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Start menu resurfaces on Samsung's Windows 8 PCs

A Quick Starter feature available for Samsung's Windows 8 computers and tablets offers both a Start button and a toolbar.

Samsung will offer a traditional Start menu for its Windows 8 PCs and tablets.
Samsung will offer a traditional Start menu for its Windows 8 PCs and tablets.
Scott Stein

Windows 8 users who still miss the Start button will find an alternative on Samsung's new lineup of computers and tablets.

Buyers of Samsung Windows 8 PCs and tablets will be able to download a free Quick Starter program, which adds a Start button and a toolbar to open your files and applications.

The S Launcher program that lets Samsung users access the Start menu replacement was initially supposed to come with new PCs and tablets. But a Samsung rep confirmed to ZDNet in August that the launcher would not appear in the final products. Instead, it will be available as the free download.

A Samsung representative told CNET that the Launcher provides a taskbar that can open different applications and a Start menu that will have the same look and feel of the Windows 7 Start menu. Quick Starter is a feature new to Windows 8 and is designed to provide users with a "choice of interface" and "a familiar navigation scheme," the rep added.

As described by Laptop Magazine, the "widget" mimics the traditional Start menu by giving users access to programs, files, and Windows settings without having to rely on the new Start screen.

Samsung's Windows 8 PCs and tablets are now available for preorder at its Web site and will be available in stores October 26. The new Quick Launcher is not yet available for download but will likely pop up once the new Windows 8 devices get into the hands of consumers.

Windows 8 users can also reclaim the Start menu via such third-party utilities as ViStart, Classic Shell, and StartMenu7. But the S Launcher Quick Starter program comes straight from Samsung for Samsung PCs.

The Start screen has proved to be a topic of controversy in Windows 8, prompting some PC users to bemoan the loss of the Start menu. Microsoft has drawn a clear line in the sand, stating that the menu is gone, so quit your whining. But to placate their menu-happy users, other PC vendors could adopt Samsung's approach by offering a more traditional alternative to the new Start screen.

Update, 11:45 a.m. PT: Adds information from Samsung.

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