Why wait? Lenovo takes missing Windows 8 Start menu into its own hands

Windows 8 Pokki
Third party software Pokki attempts to replace the Windows Start menu

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 is due out Oct. 17, but Chinese OEM Lenovo is apparently sick of waiting for the Windows 8 update to bring back the traditional Windows Start menu.

The company decided to take matters into its own hands, and the maker of Start menu software Pokki announced this week that future Lenovo PCs will have its custom Start menu pre-installed.

Pokki, made last year by a start-up called Sweetlabs, adds a Start menu to Windows 8 that's similar to what was found in Windows 7 and earlier OS versions.

Bloomberg reported that three million Windows 8 users have already downloaded the Pokki software independently from Sweetlabs' website.

The benefits of Pokki

Windows 8.1 brings back the Start menu in part, but it's still not a full traditional desktop experience.

That's why software like Pokki could remain relevant even as Microsoft attempts to fix its own missteps.

Lenovo's Pokki-equipped computers will arrive in the next few weeks starting in English-speaking countries and eventually covering all Lenovo computers globally.

Pokki also includes an app store, and part of Sweetlabs' deal with Lenovo is that the companies will share the profits from app sales.

The start-up is backed by Intel and Google Ventures, and Bloomberg reported that it's in talks with other manufacturers to include its Start menu on their systems as well.

Windows improvements

Lenovo is currently the top PC maker in the world, and unlike other OEMs it seems the company has had no trouble selling Windows machines lately.

Besides the addition of a Windows Start menu, Windows 8.1 adds myriad improvements to both the traditional desktop and the modern tile interface portions of the operating system.

It also includes Internet Explorer 11, the new version of Microsoft's browser that's said to be a massive improvement.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for Playboy.com, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.