In pictures: The desktop lover's guide to supercharging Windows 8.1

Don't like the Metro interface? Here's the best way to banish it and boost your productivity.

In pictures: The desktop lover's guide to supercharging Windows 8.1 prev next

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Get Start8 There’s no Start menu like the old Start menu. You can choose from dozens of Start menu replacements -- our own Serdar Yegulalp has nine options in this Test Center analysis -- but the one I keep coming back to is Stardock’s Start8.

Start8 actually works better than the Windows 7 Start menu. Try it free for 30 days. Keep it, and Start8 will set you back $4.99.

While you’re at it, seriously consider getting Stardock’s ModernMix -- there’s an offer to download it at the same time as Start8. You may want to run a Metro app some day (forgive my blasphemy), and the way to do it is inside a window on your desktop, the ModernMix way.

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In pictures: The desktop lover's guide to supercharging Windows 8.1

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