How-To Geek

Which is Better? The Start Screen in Windows 8 or the Old Start Menu? [Analysis]

There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding Microsoft’s emphasis on the new Metro UI Start Screen in Windows 8, but when it comes down to it which is really better? The Start Screen in Windows 8 or the old Start Menu? Tech blog 7 Tutorials has done a quick analysis to see which one actually works better (and faster) when launching applications and doing searches.

Images courtesy of 7 Tutorials.

You can view the results and a comparison table by visiting the blog post linked below.

Windows 8 Analysis: Is the Start Screen an Improvement vs. the Start Menu? [7 Tutorials]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 04/13/12

Comments (25)

  1. temp

    The start screen. take 2 days to get used to it and it is more powerfull

  2. D

    Start screen is ugly, so +1 for the good old Start menu.

  3. Citrus Rain

    Less is more.
    I say the windows 7 start menu was the best.

    Even better than GNOME or UNITY.

    It just hit that sweet spot between lists and searching.
    All these tables now… too much mouse movement.

  4. my-t-man

    I like a clean uncluttered desktop. Totally hate shortcuts and have my taskbar on “always hide”. I use find and run robot to launch apps and files and rocket dock for the rest. Just say “NO” to ubuntu and 8 on the desktop.

  5. DeAnn

    I totally dislike the new Windows 8 interface. I want my desktop empty, clean and uncluttered.

  6. vezikon

    I like windows 8 new start but I get confused between the apps related to metro interface and desktop apps .. like when you open google chrome or something else or even the desktop IE and click on email address .. the email app don’t work .. but when you do it with IE metro version it opens the email app to send email to the address .. and samething with video app ,music app and photos app

  7. PhilBro

    Start menu is better because it does not take up the entire screen. Multitasking is why I use a computer, having something that covers up everything else kills that performance.

  8. emar1000

    windows 8 is by far the worst looking interface….i wont switch from 7 until i can no longer get it. If I want my desktop cluttered let me do it not MS.

  9. thegeekkid

    +1 @emar1000, PhilBro, DeAnn, and especially Citrus Rain. I will get a Mac OS before I spend 1¢ on W8. (That probably means I will be switching to Ubuntu as my main system…..)

  10. r

    Which is Better? The bla..bla bla.. in Windows 8 or the Old…bla, bla,…bla..

    Uhhh?…margarine, butter is too heavy.

  11. A

    This app would be great if it wasn’t for all the F@#$n customers! (Clerks) – fact is the interface works great on the win phones and XBox but that is because the users are not able to add applications, spyware, malware, fun utilities etc. Programs are also not allowed to add their own start up options. The reason why people have gone to icons on the desktop is because the Start menu is slow. Add more graphics plus programs, plus users and you get one slow OS in time. I think the users will take to the Win8 interface until it slows down after a month or two then beg for the old desktop back. As a tech I don’t like it and find it very inefficient for my needs.

  12. Rick

    I used it for about two weeks…………..Didnt like it………………

  13. Kevalin

    I have nothing on my desktop but whatever wallpaper I’m in love with that day or week, the task bar, which is empty of everything but the start button, volume control and clock, and Rocket Dock to access programs and files that I use regularly.

    Even if I was inclined to deal with Metro slathering my entire screen with what now takes up a tenth or less of same, it’s so freakin’ ugly that I’d be embarrassed to display it.

  14. George

    Plus 5 Million (Being a bit ungenerous, better make it 6 million) for the old start menu!

  15. snogler

    love my win7 desktop, tried win 8 for a couple of weeks and dont like it. Save it for the phones.

  16. Funkus

    Do my eyes deceive me, or is Windows-8 going the same way as the latest incarnations of Ubuntu?
    I like a clean desktop when I start to work (it un-clutters my head). I love Windows-7 when I hide everything but my wallpaper (a pretty landscape sets the mood). I wish I could hide that ugly left sidebar in Ubuntu, until I want to use it. Ubuntu AND Windows-8 programmers, please take note.

  17. kaskus

    windows 8 & windows phone 7.5 with toolbar+start button = win.

  18. Bink Farmer

    I have not used Win 8 but the Start Screen looks very much like MadAppLauncher…

    I’ve been using MAL for quite some time and I cannot imagine using Win 7 without it.

  19. Michael

    Still using XP with the Classic Start Menu — why change something that works so well?!!

  20. Robert Claypool

    It would be nice to have both. Throw up the start screen onto the 32″ television and have the start menu for my 17″ monitor both attached to the same computer. Put a little weather bit and a day’s reminder on the start screen. Consider that the XBox 360 is connected to that same television, and I’ve got a more seamless interface to work with on that display. Now if only the XBox and PC could share the Kinect info…

  21. Chris

    Well when I switch over to 8, I can see I’m going to start looking for a app to give me the old look and feel of Windows XP. Currently on 7 but running ClassicStartMenu.exe in order not to use 7 start menus

  22. andy

    star screen. the old start menu has been around so long and never really evolved.

  23. nova1

    being a power user i’d have to say start menu

  24. Master Mind

    You know if you put too much shortcuts and icons on win7 desktop:
    1) it gets slow
    2) you won’t be able to enjoy your wallpaper

    in windows 8 you’re able to
    1) have clean desktop,
    2) enjoy your wallpaper
    3) Start screen pops-up instantly even in netbook (ipads are way better than netbook)
    4) You can actually pin over 1000 icons to start screen and make gropus, in win7 you can never do it
    5) Only people who actually tried to customize new Start screen know what I’m taking about

  25. Miss.Andrea Borman.

    In Windows 8 Consumer Preview you can no longer disable the Metro theme. But that is not a problem because you can install a third party software like Classic Shell, like I have done, or Start Menu 7. Which gives you both the start orb and Windows 7 start menu.

    And I think that is what a lot of people will be doing when Windows 8 goes out on sale. They will just install Classic Shell and use the Windows XP or Windows 7 start orb and start menu that these start menu programs give you.

    So not including the start orb and start menu does not stop you from having the traditional Windows 7 or Windows XP start menu on Windows 8. Because you can just install third party software to get it back again. Andrea Borman.

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