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back to article Lenovo to ship all new PCs with Start Menu replacement

You wanted the Start menu back in Windows 8.1. Microsoft listened ... and didn't give it to you. Now Lenovo says that if a Start Menu is what it will take to get you to start buying Windows 8 PCs, then by gum, a Start Menu you shall have. By now, everyone should be aware that the Start icon that's coming to the Windows 8.1 …

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Facepalm

Just awesome

Another piece of crap to uninstall when you get a new machine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just awesome

Fortunately W8 uninstalls really easy.

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Facepalm

Re: Just awesome

Exactly! Microsoft must have listened to me, because I've always contended that the Start Screen works better than the old Start Menu...

I don't want any more bloatware / crapware on new machines!

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Holmes

Re: Just awesome

I don't want any more bloatware / crapware on new machines!

So, what are you using instead of Windows? Inquiring minds want to know

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Facepalm

Re: Just awesome

@Stoneshop

That joke has already been done, 2 posts up.

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Thumb Up

Re: Just awesome

Agree: Windows 8 is a real piece of crap, and it is better to uninstall it as soon as you have got the new machine.

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aqk
FAIL

Re: Just awesome indeed! I actually UPGRADED to Win8.

I actually upgraded my old Lenovo from Win-7 to Win-8 (now 8.1 eval)

And gee! It cost me $39 !!

And then gosh! - I added the IObit startmenu-8 for $... oh, wait- it's "free" Shucks! All that 585Kb of "bloatware"! Andit took... um, 90 seconds to install.

And before you tell me you shouldn't have to do all sorts of silly add-ons like this, I'll again suggest that you should really SERIOUSLY look at some anti-virus software "add-ons". If you haven't added this stuff, you're foolish.

Mine is AVAST... oh wait again! I currently use Windows Defender! And it came with the win-8 install.

See you in a couple of years. Enjoy your Windows-7. Or is it Windoze-XP?

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Linux

@aqk: Re: Just awesome indeed! I actually UPGRADED to Win8.

Enjoy your Windows-7. Or is it Windoze-XP?

It used to be "Windows-XP". Since a few months it's Mint. And gee! It cost me $0 !!

OK, it took a bit of time to download and put it on a bootable memory stick, but after installation my computer felt so clean!

XP lives on in a vm - safely contained deletium.

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Re: @aqk: Just awesome indeed! I actually UPGRADED to Win8.

And how much of your software is no longer working or had to be replaced with "80 percent" FOSSTard copies to make that switch? If it's a mobile unit - how much battery endurance did you loose?

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Facepalm

Pokki...? Seriously?

How about Start8? Stardock would jump at the opportunity and license it to Lenovo for a fraction of the cost. Or if you don't want to pay a penny, who not Classic Shell? Why does even a sensible move like this end up as just another piece of crapware to uninstall? Why, why, WHY?

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Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

Well, I'm guessing because Pokki are paying Lenovo to ship this crapware, or providing some kind of profit sharing on the app store sales.

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Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

"How about Start8?"

That's what I was hoping for too. Having tried out a few of them, I found that Start8 was the very best out of them all to really feel like it was PART of the operating system and not just tacked on. Using IOBitStart Menu 8 right now, and it isn't bad for a free product, but I honestly feel like Start8 is the one that really sets the benchmark to compare all others to.

(No I don't work for Stardock) lol

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Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

Have you tried ClassicShell? Interested in opinions on the differences between it and Start8.

Additionally I found Stardock's ModernMix to be particularly useful, especially on a large desktop screen.

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IT Angle

Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

Classic Shell is the only reason Windows 8 still exists on my Taichi. Without it, I would be using Mint full time by now.

Windows 8.1 was a gigantic slap in face that I won't soon forget.

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Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

"Why, why, WHY?"

You are looking for altruism where there is none. This is about monetisation.

A commodity such as a consumer really shouldn't ask why. Be grateful we have listened and given you with the right hand whilst taking away with the left. Now just buy the product and capitulate.

