Windows 8's Metro interface lacks the traditional Start button and menu we have seen in the past several Windows operating systems. A lot of people felt it was a mistake for Microsoft to abandon this setup. Among them was Stardock CEO Brad Wardell. In March, Stardock released Start8, a free app for Windows 8 that added a version of the Start button and menu to the Metro UI.
There hasn't been an update for Start8 since March but in a new interview, Wardell tells Neowin to expect a small update later in July, along with a major new version coming for the launch of Windows 8 this fall. He also gives an interesting response when asked about Microsoft's recent statement on why they decided to get rid of the Start button, along with other topics.
First, can you tell us about how many downloads of Start8 have you had since you released the first version?
The interest in the betas of Start8 has been phenomenal. I think it demonstrates that a lot of people -- and I'd argue most people -- expect their Windows desktop to have a concise and effective way to get to their stuff. The Start button and its corresponding menu is the result of decades of refinement in usability. The removal of it in Windows 8 is baffling to me. Normally, user experience shifts occur to due underlying technological changes. DOS to Windows, for example, occurred because the underlying technology allowed us to transition to an environment that was both easier to use and more productive. By contrast, the Windows 8 desktop is clearly a step back -- they removed functionality in an effort to appeal to a different demographic -- content consumers.
A Microsoft rep recently said they decided to do away with the Start button for Windows 8 due to Windows 7 users not using the button any more in favor of pinning applications to the task bar. Do you feel this is a good enough explanation for their reasoning?
My answer to that is: Shenanigans.
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