As we know, Microsoft has killed off one of the most recognizable mainstays of computing for Windows 8 – the famous Start button. If you have installed the Windows 8 consumer preview, the first thing you will notice upon entering the desktop mode is that the bottom left corner of your taskbar is missing something we have all become accustomed to on Windows.

Given the Start button’s 17 year long reign, it’s understandable that its presence is going to be missed. But if you are just not ready to say goodbye, Stardock has a new program called Start8 that enables a  Start button and a metro style menu.

Start8 is an app designed to merge the convenience of the Start button with the functionality of the new Metro interface. It’s a lot more than just the classic Start button.

Installation very quick.  Just download Start8 (link below) and install it. Start8 will pop up in the classic Start menu’s usual bottom left corner position. By default it throws up the Metro Apps screen and Search pane, as opposed to the traditional Start Menu – but this is customizable. Right clicking the Windows orb throws up a variety of options – like disabling the App page so that hitting the Start button throws up the Metro UI instead, either in full view or side-by-side with your desktop. Alternatively, you can customize the orb to pull up the Apps page when clicked and the Metro UI when pressing the Win key.

Your customisation options don’t end there. You can determine how much of the Metro interface and how much of the desktop you want to see together, choosing between small, tall, wide, large and full screen – either in full view or side by side.

You can even change the image of the Start button from an orb to the classic XP button, the Windows 8 logo or something else. Lastly, right-clicking the orb pulls up selections for the run and shutdown commands for easy accessibly.

If you would like to revive the Start button, Start8 seems like a good tool.

Download – For Windows 8 Consumer Preview