While Microsoft may have finally added a Start button to the preview version of Windows 8.1, many desktop users would still prefer access to a full Start menu. That’s why third-party programs such as Start8 from developer Stardock will likely continue to be popular with Windows 8.1 users.
Today, Stardock sent word that a new beta version of Start8 is available for download. Registered Stardock users can access the new version from their account, or the beta can also be directly downloaded from the company. The 1.17 beta offers full compatibility with the Windows 8.1 public preview.
In addition to providing a full Start menu, Start8 also lets users customize the new Start button. When it is being used with the Windows 8.1 preview, Stardock says users should respect the OS configuration for “boot to desktop.” However, the options for showing the Windows 8.1 Start screen in other than full-screen mode are disabled in this beta version of Start8.
If users also have Stardock’s WindowBlinds program installed with the Start8 program, they can also override the Start button in use with the WindowsBlinds setting for “always use the OS” button.