I'm trying to like Windows 8, really I am, but two aspects feel like a slap in the face: Forcing me to boot into the Start screen when Desktop mode is what I'd prefer, and the lack of a Start button in said mode.
Win8 StartButton is the latest utility that aims to right what's wrong with the new OS. Not only does it provide a "classic" Start button, it also gives you the option of making the desktop your default boot destination. Huzzah!
Right from the get-go, Win8 StartButton displays a Windows 7-style Start button and Start menu. You can venture into the settings to tweak everything from the look (Windows XP, anyone?) to the layout, but I suspect most users will be quite happy with the defaults.
During installation, make sure to choose the Custom option, otherwise you could end up with unwanted junkware: Torch Browser 2.0 and Media Player Classic.
It's worth noting that Win8 StartButton looks to be a slightly tweaked version of Classic Shell, the open-source Start solution I mentioned last week.
If you want something that's little more in keeping with Windows 8's app-centric philosophy, check out Pokki. It supplies a Start, er, acorn, plus a pretty robust app store.
Have you found a Start-button alternative you like better? Tell me about it in the comments!
Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at firstname.lastname@example.org, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.