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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:01 am 
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Posts: 2695
Every effort is made to make sure this comparison is accurate, relevant and up-to-date. If you feel it's incorrect, feel free to discuss what below. It may just be that you do not understand some feature.


Feature
Classic Shell’s Start Menu
Windows 7 Start Menu
Windows 8/8.1 Start Screen
StartIsBack+
Stardock Start8
Supported operating system
Windows 7/8/8.1/Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8/8.1
Windows 8+
Windows 8+
Cost
Free
Free (Integrated)
Free (Integrated)
$.2.99+ more for additional licenses
$.4.99+ more for additional licenses
Start Menu Style
Windows 9x/2000, XP style, Windows 7 style
Windows 7 style
Screen full of items with no hierarchy or submenus
Windows 7 style, XP style
Windows 7 style
Number of items that can fit without having to scroll at any given resolution
Very few in Windows 7 style, Very large in XP style
Very few
Fewer than multiple columns of XP style, greater than Windows 7 menu
Very few in Windows 7 style, Very large in XP style
Very few
Alphabetical program/app list is free of lesser used shortcuts (Uninstall, ReadMe etc) due to folder hierarchy
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Tweaks for viewing All Programs
Hide Metro apps, Show folders first, Open automatically
-
-
Show folders first
-
Can use Windows Start Button
Yes
Yes
Yes (Windows 8.1 only)
-
-
Custom Start Button
Yes
-
-
Yes
Yes
Adjust Start button size
Yes
-
-
-
-
Configure mouse click behavior
Left click + modifier keys, right click, middle click, hover, additional hotkeys
-
-
Left click + modifier keys only
Left click + modifier keys only
Configure Windows key behavior
Yes, Win key+modifier keys, act differently depending on Desktop or Metro
-
-
Yes, Win key+modifier keys, press and hold Win key
Yes, Win key+modifier keys, act differently depending on Desktop or Metro, press and hold Win key
Search launcher’s own settings to quickly locate them
Yes
-
-
-
-
Can start without using always-running service
Yes
Yes (integrated into Explorer.exe)
Yes (integrated into Explorer.exe)
Yes
-
Pin programs, apps, websites, folders and drives
Per-user and for all users
Per-user only
Per-user only
Per-user only
Per-user only
Items organized by
Folders, Custom items & submenu items
Folders
Groups
Folders and Custom items
Folders and Custom items
Frequently used programs
Yes
Yes
Yes (Windows 8.1 only)
Yes
Yes
Recently used programs, settings and custom folder contents
Yes
-
-
-
-
Sort recent/frequent list of programs in reverse order or by name
Yes
-
-
-
-
Jumplists
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Settings to adjust width and height
Yes
-
-
-
-
Fully customizable Shutdown menu
Yes
-
-
-
-
Shutdown, restart, sleep, hibernate, switch users using the menu over Remote Desktop
Yes
-
-
-
-
Freely sort items by drag and drop
Yes
Yes
Yes (but only in Tiles View, not in Apps View)
Yes
-
Drag items to the menu to pin, drag items out from the menu
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Sort recent documents by
Name, file extension or date
Name
-
Name
Name
Sort programs and other submenus
Sort once A-Z/Z-A, Always sorted
Name
Name, Date installed, Most Used, Category
Sort once A-Z, Always sorted
Name
Sort pinned items
Sort once A-Z/Z-A, Always sorted, custom sort order
Custom sort order
Custom sort order (Tiles view only)
Custom sort order
Custom sort order
Highlight newly installed programs
Yes, customizable for how long
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Install Windows updates on shutdown
Yes
Yes
Install updates and restart
Yes
-
Adjust submenu hover delay
Yes
OS settings in Registry
-
OS settings in Registry
OS settings in Registry
Adjust tooltip delay
Yes
-
-
-
-
Icons in the second column of a two-column menu
Yes
-
-
-
-
Multiple columns to list submenus
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
Column width of submenus
Dynamic
-
-
Width of all submenu columns is equal
-
Customize user picture command
Yes
-
-
-
-
Pin any folder as expanding menu
Yes, both left and right columns
-
-
Right column only
Yes, both left and right columns
Show Libraries as a combined menu of folders
Yes
-
-
-
-
Show menu adjacent to vertical taskbar
Yes
-
-
Yes
-
Fast & fluid experience due to icon caching
Yes
-
-
-
-
Unified search for programs, settings and files
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Search settings keywords
Yes
Yes
When using Win+W only
Yes
-
Search system path
Yes
-
-
-
-
