Start Button 8 brings a smarter, more customizable start menu to Windows.
While Windows 8 users may be missing the traditional start menu, Windows 7, Vista, and XP users can also benefit from installing Start Button 8. It is a fully customizable start menu that features the ability to create smart folders or 'virtual groups.'
Users have the ability to skin the start menu and button. Included with the application are some fun Angry Birds themed buttons and some pretty lack luster skins for the start menu. Start Button 8 differs a little from the stock start menu by making it quicker to access items. You only have to hover over an item for it to expand.
There is also an integrated search bar in Start Button 8 but its performance is a bit lacking as the stock Windows 7 search is quicker. While it's nice to see all of your options automatically appear when hovering, it requires users to be precise with their mouse movements.
For Windows 8 users, Start Button 8 offers a way to get back the traditional start menu. It doesn't block access to the Windows 8 Modern UI but it does make it a bit more cumbersome to get to. You'll have to activate the 'charms' and click on 'Start' to get into Metro.
It's also a bit disappointing that Start Button 8 doesn't disable booting into the Windows 8 Modern UI. Many users who are using Windows 8 as a desktop operating system will likely benefit from this feature. Hopefully the developers will include it in the future.
Overall, Start Button 8 offers a few unique features but its performance and interface give little reason for users to replace the stock start menu.