Coming Soon to a Desktop Near You, the Start Menu

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Hey all of you haters of Windows 8, pining for your start menu, guess what? Microsoft has listened. The big date for the return of the Start Menu is April 8th. Notoriously missing from previous versions of Windows 8, it will coming on that date as an update. The start menu will be an update to the 8.1 update which you should already have if your computer has been updating normally.

Here’s is Windows 8 without a start menu (this is only a guess at what it will look like):


And with the start menu:


All along at Ducktoes we’ve been giving clients who were confused or unhappy with Windows 8, the “classic shell,” which is a third-party application that creates a start menu within in Windows 8.  We’ve been installing it on all new computers for clients who requested it.  Now “the classic shell” will no longer be necessary, as this latest update will install a start menu within Windows operating system itself.

I can’t wait. Ducktoes clients will be taking to the streets dancing in joy. There will be parades, fireworks, and celebrations everywhere. Well, okay, perhaps not, but many will certainly be smiling and laughing on April 8th.

A photo of large purplish-pink firework or a cityscape at night.

I hope that the new Start Menu is everything we expect it. We shall soon see.

Now if only they’d bring back Outlook Express, which my clients always ask for when they have to give up Windows XP.  Or what if they’d make a new operating system a modern Windows XP and call it Windows XP 2015?  Everyone would adore that.

If you need help with Windows updates so you can get a start menu on April 8th, just drop by the shop.  We can also do it remotely with our remote computer support.

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My Dad’s Opinion of Windows 8


The photo says it all.

This is my dad in front of his nine-year-old XP machine, while his brand-new Windows 8 machine sits on the next desk.

When my dad’s old computer died, he bought a new computer, which, unfortunately, came with Windows 8. He hated it, he missed his Outlook Express and how he could get around the operating system and file structure easily, and his old solitaire game. He missed the start menu and the menu bars on his Word and Excel.

I was visiting then, about a month ago, so I tried to help. I gave him a start menu and, since you can’t get Outlook Express anymore, Thunderbird for email, but that didn’t change his mind.  He still missed his old one. For his birthday, then, I rebuilt the XP machine, replacing the power supply, the ram, and the hard drive, which was so old it was IDE and hard to find. It took me three days of my vacation to drive around and find and replace the parts, ghost the old hard drive, and reimage it to a new-to-us used IDE drive. It was his old computer, exactly as it was, but running again, brought back to life.

It was the best present I’ve ever given him.

In his career, my dad was a computer pioneer.  He designed computers that were as big as our condo and ran submarines, jets, and rocket ships.  I guess that makes him a rocket scientist.  One of his designs controlled the first submarine that went under the artic circle.  He’s 87 now and still sharp as ever, yet Windows 8 was not something he wanted to learn.  He might have liked Windows 7 better but he still would have missed Outlook Express. He’s not alone.  Many of my clients and friends also miss Outlook Express, which turned out to be one of the most popular email programs ever.  Microsoft might be wise to allow people to use it still, make a new version that works with Windows 7 and 8.  That would be a popular move with thousands of people.

He now does use his Windows 8 machine a bit, however. He found he likes the solitaire game that came with it better now. I don’t think it’s really on the machine, however. I’m not sure but I’m guessing it’s on the cloud.

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Windows 8 is Born, Missing a Limb, the Start Button!

Windows 8 is now with us!!!  It debuted this week and seems to be very different than previous versions of Windows.  So there definitely will be a learning curve for newbies or not-so-techie people. For one thing, there’s no start button or menu which seems to be the number one complaint I’m hearing, so it’s hard for people to find things the old way, the way they’re used to, that is. They go to reach for the Start button in the lower left hand corner of their screen and it’s not there. They seem to react like an amputee, the nerve endings for the missing start button still active in their brains. But where is it, they ask me, the cursor flailing around the screen. I hope this doesn’t make Windows 8 unpopular, like Vista. The missing start button. We’ll have to see.

Or some react like the proud parents of a newborn, they’re so excited about their new baby, and to see what she is like, but then after the computer boots, they discover to their horror, their beautiful new darling is missing her right hand. ‘Where’s the start button, they ask, an anxious look on their faces. After a grieving period they try to buck up, well, she’s a bit handicapped but she’s still beautiful to us.

Here’s a video on youtube of what Windows 8 looks like. The video is silent but can give you an idea of what it’s like to navigate a Windows 8 machine, the look and feel of it.


Tom’s Hardware Guide has a definitive guide and review to Windows 8 which seems very thorough.

And here is the Verge’s primer on Windows 8.

At Ducktoes we remember Vista and the chaos that ensued for our business clients. Those who adopted it too soon found there were no drivers for their printers or sometimes for their video cards and other peripherals, so we’re adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

But we’re excited to try it out. I’m putting it on a new machine so people can go for a test drive.

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