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Freebee Friday: Start-Up Menu Redux

Reviver soft aWhat’s the first thing you notice about Windows 8? For most it is that the addition of the pull-out Charms menu has been at the expense of the plain old Start Menu that used to reside in the lower left corner of the screen. Why not have both? That’s exactly what Start Menu Reviver does.

The software is free and installs a replacement icon right where the old Start Menu flag was. The download is only 4.8MB so it’s quick to get and install. Rather than imitating the old Start Menu, Reviver’s software takes it a step further to something that Microsoft software designers wished they had thought of.

BarGetting to your programs is done via the Apps icon in the lower left corner which extends the Start area to the right with a list of every program on the system in alphabetical order. It has the expected on-off switch and search bar, but ReviverSoft extends the idea of the Start Menu with a battery gauge and clock. On the downside, when the Apps section is extended, it can take up about a third of the desktop real estate.

The whole thing has the appearance of the Charms Menu, so it fits right into the new OS. My favorite is the stack of icons on the left that includes everything from Settings and Network to Recent, Tasks and Run. There’re also places for opening the Home screen as well as Internet Explorer and My Computer, An incredibly useful item is the link to the Dashboard for quickly getting to the Control Panel, email, calendar and more.

It’s very easy to add tiles for other items that are frequently used and you want front and center. All you do is drag them from the alphabetical list to an empty tile.

After living with the software for a couple of weeks, the icons work equally well with a mouse or a touchscreen. Every Windows 8 system should have Start Menu Reviver not because of some nostalgic view of software, but because it streamlines getting to your software.

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