Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Classic Shell vs. ViStart

If you have examined available FREE Start Menu alternatives for Windows 8, you may have come across 2 particular alternatives called Classic Shell ( and another alternative called ViStart (

I compared the 2 of these products and came up with the following differences:

  1. ViStart does not allow spanning the Start menu across multiple monitors
  2. ViStart has an extended load time and is filled with adware during the installation
  3. ViStart does not have an option to launch Windows Explorer by right clicking on the Start Menu icon
  4. ViStart does not provide additional Start menu options such as Printers or Network Connections
  5. ViStart does not have the extensive set of right-click menu options as presented in Classic Shell
  6. ViStart has poor searching functionality and cannot find items such as "inetmgr"
  7. ViStart does not have the ability to install the Start menu for "All Users" of the system while Classic Shell does have such functionality.
  8. ViStart does not uninstall "cleanly".  It leaves traces of "Start" as a text menu item with no associated Start menu orb.
  9. ViStart displays with a "shadow background" on Windows Server 2012 rather than integrating seamlessly into the Windows Server 2012 Taskbar.
  10. ViStart has special "Metro" Start menu items for "Show Metro" and "Show Metro Apps"
  11. ViStart provides additional skin options other than the standard look and feel associated with past versions of Windows ranging from Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  12. Both ViStart and Classic Shell provide an option to skip the Metro User Interface and go directly to the Desktop.
  13. Classic Shell uses a "Shell" icon instead of the traditional Windows 7 Start menu icon
  14. Classic Shell groups the Programs and Apps separately into a Windows XP style set of program groups vs. ViStart which offers the full "traditional" Windows 7 Start Menu interface

Classic Shell

ViStart on Windows 8

ViStart on Windows Server 2012

ViStart Uninstallation "Start" menu

Overall, Classic Shell is the clear winner in terms of features and functionality that mimic the original Windows 7 Start menu!!

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