5 Windows 8 Apps to Bring Back the Start Menu

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You don’t have to live with Microsoft’s flawed decision to kill the Start menu in Windows 8. Some 15 – and counting – software companies have brought the Start button back from the digital grave with add-ons that in many cases have more versatility than the versions found in Windows XP and Windows 7.

We tested five Start apps on a Windows 8 notebook, measuring the quality of each based on how well they meet certain criteria. How much does each add-on look and feel like the Windows 7 Start menu? Can you drag and drop shortcuts? Does the search box work as well as Windows 7's? And do they have features that improve on the old Start? All the apps we reviewed are free with one exception. Read on to find out which Start solution is right for you.