If you want to have a Start menu strictly identical to those found on previous versions of Windows, Classic Shell is definitely the program for you. At the end of the installation, the Start menu appears and gives you the choice between three types of interface: classic, classic with 2 columns and "Windows 7 style".
After this, you will get back on familiar grounds with all the usual features of the "standard" Start menu of Windows: search, shortcuts to frequently used programs, Windows menus, logout, sleep, restart, shutdown and naturally the link "All Programs" with all the software installed on your PC (traditional and Modern UI apps). Attention! The "Windows" key now displays the traditional desktop. Access to the home screen of the Modern UI will be done via the "Charm Bar" in Windows 8.
Classic Shell has a very powerful setup menu where you can configure almost any item on the Start menu according to your needs (languages, skins, general behavior, icon of the Start button, animation and configuration of the menus, disabling the "Charm Bar" etc.). Classic Shell also offers additional features with the option to add toolbars in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.
Classic Shell offers a very detailed online help (but only in English), uses very few resources and even gives you commands that enable you to program "hotkeys" (for example to switch to Windows 8 home screen without using the "Charm Bar"). So it would seem silly not to take advantage of all the perks that Classic Shell gives you.
Classic Shell™ is free software that improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it.
The main features are:
Classic Shell has been in active development for 4 years and has over 10 million downloads.