Search partial word matches (substrings)
Yes
-
-
-
-
File search using Advanced Query Syntax
Yes
Yes
When using Win+F only
Yes
Yes
Search recent documents
Yes (if added to search index)
Yes
-
Yes
Yes (if added to search index)
Open folders from index using search
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Configure whether search box is focused or menu item accelerators
Yes
-
-
-
-
Search network shares added to Libraries
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
-
Customize icon size of main menu & submenu items
Yes
-
Fixed tile sizes, small size hides app name
-
-
Customize animations
Yes
-
Yes
-
-
Customize fonts and text rendering
Yes
-
-
-
-
Customize text and menu color
Yes
-
Background color
Glass color only, more customization via themes
Glass color only, more customization via skins
Skinnable
-
-
OS visual styles and WindowBlinds
Yes, and OS visual styles and WindowBlinds
Customize Start button animations and tooltip
Yes
-
-
-
-
Disable hot corners for Modern UI
Yes
N/A
Partial
Yes
Yes
Disable taskbar transparency
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Customize menu item names
Yes
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Only before pinning
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Yes
Customize menu icon & tooltip
Yes
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Icon of file system shortcut only, before pinning
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Menu element and item positioning
Fully customizable
Limited
Limited
Limited
Limited
Control menu scaling (DPI) overriding system DPI
Yes
-
-
-
-
Insert subitems inside main menu items
Yes
-
-
-
-
Insert any custom command anywhere in the menu
Yes, both left and right columns
Only as pinned item in left column
Only as pinned item
Only as pinned item in left column
Only as pinned item in left column
Customizable menu sounds
Yes
-
-
-
-
Group Policy support
Yes
Yes
Limited
Yes
Yes
Start or exit the menu without Explorer restart
Yes
N/A as it is integrated
N/A as it is integrated
-
Yes
Separate Apps from Programs
Yes
N/A
Only in Apps View when it's sorted by Category
Yes
-
Multi-monitor support
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Number of skins / styles / themes
7 skins in Classic style, 3 in Windows 7 style
-
-
4 styles
4 themes
Launch multiple programs by holding down Shift
Yes
-
-
-
-
Wildcard filtering of paths in search box
Yes
-
-
-
Yes
Hide programs from the Frequent list permanently
Yes
-
-
Yes
-
Expand search categories within the menu to show more search results
Yes
-
-
-
-
Search providers
Yes
-
-
-
-
Settings reset, backup and restore
Yes
-
-
-
-
Insert submenu items as static buttons/tiles
Yes
-
-
-
-
Create split button items
Yes
-
-
-
-
Hide file extensions for specific menu items
Yes
-
-
-
-
Extended keyboard shortcuts like Explorer
Yes
-
-
-
-
Keyboard accelerators
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
View tooltips (Comments) of app shortcuts upon mouse hover
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Launch any item, not just programs as administrator
Yes
-
-
-
-
Create new folders or shortcuts inside the menu without using Explorer
Yes
-
-
-
-
Scroll items with mouse wheel
Yes, scrolling menus and program tree
Programs-tree only
Yes
Programs-tree only
Programs-tree only
Unmatched customization and usability for mouse+keyboard
Yes
-
-
-
-
Full context menu options available
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Expandable pre-pinned shortcuts to important system locations
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Close the menu/screen quickly with the mouse without launching anything
Click anywhere outside or on Start button
Click anywhere outside or on Start button
Must click on ‘Desktop’ or Start button
Click anywhere outside or on Start button
Click anywhere outside or on Start button
Extremely compact menu possible
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Scales well for hundreds of apps
-
-
Yes
-
-
Live Tiles
-
-
Yes
-
-
Optimized for touch screen
-
-
Yes
-
-
Aero Glass support
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
-
Terminate Modern apps with Close button
-
N/A
-
Yes
-
Match Start Menu glass color closely with Taskbar
Yes
-
Yes
-
Uninstall Modern Apps
-
N/A
Yes
Yes
-
Hide desktop apps from Start screen All Apps View
-
N/A
-
Yes
-
Make hardware/touch Start button act differently from Win key
-
N/A
-
Yes
-
Taskbar+Start menu fine translucency adjustment
-
-
-
Yes
-
Return to last used environment (Metro/Desktop) after closing Modern app
-
-
-
Yes
-
Show Switcher and Charms together
-
-
-
Yes
-

