Windows 8 Start Menu Alternative – ?

Over the past 8-months, I have jumped between reinstalling Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 numerous times—the whole ordeal with the Windows 8 Start Menu debacle has caused me to go Howard Hughes.

Eric Mac and David Allen are big Windows 7 fans, as Eric argues he does not see any reason for updating to Windows 8 for productivity; unless you are purchasing a Windows 8 Tablet.

For the most part, Eric is right – in my experience Windows 8 adds another level of complexity, aka the Metro interface, which on a desktop or laptop without a touch screen sharply inhibits your performance. Despite sizable speed boosts on start up, the Metro interface is kludge at best; even with windows 8.1 heralded return of the start menu; it’s underwhelming.  In fact, it looks like a bad attempt at Apple’s OSX Launch Pad, another not so useful tool. The color schematics on Windows 8 Metro, remind me of the black velvet van art of the 70s or Samsung’s Galaxy android devices with their garish neon Lite-Brite styling.

Recently, I had to kill windows 8.1 and reinstall Windows 7 – after a bad run with an antivirus program McAfee Internet Security Suite which crippled my machine to a crawl like a Virus. Thanks AT&T UVerse promise of a complimentary copy of  value added home security but no thanks. AT&T UVerse’s Ponzi  Scheme reminds me of the complimentary breakfast and coffee at certain motels where they load you down with bad sugar laden carbs and battery acid coffee which leaves you wishing you had elected morning starvation.

So I reinstalled Windows 7 Professional with all the correct drivers, but my machine still aggravated me and still ran weird.  You have to understand my mobile workstation is certified to work with both Adobe and AVID and came optimized for Windows 8, so it naturally runs faster with 8 and runs better for my particular software requirements.

However, the start menu or lack thereof drives me insane. I have tested a number of the open source ones such as Classic Shell which runs nice, but lacks full search capabilities and behaves buggy at times.

So, I am currently testing for 30-days Stardock Start8 which appears to run better on Windows 8.1 and it most wonderfully hides all of Metro’s uselessness.  If you are currently using a Start Menu replacement in Windows 8 please share which one and your experiences with it.

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