“Start menu” on Lenovo Windows 8 PCs looks like bloatware

“Start menu” on Lenovo Windows 8 PCs looks like bloatware

Lenovo will add a start menu, start button and own app store to its Windows 8 PCs. The applications are part of the Pokki platform, created by the American software developer SweetLabs. This company claims that it will enhance the Windows 8 experience of Lenovo customers.

It’s a bit of bloatware, though, since that means you’re also going to see the Pokki application store inside the Start menu. The experience looks pretty similar to what Windows users interacted with for years, most recently with Windows Vista and then Windows 7. When Windows 8.1 launches, Microsoft’s own Start screen will be there, but it’s going to look a bit different and instead will show the Start Screen, which isn’t the same as the Start Menu.

Pokki's Start menu provides some familiarity, with access to the Windows control panel, power options, and programs and files. But it will also nag you to install new stuff. "Apps are dynamically recommended in the Pokki Start menu, app store, and game arcade to users by SweetLabs’ real-time app recommendation system," SweetLabs' press release notes.

The press release said that the deal will not only bring a Start menu addition to Lenovo's PCs, it will also add the Pokki app store and game arcade as well. In June, SweetLabs announced a similar bundle deal with Acer, which means that the Pokki software bundle will be pre-installed on Windows 8 machines from the number one and number four biggest PC sellers in the world.

In a quick email interview with Neowin, SweetLabs marketing head Alan Masarsky said that the company "hit it off" when they first met with Lenovo a number of months ago. He added:

As evidenced by their recent takeover of the #1 spot in worldwide PC shipments (according to IDC), Lenovo continues to push the envelope with innovative new devices and we saw a natural fit to add our software to the mix. We believe this deal is fantastic for the entire PC and Windows ecosystem – helping users access and discover apps right from the desktop, and enabling developers to promote and distribute their apps to users.

SweetLabs also announced today that the Pokki app store and its app recommendation engine will add support for more app types, including traditional desktop apps, Windows Store apps, Pokki's desktop apps of web and social services like Facebook and Gmail and unique apps such as the Twitter desktop client Tweeki.

Masarsky told Neowin today:

We will continue to improve not only the menu but also our app discoverability points, such as the dynamic app recommendations and app store we provide. For example, we plan to expand support for developers who wish to promote their Windows 8 Store (fka “Metro”) apps as well.
Finally, Pokki is expanding its language options beyond just English with the addition of Chinese (simplified), Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Swedish, Portuguese (Brazil), and Russian.
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Write by: RC - Friday, August 23, 2013

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