Yours

CEO

Megacorp

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

Do Start8 also have an app store bundled? There's your answer.

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Bronze badge

Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

@acGyver

And how many of the quite costly hardware features of the Taichi would not run, run in "80percent mode" or lack support software?

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Mushroom

Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

@mmeier

A lot. I have tried XP, Windows 7, and Mint 14 XFCE. Only Windows 8 supports the fancy tablet side with touch screen properly. Windows 7 came close (I think the first couple may have come with 7), but switching between the two was a pain. XP, has no idea what is going on with that 2nd screen and touch screen, also ACPI gets confused. Linux is about the same, but if you power it on with it in tablet mode, Linux can make it work like a tablet only.

My point is that I have tried everything to get rid of Windows 8, and without a Start Menu replacement, I wouldn't suffer Windows 8, I would just write-off the switchability of the tablet mode and use one of the other OSes, and dual boot it into Windows 8 if I wanted to use the tablet part. It is not some magic element of Windows 8 that makes it work correctly, it's the fact the vendor only makes apps and drivers for Win8, that is the limiting factor.

Some people can live with Windows 8, I am not one of them.

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Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

Interesting. Generally Win7 works with tablet pc within it's limits of "not good for touch" and ASUS has a nice W7 unit out in the EP/B121 (works with W8 as well). Since the Taichi is at heart a pen-based systems with touch add on I had expected better support for W7 (i,e the current gen Fujitzu kit supports both OS and you can choose)

XP needs the "tablet edition" (or at least the add ons) to make use of tablet hardware as far as I remember (never used a Stylistic without XP/Tablet)

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FAIL

Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

Because of the bigger picture: Pokki has a start menu AND a Store.

Everyone is p1ss3d off of MS trying to snuff software market saying everytime all is legacy apart from its beloved Metro/Store environment.

Lenovo did not only slapped MS in the face providing an out of the box solution for missing start menu (on par with most other 3rd party solutions), but also kicked MS in the nuts, very HARD, showing that the "revolutionary" idea after 8 and its "daring" business plan and the billions dollars spent to enforce it... has NO HOPE to become the next MS monopoly and it is actually on par (or sub par) to what any middle sized softwarehouse can do in spare time!

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Bronze badge

Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

What monopoly? There never was an MS monopoly nor is there one. Throughout it's career there where alternatives. Widly available alternatives that often, on paper, where more powerful than the MS DOS / MS Windows boxes of the same time. That where in the big shops and chains (at least here in germany)

Mac

Amiga/Atari

Acorn Archimedes

OS/2

Deskview

Not in the chains but easily available for corporate use:

Various solid PC Unix (SCO, Interactive, later Solaris/x86 etc)

Various Unix workstations and servers

And still - the people bought and used Microsoft. Both privat AND corporations

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Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

That's the problem with MS's thinking. They made Windows 8 for touch screens and tablets and the fact is I don't want a touch screen and like the mouse since a touch screen would kill my shoulders after an hour or 2.

They really have to realize that a lot of people could care less about tablets or touchscreens and just want a regular cheap monitor and a mouse and a startmenu and a desktop and don't want to use paid apps and would prefer freeware downloaded from somewhere beside the MS store.

My boss uses Windows 7 and will probably be using it till 2025 and on the same PC if he has his way since he can't afford and doesn't care about every new OS. If MS listened to their customers they'd only have a new full version every 8 years or so which is the time it takes to get the bugs out from the OS that replaces the good OS as in XP right to 7 or 98 right to XP, can't wait for Windows 9 to fix all the crap no one wants or needs in Windows 8 or maybe Linux will make a big jump by then and be so user compatible no one would consider buying MS unless they've never heard of Linux.

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Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

And what is keeping users from

Using regular monitors

Using regular applications from whatever source

Using a mouse

on Win8? Oh wait - NOTHING!

