The Windows Start menu that was notably absent from Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system will return on Lenovo PCs with the integration of SweetLabs' Pokki software.
The feature, which Microsoft replaced with its "Modern UI" full-screen Start Screen for Windows 8, previously was available only to users who installed third-party software manually. Lenovo, now the world's leading seller of Windows 8 devices, is bundling this addition with all new devices sold in countries speaking Pokki's 13 supported languages, which include English, Chinese, Danish and Spanish.
The pre-installed software will also feature Pokki's own-branded app store, which hosts "apps" in the form of clickable icons that open various web services and games including Angry Birds, Facebook and Netflix. The firm's app store has also expanded to include installable desktop software such as Skype and Dropbox.
Sweetlabs CEO Darrius Thompson said, "We started SweetLabs to create the world's largest app distribution platform for developers, and today's announcement with the #1 PC maker on the planet, Lenovo, is a massive step in the right direction," adding, "We're proud that Lenovo has chosen to enhance the out-of-box Windows 8 experience with Pokki, complementing Lenovo's innovative devices with a better way for users to access and discover apps."
Microsoft is due to launch its long-awaited Windows 8.1 update in September, which includes a number of enhancements including Internet Explorer 11 and the ability to boot to the desktop, bypassing the Start Screen. While it does feature the return of the iconic bottom-left button seen on all previous versions of Windows, its function is to merely open the Windows 8 Start Screen.
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