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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:01 am 
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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
Windows 10 Start
Supported operating system
Windows 7/8/8.1/Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8/8.1
Windows 8+
Windows 8+
Windows 10
Cost
Free
Free (Integrated)
Free (Integrated)
$.2.99+ more for additional licenses
$.4.99+ more for additional licenses
Free (Integrated)
All Programs/All Apps Style
Windows 9x/2000, XP style, Windows 7 style
Windows 7 style
Screen full of items with no hierarchy
Windows 7 style, XP style
Windows 7 style
Windows 7 style
Submenus for accessing folder contents
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
Number of items that can fit without having to scroll at any given resolution
Few in Windows 7 style, Very large in XP style due to multiple columns
Few
Fewer than multiple columns of XP style, greater than Windows 7 menu
Few in Windows 7 style, Very large in XP style
Few
Few
Alphabetical program/app list is free of lesser used shortcuts (Uninstall, ReadMe etc) due to folder hierarchy
Yes
Yes
No, All apps view is cluttered with lesser used shortcuts like ReadMe, Uninstall
Yes
Yes
Yes
Tweaks for viewing and navigating All Programs
Hide Metro apps, Show folders first, Open automatically, Jump to app by typing first letter
Jump to app by typing first letter
-
Show folders first
Jump to app by typing first letter
Jump to app by clicking/tapping first letter
Can use original Windows Start Button with animation
Yes
Not applicable
Not applicable
-
-
Not applicable
Custom Start Button
Yes
-
-
Yes
Yes
-
Manually adjust Start button size by resizing image on-the-fly and alignment
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
-
-
-
-
Yes
Can start without using always-running service
Yes
Yes (integrated into Explorer.exe)
Yes (integrated into Explorer.exe)
Yes
-
Yes (integrated into Explorer.exe)
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
Per-user
Items organized by
Folders, Custom items & submenu items
Folders
Groups
Folders and Custom items
Folders and Custom items
Groups
Frequently used programs
Yes
Yes
Yes (Windows 8.1 only)
Yes
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
Yes
Settings to adjust width and height
Yes
-
-
-
-
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 in custom order
Yes
Yes
Yes (but only in Tiles View, not in Apps View)
Yes
-
Main menu right area only
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
-
Auto-Sort items
Sort once A-Z/Z-A, Always sorted
Sort once or Always sorted
-
Sort once or Always sorted
Always sorted
Always sorted
Highlight newly installed programs
Yes, customizable for how long
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Install Windows updates on shutdown
Yes
Yes
Install updates and restart
Yes
-
No control
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
-
-
StartIsBack++ only
-
Yes
Multiple columns to list any submenu
Yes
-
-
Yes
-
-
Column width of submenus
Dynamic
-
-
Width of all submenu columns is equal
-
-
Customize user picture and its command
Yes
Picture only
Picture only
Picture only
Picture only
Picture only
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
-
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
-
Yes
Search system path
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Search partial word matches (substrings) without using wildcards
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
File search using Advanced Query Syntax
Yes
Yes
When using Win+F only
Yes
Yes
After clicking “My Stuff”
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
Yes
Configure whether search box is focused or menu item accelerators
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Search network shares added to Libraries
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
-
-
Set icon size of main menu & submenu items to any size
Yes
-
Limited tile sizes, small size hides app name
-
-
Limited 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 only
Glass color only, more customization via themes
Glass color only, more customization via skins
Background color only
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
N/A
Disable taskbar transparency
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
N/A
Customize menu item names
Yes
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Only before pinning
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Yes
Only before pinning
Customize menu icon & tooltip
Yes
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Only before pinning
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Only before pinning
Menu element and item positioning
Fully customizable
Limited
Limited
Limited
Limited
-
Control menu scaling (DPI) manually 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
Limited
Start or exit the menu without Explorer restart
Yes
N/A as it is integrated
N/A as it is integrated
-
Yes
N/A as it is integrated
Separate Apps from Programs
Yes
N/A
Only in Apps View when it's sorted by Category
Yes
In Start10
-
Multi-monitor support
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
?
Default number of skins / styles / themes
7 skins in Classic style, 5 in Windows 7 style
-
-
4 styles
6-7 themes
-
Launch multiple programs by holding down Shift
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Wildcard filtering of non-indexed file system paths in search box (e.g. C:\Windows\*.exe)
Yes
-
-
-
Yes
-
Hide programs from the Frequent list permanently
Yes
-
-
Yes
-
Yes
Expand search results within the menu to show more search results
Yes
-
-
-
-
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
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
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
Click anywhere outside or on Start button
Extremely compact menu possible
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Scales well for hundreds of apps
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Live Tiles
-
-
Yes
-
-
Yes
Optimized for touch screen
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Aero Glass support
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
-
Yes
Match Start Menu glass color closely with Taskbar
Yes
-
Yes
-
Yes
Uninstall Modern Apps
On Windows 10
N/A
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Make hardware/touch Start button act differently from Win key
-
N/A
-
Yes
-
-
Start menu translucency fine-grained adjustment
Yes (by editing the skin)
-
-
Yes
-
-

_________________
I am a Windows User Experience enthusiast. If only Microsoft gave me the opportunity to fix Windows...

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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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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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: 21
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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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.

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I am a Windows User Experience enthusiast. If only Microsoft gave me the opportunity to fix Windows...

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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Posts: 21
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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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.


The spacing is less because it can support a far greater number of items (system folders and important locations) in the right column, much more than the Windows 7 menu ever did.


But 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 am a Windows User Experience enthusiast. If only Microsoft gave me the opportunity to fix Windows...

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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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 1443 times
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 Post subject: Likins
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:27 am 
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I like Classic Shell's start menu


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:27 am 
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So far the only advantages or genuine improvements I have seen in Windows 10's Start "menu" are:

- More space for pinning your items (like the Start screen). The big compromise is all those super-important system folders with submenus have no place.
- Being able to organize pinned items into groups (like the Start screen). Again the compromise is that important folders are simply not accessible easily.
- In the All Programs list which is often long and requires you to vertically scroll, you now have the ability to jump to an app which is way up or down in the list without scrolling all the way. You can just click or tap on the A,B,C...Z letters. But then again if you had a physical keyboard, you could do that already.

Everything else about the Start "menu" is a huge step back from Classic Shell's refined Start Menu and completely fails all UX and usability, functionality, productivity and responsiveness tests. Not only that but the entire Windows 10 OS user interface fails these 3 areas - usability, productivity, functionality, design aesthetics.

_________________
I am a Windows User Experience enthusiast. If only Microsoft gave me the opportunity to fix Windows...

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


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