Many people were irritated by the radical changes introduced by the new primary user interface of Windows 8, known as ‘Metro’. It was still possible to use a traditional desktop interface, but this wasn’t the default. Also the ‘Start’ button had disappeared, and many users were surprised when it became impossible to continue with the working methods they’d used for many years. It seemed like Microsoft were forcing users to throw away years of experience and start learning an entirely new user interface designed for touch-screen devices, with little demonstrable benefit.
There was such a backlash against the new ‘Metro’ interface that Windows 8.1 was soon produced, with some limited improvements. However, the ‘Start’ button was still missing from the traditional desktop. Some people just wanted to go back to Windows 7. Although it was theoretically possible to downgrade Windows 8 Professional systems to Windows 7, this would have involved a lot of work and was in practice not really worth the effort. In any case you would have ended up losing some of the numerous security and other improvements that were introduced in Windows 8.
The best solution to the problem was provided by the third-party tool ‘Classic Shell’, which could make Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 look and behave like earlier versions of Windows while keeping all the non-obvious benefits of the later systems. You could download the ‘Classic Shell’ software from www.classicshell.net and use it to make your new system look like Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP. You could also restore other ‘missing features’ from past Windows versions.
As time went by, Windows 10 appeared (there was no Windows 9). It has a menu that’s less useful than those that were provided by versions of Windows prior to Windows 8, and has still at least partially hung on to the ‘Metro’ interface. I suppose Microsoft weren’t willing to throw away all the work they did on ‘Metro’, despite its unpopularity. However, the good news is that there’s a new equivalent of ‘Classic Shell’ called ‘Open Shell’, and this works well to make the Windows 10 menu system look like the more useful menus provided by different versions of Windows in the past. You can obtain ‘Open Shell’ from https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu/releases.