You can even use a KEYBOARD with the thing. And multiple non-touch monitors.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

"Various Unix workstations and servers"

We had SGis and very good they were too, then we replaced them with Linux PCs at 20% of the price and they were equally good and more usable by then. This would be ~2003

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Unhappy

Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

And what is keeping Microsoft from putting in a Full "classic mode"?

Nothing.. Except stubbornness.

And your argument kind of fails when they put down low shipment volumes on laptops to the lack of touch screens, so they clearly think that touch screen control is something people are just begging for, on their creative as well as consumptive devices.

There really is no telling what these people are thinking.

Touch screen is good in the case that you are holding the device in one or two hands, or something like a kiosk where touch screen allows you to quickly guide users to the correct information with easy to see and use prompts

Any other scenario, like desktops, laptops, TVs, you don't want a touch screen.

A touch screen will just add to your ergonomics issues while also dirtying up your screen and making things more expensive.

So putting a "touch screen based" UI on those kinds of devices is just a huge fail, and everyone can see it. It's an even bigger fail when you take into account that 1) Microsoft isn't really anywhere in touch screen devices 2) Its not like you can build an app for WinPhone, Windows RT and Win 8 simultaneously with minimal effort. Which just shows how much of a bodge job this "Strategy" actually is.

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Re: Pokki...? Seriously?

Agree, Microsoft's motto should be, as the French say, "Why do simple when you can do complicated..?". But then I'm a long time Mac user and have never come across issues like these (whenever I use Windows it never stops shouting at me that I'm not allowed to do things). All the same there have been problems with each new Mac system trying to be all-embracing covering PCs, tablets and iPhones - with the PC as the dumbed-down loser. This culminated last year in the horrible OS 10.7, hastily backtracked by OS 10.8 - and now what does Maverick hold in store for us? But I'm an old fogey. I don't bother with smart phones (apart from the most basic cell phone) nor tablets (except the most basic Kindle) all I ask is a PC that lets me can get on with my work without hassle. OS 10.4 is still by far the best. I have three computers : one intel with the latest system in order to keep up to date and the others with OS 10.4 (which also happens to be much faster at reading flash drives etc.).

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¿Malware?

Ok, so we are back to "toolbars" + "addons".

Why have the manufacturers have to install malware?

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Re: ¿Malware?

When I first got my Lenovo notebook a few years ago, the "value added" apps weren't compatible with Visual Studio 2005. I had to uninstall a lot of Lenovo's apps for Visual Studio to behave properly. Also, after I installed Kaspersky and ran a scan, it reported that the Lenovo apps exhibited rootkit-like behavior.

Comforting, huh?

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Trollface

Re: ¿Malware?

Why on hell MS is no longer capable to deploy an IDE that avoids embarrassing bugs like the one you reported?

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Silver badge

Good Intentions...

...and all that, but isn't this just an additional piece of bloatware/crapware?

If you absolutely must use Windows 8, surely Classic Shell is the first thing you need to install - not some half-arsed app store frontend?

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First PC with 8

For my 17 years old son that is. He needs it for Rome II. I honestly didn't think W8 could be all that bad, but by beelzebub it's horrible.

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Re: First PC with 8

The word is "horribad".

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MJI
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Re: First PC with 8 Rome 2

Seems it wil use 7

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FFS

"provides access to SweetLabs' own app store"

It's cute 'n all the way Windows and Windows partners are trying desperately to copy the GNU/Linux package management system; if hilarious the way they are turning it into a total clusterfuck.

"Hey kids, Win8 sucks as. Here's a fix and a store you never wanted."

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Re: FFS

The OS, OS tools and the MS software are maintained by a central "repository" since more than a decade. That accounts for all Linux does, after all "Linux is just the kernel"...

For the rest (and actually for the MS delivered updates as well) Windows has central software delivery/rollout in the company environment since a long time (WSUS), It works different from the "central repository on a system I do not control maintained by a guy I do not know" approach of Linux in that it is set up individually for your company by your admins.

