Windows 8 users tend to be polarized on one particular issue – the lack of a Start Menu. Some don’t mind its absence, but others have taken issue with the choice and sought alternatives. One such alternative has been SweetLabs’ Pokki replacement menu, something that Lenovo will begin including pre-loaded on its Windows 8 PCs.
The move might satisfy some users who find the absence of a start menu disconcerting, but could be seen as unwanted bloatware by others, particularly due to its hocking of various apps. Pokki displays apps within the menu, encouraging users to download items like – for example – Angry Birds. The offerings show up alongside the bottom of the menu with an “Install” button above them.
According to Bloomberg, Lenovo plans to start including the SweetLabs software on Windows 8 computers in the “next several weeks,” with the first round going out to countries that speak English. Eventually Pokki will also make its way onto other Lenovo computers as well, though when that will happen hasn’t been specified.
In addition to the apps, something that seems to compete with Microsoft’s Windows Store, is also a more common array of items one expects to see in the Start Menu: Control Panel, Computer, the various folders (Documents, Music, etc.), and some preferred applications, whether that be a browser or word processor or something else entirely.
Pokki became available when Windows 8 went live, and has since then been downloaded about 3 million times. According to the company’s co-founder and CEO Chester Ng, Lenovo approached SweetLabs during an Intel Capital conference. The company is also said to be in talks with other manufacturers, and may find its way onto more computers in the future.