_________________
I do the testing, some new feature ideas and UX/usability feedback for Classic Shell from 2009-present. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:11 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Oklahoma City OK USA
Good comparison info. I've tried them all and am convinced Classic Start Menu is way above the rest for my preferences. Thanks. Will contribute again soon.

_________________
Windows 8.1 Pro X64
Windows Defender
EMET
MalwareBytes Pro
HitmanPro
WinPatrol Plus
Classic Shell
Rainmeter


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:12 pm
Posts: 1
Good comparison info. I've tried them all and am convinced Classic Start Menu is way above the rest for my preferences. Thanks. Will contribute again soon.
Very very good ClassicShell


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:33 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Monaco
I didn t even need to read that ! Just using it convinced it was the best !!! :)) :D

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Fabien
"Let's make things simple. Faisons les choses simplement. :)"


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 4:11 pm
Posts: 13
Nice comparison and Classic Shell excels. One thing I like with SiB is that it can keep only Apps on the Start Screen, removing all the clutter. Is that possible with CS?


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 8:25 pm 
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Posts: 2695
MenuPeak wrote:
Nice comparison and Classic Shell excels. One thing I like with SiB is that it can keep only Apps on the Start Screen, removing all the clutter. Is that possible with CS?

No that is not possible for the Apps view with Classic Shell as of now. But on Windows 8.1, the automatic pinning of desktop shortcuts to the Start screen Tiles view is gone anyway so you can keep only Metro apps pinned there. Better still, use the Start Menu to launch Modern apps. :) You can add an "Apps" item to the right column in Windows 7 style also from the Customize Start Menu tab in Settings.

_________________
I do the testing, some new feature ideas and UX/usability feedback for Classic Shell from 2009-present. :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 4:11 pm
Posts: 13
Good news, thanks a lot GauravK. Didn't know this about 8.1.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:42 pm
Posts: 2
Great comparison here. Tried them all but one thing that keeps me away from ClassicShell, such a small thing, but with the Windows 7 skin, the right panel with Control Panel etc doesn't look right, not enough width spacing compared to Windows 7 and SiB.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:56 pm 
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theoneofgod wrote:
Great comparison here. Tried them all but one thing that keeps me away from ClassicShell, such a small thing, but with the Windows 7 skin, the right panel with Control Panel etc doesn't look right, not enough width spacing compared to Windows 7 and SiB.


You can adjust the spacing yourself by simply modifying the skin and re-saving it. The parameters you might need to modify are Main2_text_padding and Main2_padding. The 4 values of each parameters are the number of pixels added around the element from the left/top/right/bottom of the menu.

Copy the Windows Aero.skin7 file to the Desktop, open it in Resource Hacker. Change the 'top' or 'bottom' (2nd and 4th) values of the above parameters and save the changes. Rename the skin and copy it back to C:\Program Files\Classic Shell\Skins and then switch to the modded skin from the Skin tab in Start Menu settings.

_________________
I do the testing, some new feature ideas and UX/usability feedback for Classic Shell from 2009-present. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:12 am
Posts: 1
Hi,


As GauravK said, it is very simple to do this modification with the Resource Hacker utility, and I encourage you to try it. :) However I have attached a ready-made skin that makes buttons bigger, more like Windows 7 if you like. Screenshot :


Not sure it is exactly the same size as on Windows 7 though, I don't have a mean of comparison here. Enjoy!


Attachments:
File comment: Skin that enlarges the buttons in the right column.
Windows 8 me.skin7 [162 KiB]
Downloaded 220 times
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