A Start-menu replacement (Windows 8 only)
Keep right on scrolling if you’ve picked up a new Windows 7 PC, which still sports the Start menu you’ve known and loved for more than a decade. Computers rocking the Start-menu-free Windows 8 are far more common these days, however. Sure, you can tweak the live-tiled OS pretty extensively to get a near-optimal desktop experience, but if you want the classic Windows feel (or just want to skip the modern-style Start screen completely), you’ll need a Start-menu replacement.
My favorites are Classic Shell (free) and Stardock’s Start8 ($5), but every Start-menu replacement offers different capabilities. Our roundup of the best Start-menu replacements takes a deeper look at the premier options.