.

    • Wolfee Darkfang

      My sentiments exactly, which is why I will be sticking with windows 7 for my windows experience, since by default it has a start menu built in. Unless this launcher completely turns off the start screen and keeps it disabled, in a effect replacing it, it’s just more active stuff bloating up system resources.

  • Uthman Baksh

    When I was playing with Windows 8, I panicked when I tried to find the Start menu!

  • Beshoy Shafek Malk

    Star button shmart button…buttons are for old people, this is the future of computing, but seriously its not neccessary if you replace it with another right tool ­čĹŹ

  • Ben Rupert

    Im kind of excited for this news. the lack of a start menu worries me, and I understand many people say it will be no big deal but that doesnt mean that all changes windows and microsoft has always been positive. Windows Vista anyone?

  • Jesse Aranda

    I don’t know how to take this. I don’t see Windows 8 as a good upgrade but I don’t see it as bad either. Same can go for the start menu. I hate sitting on the fence but that’s where I reside for now. I do like that there may be a widget that can make it like it used to be.

  • Bharat Kumar Gupta

    Actually i have not tried Windows 8 and definitely the options that u listed are viable alternatives to the missing start menu which for me atleast serves a great deal of function in my usage environment, i use Start Menu t0 pin 8 frequent apps that i use on regular basis, ofcors the famous search n launch feature(alike spotlight in mac) any intermediate to pro user will miss that speed & functionality, once again there are work arounds to everything in any OS but its not a healthy direction in which Ms is going, windows 8 is clearly an update but even then many people(including me) are scared to try it. I would also like to see how well these “shortcut” apps are written for the “long run”.

  • Shocked

    What is out of place is grafting an inappropriate tablet interface onto Windows 7 and removing not only functionality but organization as well. Windows replaced DOS because it was friendly … there were clearly marked buttons for everything instead of having to use arcane keyboard commands, and organized everything into logical groups. Windows 8, inexplicably, has returned to those days.

    Just wait til Grandma unwraps that spanking new Windows 8 laptop at Christmas and tries to figure out how to use it. Or turn it off. Microsoft has clearly lost their minds

    • Phil Worthington

      Grandma will unwrap her Windows 8 laptop and use the power button to turn it on and off, just like every other device she owns. It will have a prominent physical start button which she will find gets her quickly to a full screen, easy to see, untouchable environment which she will quickly understand. You will install it on your old pc and get confused, Grandma will give you tech support. The end.

  • Cworld01

    Unfortunately i did not tried windows 8 yet but i will try.

    • Jimmi Shrode

      It’s pretty sweet and boots lighting fast. You can learn some tricks with it. I hated it at first but then I figured it out.

  • Jonathan Hirt

    I honestly think the start menu is annoying. It takes too long to navigate, Windows 8 is much quicker without it.

  • Gregory Alexander

    This has been quite the journey with Microsoft. Since Windows 3.1 I have enjoyed learning as much as I can about Windows and it’s various incarnations, with the exception of Vista of course. However I agree with you Chris that not all of us are ready to take the leap into a life of Judy Jetson getting finger cramps from sliding and dragging all day long.
    I will admit that I like the new look, and the readiness of most apps, but its the “always on” and constant updating that I noticed when I installed the Customer Release, AND! the fact that after 10yrs of never having my msn email hijacked, it happened the day I plugged this Windows 8 PC into my network and watched as my account was opened and closed right before my eyes. Windows 8 will have to wait until my next systembuild which will include a touchscreen.

  • Big AUssie

    Working with many small businesses, I (and these business owners) are more concerned about continually updating Social Network widgets. I am still unable to find any way to switch these things off. The Start button issue is not a problem at all. If anyone knows how to kill off the Social crud please reply. The only alternative is Linux Mint so far.

  • Jimmi Shrode

    I started with using Stardock Start 8 after M$ axed the Start Button. Now, I have learned the tricks on how to navigate Win 8 without it or a touch screen. (You’re nerds and you can’t figure that out yet?) Kind of easy once you sit down with it and figure it out, Samsung and Toshiba add unnecessary bloat ware to their laptops.

    • Jimmi Shrode

      Although I think since Stardock and Samsung (and I am sure many companies follow suit) are coming up with widgets and add-ons; Microsoft needs to rethink their position.

      • Maximilian Majewski

        They will not rethink it, and I applaud them for that. Change is good.