One can debate the pros and cons. For privat user the "Linux" approach might be hande, for company users it is not. No sane admin will blindly push updates from an external source into the net so he needs a company package management server anyway. No changes to WSUS. Given that the Linux approach depends basically on the Distribution managing decend repositories and doing so for a rather long time the Linux approach has limits.

App stores are basically just a solution to a phone problem (Webshops don't work so well on 3-6 inch screens) that got transfered to tablets by Apple. You can use it (and apps) on Win8 - or you can install software the old fashioned way. Your CHOICE! (And choice is good says the Great Neckbeard IIRC)

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WTF?

Re: FFS

That is the really hard blow to MS: its pathetic effort to create a new API as basis for another decade of monopoly and halted innovation is so laughable to be considered fungible with the store of any other third party by the largest OEM (and by far, the one making more revenues)!

I'll laugh even harder as soon as some big OEM will start providing out of the box BlueStacks to bring the largest Store to windows users.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FFS

"No sane admin will blindly push updates from an external source into the net so he needs a company package management server anyway."

Er, yes - that is entirely normal in large companies that run Linux. I've certainly worked where they had 200+ Linux workstations and they ran their own package repository and included in-house software there too.

I don't suppose Google rely on the Ubuntu repositories for example

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My!

What a nice, shiny turd!

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Do the Hokey-Pokki

Or not.

From the description and considering the app store component, NOT. There are other alternatives.

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Even with all these Start Menu replacements... none of them fix the ugly skin job that Microsoft shatted out for us to use and live with.

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Silver badge

http://uxstyle.com/ for the theming engine. Puts back about half what MS ripped out going W7->W8

http://xxinightxx.deviantart.com/art/Royale-8-337121007 will restore some XP/W7 polish to the window chrome

There are fixes for some of the remaining rough edges (like rounding off title bars properly) I haven't bothered with.

And 1 tip: don't touch the Win8 theming options once you add the above. If you do, uninstall/reinstall seems to be the only reliable way to restore the hacks.

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aqk
FAIL

Wow! Win-8 "add-ons"?

You linux weenies complain about tacking on a little "start-menu" addition to Win-8, (of course adding a 100 Meg antivirus program doesn't count as an add-on, does it? ) - and then-

And then YOU suggest adding this UXstyle malware! Wow!

You really do wanna sabotage the newbies to Win-8, don't you? Do you work for Canonical?

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Anonymous Coward

Oh, to be a carpenter

This will cause a lot of chairs to be shattered in Redmond.

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Silver badge

Re: Oh, to be a carpenter

A carpenter probably won't help as the chairs will probably be cheap plastic & aluminium made in sweatshop rubbish.

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Happy

Re: Oh, to be a carpenter - No worries

M$ probably have a contract carpenter who's mandated to us power tools without a Start button, too...

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It's not bad

I have a win 8 machine and I tried a few start menu replacements and I stuck on pokki. Sure it a stupid name but I like it, particularly the ability to run metro apps in a windowed form.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's not bad

@Sure it a stupid name but I like it,

Oh, you bad thing, going against the commentard hive think.

Down with you, Down Down!

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FAIL

think of the ecosystem !

if the manufacturers, to use the word very loosely, gave customers what they want, what would all the little "we hear you" software firms do ? Think of the employment the broadscale adoption of user hostile UIs has generated. Think of the extra coffee and other medication selling to help users cope with the IT rage currently infecting the planet. M$ have done a great job making work. <sarcasm>I know using their more recent "stuff" made 2 minute jobs take 45 minutes. Wonderfull for using up all the spare time job automation was going to free up </sarcasm>.

And no, why should anyone have to relearn how common software works so a sales weasel gets a bonus? Some of us have real jobs to do rather than fiddle with stuff that suddenly does not just work.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft is not going to like this at all. They will try to pressure Lenovo to stop shipping it by not including them in various programs designed to give them money back. When they doesn't work, Steve will whip the checkbook out and buy SweetLabs and release an "update" that does nothing more than make sure the Microsoft App is the only store and the start menu is returned to the normal Microsoft approved one.

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