I have always been a purist when it comes to my operating systems. Very rarely have I ever used any type of overlay or integrated software to modify how Windows performs out of the box as I prefer to just learn to work with the system as it is. It also helps to prevent any confusion as I am writing or helping someone out and keeps what the OS is capable of separate from what the overlay software does.
One of the more recent options that found a market when Windows 8 was released was from Stardock Software. They saw the reaction to the lack of a Windows 7 style Start Menu in Windows 8 and released Start8 to address that. They then released ModernMix which allowed users to run full screen Modern Apps on Windows 8 in a window.
As Windows 10 has come to market we now have a hybrid Start Menu that combines some elements of the old Windows 7 style Start Menu with the modern Live Tile aspects of the Windows 8 Start Screen.
The merger of these two Start Menu's has resulted in some compromises and while there are some customizations available it may not be enough for everyone.
Once again Stardock is bringing a new option to market that will allow users to have a highly configurable Start Menu in Windows 10 and it is appropriately called Start10.
Side by side comparison of Start10 and Windows 10 Start Menu (image courtesy of Stardock)
I have been running Start10 over the last couple of days on a test system and must admit it has had minimal impact on overall system performance.
The level of customization is extensive and provides users who want to set things up for their own personal usage preferences plenty of flexibility. They have also included a shortcut to quickly open the traditional Windows 10 Start Menu and there is also a cascading folder of Modern UI apps - basically the Windows 10 All Apps list.
Check out the screenshots in this gallery for a full product tour.