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ViStart 8.0

Enhance the Windows Start menu in XP – or bring it back in Windows 8 

by Nick Peers

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Based on 2 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP


Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 11 September 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 13353
Developer: Lee-soft
RSS News Feed:
Twitter Feed:!/leechantrey
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ViStart 7.0 running in Windows 8
Restore the Start menu to its rightful place on the Windows 8 desktop.

If you want an example of how programs can evolve and adapt to new environments, take a look at ViStart 7.0. It was originally released to provide XP users with a little of the magic of Vista’s Start menu, but after a recent revamp is back with loftier ambitions.

Here’s the rub: Microsoft has dumped the Start button from the Windows 8 desktop, and that might be a deal breaker for some. In fact, it’s dumped the Start menu altogether – now pressing [Windows] or clicking the mouse at the bottom left of the screen brings up Windows 8’s new Metro interface.

And this is where ViStart 7.0 now comes in: it now emulates the Windows 7 Start menu, and still works in XP upwards, but it’s been tweaked to work in Windows 8 too. Once installed, the familiar Start button resumes its rightful place on the desktop and you’re ready to roll.

It also takes back the [Windows] keyboard shortcut, but you can still get back to Metro by placing the cursor right in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

If we’re honest, the results aren’t quite as good as they could be. Windows 7 users thinking it’ll give their Start menu an upgrade will find it too limiting in the long run: there’s no drag and drop support, nor can you pin items permanently to the Start menu. But XP users looking to emulate the Windows 7 look, or Windows 8 users facing the alternative of having no Start menu at all, will learn to live with its foibles.

Two shortcuts are pinned to the Start menu by default: your browser and email client. These can be changed via the program’s Notification area icon, where selecting Options let you change these and other settings, including a feature called “Auto-click”, which basically automatically opens the All Programs menu and its sub-folders simply by hovering the mouse over it for a few seconds.

Another thing in ViStart’s favour is the fact it can be quickly and simply disabled from its Taskbar Notification area icon: select Options to stop it loading with Windows, and then simply quit from the icon to restore the status quo. There's no re-engineering going on here.

You can also download new skins and buttons should you wish to give the Start menu a makeover – these are hosted at Lee-Soft’s website


Worth installing if the absence of the Start menu in Windows 8 is too much to bear, or you want to get the Windows 7 look in XP. 

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.16.11

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

What's new in 2.16.11?

 - Due to a bug in iOS 10, your notification sounds may not properly play until you restart your iPhone (press and hold the power and home buttons for 10 seconds).
- In groups, you can now mention specific people to get their attention by typing the @ symbol and choosing someone from the picker. 
- When forwarding messages, you can now send to multiple chats at once 
- Ask Siri to send WhatsApp messages or place WhatsApp calls (iOS 10+) 
- Answer WhatsApp calls right from your lock screen, just like a standard phone call (iOS 10+) 
- A new Widget lets you quickly jump to a recent chat or see which chats have unread messages (iOS 10+)