I'm trying to like Windows 8, really I am, but two aspects feel like a slap in the face: Forcing me to boot into the Start screen when Desktop mode is what I'd prefer, and the lack of a Start button in said mode.

Win8 StartButton is the latest utility that aims to right what's wrong with the new OS. Not only does it provide a "classic" Start button, it also gives you the option of making the desktop your default boot destination. Huzzah!

Right from the get-go, Win8 StartButton displays a Windows 7-style Start button and Start menu. You can venture into the settings to tweak everything from the look (Windows XP, anyone?) to the layout, but I suspect most users will be quite happy with the defaults.

During installation, make sure to choose the Custom option, otherwise you could end up with unwanted junkware: Torch Browser 2.0 and Media Player Classic.

It's worth noting that Win8 StartButton looks to be a slightly tweaked version of Classic Shell, the open-source Start solution I mentioned last week.

If you want something that's little more in keeping with Windows 8's app-centric philosophy, check out Pokki. It supplies a Start, er, acorn, plus a pretty robust app store.

Have you found a Start-button alternative you like better? Tell me about it in the comments!

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at [email protected], or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.