Last month, I reviewed some free add-ons that will correct some of the design blunders Microsoft insists on making with Windows 8. One of my biggest complaints was that you have to go to the Windows Start Page – the one that uses the Metro interface – before you can go to the more familiar Windows desktop even if you have a desk/lap-top and have no need or desire to use Metro.

The engineers at Stardock have added functionality to their free Windows 8  start-menu utility that will take you, upon boot-up, directly to the Windows Desktop bypassing the start page completely. Thus you have Metro-no-mo!

Some users may or may not like the format of the Start Menu provided by Start8 but one thing is perfectly clear; If Stardock can figure out how to bypass the Metro interface, then other developers will quickly follow suit. Hopefully, we will see such enhancements from other developers before Windows 8 is released in October. The preview version of Windows 8 will cease to function at that time thus preventing any further testing.

The availability of suitable workarounds will impact the decision of many users as whether to migrate to 8 or stay with 7. Of course, Microsoft could avoid this situation in the first place by building flexibility in to Windows 8 to begin with. If we, the users, wanted a rigid, only-one-way-to-do-it operating system, we’d all be using OS X.

Testing of the enhanced version of Start8 will begin on Monday. If you want to try it for yourself, visit the Start8 Download page. Remember, Start8 is completely free.

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