Stardock's Start8 app is the best Windows 8 Start menu around. For a meager $5 you get an app that not only replicates the look and feel of the Windows 7 Start button on your Windows 8 machine, but increases overall functionality and customization, too. With Start8, you can add Windows 8 Flag to your desktop or any custom image you'd like. The app also lets you change how things such as Run, Control Panel and Documents appear in the start screen.
What sets Start8 apart from other Start menu-replacement apps is its intuitive ease-of-use and the organizational intelligence of its vast user-configuration choices. The Configuration screens take you by the hand and guide you through each step. Feature groups are divvied into Style, Configure, Control and Desktop, with choices presented either in check boxes or a drop-down menu of choices. You can preview a Windows 7 or Windows 8 appearance before accepting either choice. And you can also boot directly into the Start8 desktop by default, by selecting the option in the Start8 desktop-configuration tab.
Of course, with all of this utility's capabilities, you might wonder why you bothered to upgrade to Windows 8 in the first place. But Start8 does make Windows 8 more livable. In fact, you can use Start8 to boot directly to the desktop if you so desire.
Based on the simplicity of its design and its robust feature set, Stardock's Start8 is well worth the $5 investment that comes at the end of its 30-day free trial. This is hands down the best Start menu-replacement app for Windows 8.
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