Lenovo Brings the Classic Start Menu to Windows 8.1: Release Date, Features [VIDEO]
The pending release of Windows 8.1 marks the return of the classic Start button -- but not the classic Start menu.
Now PC maker Lenovo has a remedy for those pining for the glory days of Windows' signature pop-up menu. New computers sold by the company will come pre-installed with a piece of software that mimics the old-school Start menu found in every version of the operating system through Windows 7.
Developer SweetLabs announced a deal with Lenovo to license the Start menu app, called "Pokki," for upcoming PCs, Geek Wire reports.
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The move might appeal to users hesitant to upgrade to Windows 8, which features a full-screen "modern" Start menu that some say is intrusive.
Window 8 also initially lacked a visible Start button; instead the menu was activated by moving the mouse cursor into a hot spot near the bottom left corner of the screen.
Microsoft hailed the release of Windows 8.1 as the return of the Start button -- but clicking still takes users to the unpopular full-screen Start menu.
Last week Microsoft announced that the operating system refresh will be available to the public starting Oct. 18.
It will first become available at 12 a.m. Oct. 18 in New Zealand, and Windows 8 users around the world can install the update as it becomes available on Microsoft's Windows Store, CNET reports.
The operating system upgrade launched in the form of a preview version in July, and Microsoft said it would be ready for a wide release in August. The decision to delay release was likely made to give manufacturers more time to test and integrate the software into their own devices, the Verge reports.
At its Worldwide Partner Conference in July the company said that Windows 8.1 will come pre-loaded on "many" computers and tablets ahead of the holiday season, PC Magazine reports.
Current Windows 8 users will receive the new version in the form of a free upgrade.
Microsoft released a preview version of the software at its Build Conference in San Francisco over the summer.
In addition to the return of the Start button, this version includes the option to boot straight to the desktop, as well as Internet Explorer 11, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship web browser.
The new version also boasts tighter integration with Microsoft's cloud storage solution SkyDrive and updates to Snap, which allows users to quickly arrange windows on the computer screen.
Critics have mostly called the upgrade a positive step forward for Microsoft's ailing operating system.
Check out a hands-on preview of Windows 8.1 from The Verge below: