There are several options available to restore the start menu to Windows 8, allowing users to restore some of the feel/functionality of previous Windows versions. All of the software options listed below are free to use, so give them a whirl and see which you prefer:

ViStart: http://lee-soft.com/vistart/index.html

This is an established start menu application which is reasonably light on resources, but runs on XP, Windows 7 and now Windows 8.

ViStart.jpg

ClassisShell: http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/

Classic shell adds a customisable start menu which (as the name suggests) provides a "classic" looking interface, similar to the pre-XP days.

ClassicShell.png

Start Menu 7: http://www.startmenu7.com/index.html

This is a Windows 7 style start menu for Windows 8, which can be expanded with a "pro" version for around $20.

StartMenu7.jpg
A beta Start Menu replacement from the folks at IOBit, this application looks promising and matches well with the Windows 7 start menu.​
StartMenu8.jpg

Pokki Start Menu: https://www.pokki.com/windows-8-start-menu

This is a very smart looking start menu replacement tool which also integrates well 100s of apps. Well worth checking out by the looks of things!

Pokki-Start-Menu.jpg


Ex7forW8: http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/35189-Windows-7-explorer-for-Windows-8

This is a recent project which brings the Windows 7 Explorer / Desktop shell to Windows 8. This is more complex than the applications listed above, removes the Metro interface and has knock-on effects. Really interesting project, but perhaps not an app for novices.
 
Ian, Oct 25, 2012
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