When Microsoft removed the Start menu from Windows 8 — believing we’d all prefer to prod at large tiles on touchscreens — there was the inevitable backlash. Although the company did restore the Start menu in Windows 8.1, by then the damage was done. The OS flopped badly and that one ridiculous design decision was the main reason for it.
With Windows 11, Microsoft hasn’t been as bold/crazy to repeat history. There’s a still a Start menu, but it’s one that’s centered, which won’t be to everyone’s liking. When Windows 8 shipped without a Start menu, a number of third party developers quickly stepped in to right Microsoft’s wrong. And now we’re starting to see similar such Start menus arrive that promise to ‘fix’ Windows 11.
Start11, from Stardock, is currently available in beta and lets you restore the classic Start menu in Windows 11/10.
You can choose from several Start menu layouts, add color/texture to the Start menu and taskbar, and quickly access search on the desktop.
This is a beta, like Windows 11, so far from complete. Stardock lists the following features to come in Start11:
- Significantly faster search / detailed search results
- Improved search results with new search engine
- Perform simple math problems in the search box
- Additional style options
- Enhanced productivity features
- Improved configurability of Windows 7 / Modern modes
The beta is available to download from here. It isn’t free, but won’t break the bank at $4.99/£4.99.