Lenovo to preload Start menu replacement on Windows 8 machines

By on August 22, 2013, 4:30 PM

Microsoft is attempting a middle of the road compromise in response to one of the main complaints users have had with Windows 8: it’s set to bring back the Start button to the desktop. But rather than triggering the old and trusty Start menu, clicking on this button will still take you to the tile-based Start screen.

Fortunately third-party developers have been working to keep the classic desktop experience alive with their own take on the Start menu. One of them, Pokki, is set to get a major boost through a partnership with Lenovo.

San Diego-based SweetLabs, the company behind Pokki today announced a deal with the Chinese computer vendor to preinstall their app on new Windows 8 machines around the world. That’s quite a coup considering Lenovo is now the largest PC manufacturer worldwide; having the functionality out-of-the-box will enable the company to reach millions of users who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered to look for a Start menu replacement.

Perhaps more significantly, SweetLabs stands to gain an important piece of the app store market on Windows.

You see, aside from providing quick access to installed applications and things like the Windows control panel, Pokki features its own app distribution platform. The software was actually born as a platform for running web applications as standalone apps on your desktop, but since launching they’ve added their own store with things like in-app payments and paid app recommendations, a game arcade with titles from Zynga and others, and now they’re expanding to traditional Windows desktop apps. Windows 8’s Modern-style apps are not part of the deal, though, as those are exclusively distributed by Microsoft through the Windows Store.

SweetLabs previously announced a partnership with Acer to preload its game arcade on the company’s Windows 8 machines. The new deal means the company now has relationships with two of the top four computer makers.

Download: Pokki for Windows

User Comments: 22

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JC713 JC713 said:

Pokki is cool and all, but the acorn just bothers me lol.

BMfan BMfan said:

Srart8 is better but even that couldn't fix windows on it's own.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

You can put a ribbon and bow on a turd to make it pretty but it is still a turd.

Guest said:

SmartMenu 8 by iObit is free and may be a good choice for Win8 users. As for this Pokki stuff .... well it is so-so and a little pokey. Seems to slow things down on booting and runs off a load of RAM, and well, let's just say, you better like the apps as you are using system and running a lot in background. The notifications come on in a slide out then disappear, but it shows a number on the app icon in the tray, which is good. I tried it out of Win7, then uninstalled it.

If Win 9 has more apps I would use / need, I may be more liking or loving of Windows again. As it is, Win7 is still making more sense, somewhat impressed with increased security in Win8, and will remain in a holding pattern for now -- as in Win7. In the future I may make it a second boot on my Mac, or just upgrade my laptop to try it out on the older hp .

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Yeah Pokki I would avoid. Another one that good but you have to be careful with is call ALLMYAPP good for Windows 7 and can be use on Windows 8. This one add task scheduler so it runs daily when it runs in the background can use a lot more ram than it has too. I just remove it from windows startup and disable the task scheduler. There is Intel app too but not much activity on it to keep it on your system.

PC EliTiST PC EliTiST said:

Why did they chose this ugly, inconsistent bloated pos? I'll never understand... One more marketplace built-in now... Circus. Profits would be the answer I'm looking for, but if I was levono I'd have build my own, as native as it gets start-menu program.

tavliban tavliban said:

Guys the accorn can be easily removed...It has the win logo if you want..simply go to settings

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guys the accorn can be easily removed...It has the win logo if you want..simply go to settings
But then the button wouldn't match the simplicity and absence of personality, the rest of the GUI has.

1 person liked this | avoidz avoidz said:

Why doesn't Microsoft just put the damn Start button back in there and end the madness.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Why doesn't Microsoft just put the damn Start button back in there and end the madness.

I couldn't agree more. If the people want it so badly why not give it to them. It's a really simple case of supply & demand here, not to mention MS could be pleasantly surprised by an increase of sales. To quote an old saying "there are none so blind as those that will not see" really applies here.

Guest said:

You can put frosting and sprinkles on a ugly pig, but it is still an ugly pig

Geforcepat Geforcepat said:

I'd rather use the regular start screen.as this does not look like a windows 7 start screen

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You can put frosting and sprinkles on a ugly pig, but it is still an ugly pig
I say the same thing about women and makeup.

1 person liked this | Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

There's a great solution to all of this. Windows 7. I won't install Windows 8 even if it is free. It's garbage that I would need to hack in order to get it to look and feel the way Windows 7 already does. What's the point?!

1 person liked this | Teko03 said:

MSFT needs to understand the start button & menu is what defines the Window OS. It's one of the core features users have come to known & love with Windows. When you sit down at a Windows computer this is what you know to go to. I honestly think the start menu & start screen can & should co-exist. My concept of a Windows 8.2 or Windows 9 would be to market the "Start Sreen" for Play +Touch (at least until enterprise touch apps are produced) & the "Start Menu" for Work + Click. The Start Menu will return to be launged with the start button and the start screen can be swiped down from the top of the screen. Because lets face it, anyone with a non-touch device avoids the start screen. Even though its possible to use with a keyboard & mouse, its not intuitive and just feels uncomfortalby out of place.

Guest said:

Easy solution: Touch screen menu default on tablets, Start Menu default on PCs. Was that so hard MS?

I think people need to realize that when a company gets as big as Microsoft, it stops being "what you want" and more about what they think you want, or whats "good for you". A smaller company would have already fired the people responsible for such a stupid implementation being forced onto you in the new OS. But MS wont.This is the perfect opportunity for a small company to release an OS(maybe built on Linux) that advertises stability and usability similar to XP/7. A major release similar to the way google did with android. Businesses and consumers would eat it up!

The only way the consumer wins is with competition. Or else there is no innovation or improvement.

2 people like this | Guest said:

I wont install 8 if pay MS me, my health is more important,I use 7 and sleep well

1 person liked this | negroplasty negroplasty said:

Just like everyone else here, 8 lasted on my machine a week before I almost threw the tower out the window. 8.1 is a disaster. MS continuously shooting itself in the foot.

Guest said:

What is that?, a start buttom for squirrels??

Guest said:

Someone should send Levono an email thats says "If your smart make a deal with Stardock Start8 and you'll really see the results", stardock its racking in the profits (stardock CEOs thinking "thank you SteveBallzup you ID 10 T, $$$$$ for me -$ for M$", I purchased start8 ages ago and Im finger loving it! mmmm mmmmm lick those fingers mmm mmm :-)

Guest said:

The word "Apps" don't appeal to me, it's just bad taste. I think it doesn't sound right in a professional desktop operating system. It sounds good for mobile apps, because they are not really applications - they are tiny cheap toyish stuff on your mobile phone, made mainly for short-term entertainment. Thus the abbrev. But I find it hard to call Adobe Photoshop or Excel or Cubase an "app". I know Apple has AppStore, but that's not an excuse to go on calling all applications "apps". It feels so mr. Clippy.

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