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Start Screen Unlimited Lite 2.0

Add much-needed functionality to the Windows 8 Start Screen

by Nick Peers

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License: Free, for personal-use only
Operating Systems: Windows 8
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: $19.95 (Windows)
Date Updated: 08 July 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 391
Developer: Greatis Software
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Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/Greatis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StartScreenUnlimited
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Start Screen Unlimited 2.0
Add missing features back to the Windows 8 Start screen.

Microsoft has had a hard job convincing people of the merits of the Windows Modern UI, so any help it can get to make the Start screen in particular more useful has got to be a good thing, surely? That’s the reasoning behind Start Screen Unlimited, which adds a customisable taskbar to the top of your Start screen packed with useful features.

These include handy shortcut buttons to the power, key folders and settings, a status panel, direct Search box and clock. After installation, leave both boxes ticked and click Finish to access the configuration screen, where you can choose exactly what options are available, letting you streamline the taskbar to include only those tools you need.

The default options are a good place to start – the taskbar will appear on the Start screen and within any modern app for easy access, so click Go! and you’re off and running. Better still, once you’re at the Start screen you’ll see you can drag and drop the different elements – clock, search and shortcut buttons, and drive info – around the Start screen to the perfect spot.

The search box defaults to Google, but you can choose from nine different engines from Twitter and Wikipedia to Ebay and Bing by clicking its dropdown menu. If the icons are taking up too much screen real-estate, return to the configuration screen via the main menu (click the ‘i’ button) and choose Compact Mode. Untick “Glossy style” for less flashy icons that blend in better with the Start screen’s flat look.

The free Lite version is limited to personal use only, but has pretty much all the functionality you could need or want. A Deluxe version removes this restriction, adds 3D menus and promises early access to future features.

Verdict:

Start Screen Unlimited fills a hole that leaves you wondering why Microsoft didn’t think to add these features in the first place.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 (v11.0.6)

Free Full Commercial Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 is a compact, simple, but surprisingly feature-packed disc burning suite.

The program makes it easy to create simple data discs and audio CDs, for instance: just drag and drop your files onto the list area and you'll be burning the finished disc in a couple of clicks.

That's just the start, though. Burning Studio 2013 can also create data discs with customised, interactive multi-page menus, perfect if you'd like a more professional way to share and present the disc contents.

A built-in backup tool allows you to create backups which may be encrypted, compressed, and span several CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

And there are modules to create VCD or SVCD video projects; burn video DVDs or Blu-ray discs from prepared folders; create, browse or burn disc images (ISO, CUE/ BIN and Ashdisc formats are supported); copy discs, erase them, design and print disc covers, labels and booklets, and more.

The focus throughout is on ease of use, though, and so Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 remains very straightforward, whatever you're doing. Most disc projects are created via the same simple interface, and for the most part all you have to do is drag and drop the necessary files. But experts will find more advanced options are only a click away, and if you need to then you can set ISO and UDF version, enable Joliet, make a disc bootable and more.

Note the download here will take you to the Downloadcrew Software Store where you can download Burning Studio 2013.

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