Stardock Delivers Start11 Release Candidate

Posted on October 7, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 17 Comments

Windows 11 users who are understandably unhappy with the new Start menu now have a compelling new alternative from Stardock. Start11, now available in release candidate form. This follows the original beta release from early August.

“We put the first beta out quickly in order to regain some of the lost functionality from the Windows 11 Start menu,” Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says. “For this release, we’ve added several new Start menu layouts to choose from, restored context menu functionality, enabled repositioning of the taskbar, plus one of our users’ favorite features: Fences integration.”

New features in the Start11 Release Candidate include:

  • Returning the Start menu to the appearance of previous versions of Windows
  • Enhancing Windows 10 and Windows 11 menus with new functionality like pages
  • Repositioning the taskbar to the top of the desktop for Windows 11
  • Windows 10 style taskbar context menu for Windows 11
  • Windows 10 users can select a Windows 11 style menu
  • Improving the classic and modern search experiences

I’ve been using the Start11 Release Candidate since yesterday and it is a huge improvement, over both the beta and the horribly limited stock Start menu in Windows 11. You’re going to want to check this one out. Among the improvements I’ve noticed is that the two Start menu sections—called Pinned and Recent documents (yes!) in Start11—resize accordingly based on how much content is there, as seen above. Awesome.

You can learn more about Start11 and download the Release Candidate from the Stardock website.

Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (17)

17 responses to “Stardock Delivers Start11 Release Candidate”

  1. obarthelemy

    Can the bar be moved to the side ? On a 16:9 monitor, it's hugely better !

  2. mmcpher

    I've had Stardock on Windows 10 for a couple of years now, but for me, took a little too much effort and W10 was adequate enough that I just have left Stardock unused. But as this WFH paradigm has ground on, and I've continued to rely on VPN and multiple monitors, with VPN content and local desktop content displaying on multiple monitors, and switching back and forth, the limitations of the taskbar in particular, is a real problem.


    So when I recently heard the news about Stardock, I resolved to give it another look and try. But I want to upgrade to Windows 11 first. But at a minimum, I need things to display across 3 monitors locally, and when on a VPN, with some additional remote connection nuances as well. It is hard to know how, or how well, these things will work without actually trying them. I figure the best course was to get a stable Windows 11 working, even if that means waiting and seeing.

  3. scovious

    I would pay to have Stardock finish Dark Mode in more places. They should start with the copy + paste / move documents window.

  4. pachi

    Will try it out, hope they add in drag and drop support on the taskbar.

  5. lwetzel

    The best Start that Stardock has ever made. I have had them all but this is by far everything I wanted and Still, Windows 11 like.


  6. brettscoast

    Excellent stuff love stardock. This will make Windows 11 more bearable and usable.

  7. truerock2

    I guess people keep asking this:

    Why doesn't Microsoft hire Stardock to do the Windows 11 GUI?

    It's obviously far superior to what Microsoft developed.

    To me... this may be the absolutely most important question that could be asked about Microsoft. There is obviously something fundamentally flawed in the Microsoft organization.

    • hrlngrv

      MSFT acquiring and running Stardock would stultify Stardock. No further good ideas would be PERMITTED lest the existence of such ideas raise any doubts about MSFT's own UI design talents.


      The best we can hope for is an independent Stardock (and other alternative UI ISVs) and MSFT retaining the subsystems and interfaces in Windows to allow 3rd parties to change what MSFT provides as defaults.


      There's nothing flawed in MSFT thinking: 1) enterprise users are drones who'll unquestioningly use whatever IT departments allow them to use, and all IT wants is a low retraining costs as possible; 2) most home users use fewer than a dozen programs, all of which could be pinned to the taskbar or Start menu, and what such users really want is the simplicity of Chrome OS's shelf and launcher; 3) whatever few Windows users remain are uncontrollable, who'll dabble with 3rd party UI replacements promiscuously, so screw 'em.


      I suspect but can't prove that with the rise of remote desktop support, when Help Desk staff connect to users' PCs to diagnose and maybe fix problems, IT wants EVERYONE to have EXACTLY THE SAME desktop layout. Thus, I figure there's high odds its enterprise IT behind the Windows 11 taskbar being immovable from the bottom of the screen. The most blame I'd put on MSFT is that it took less effort for MSFT to remove taskbar placement configurability than to add a group policy setting to disable it.

    • aretzios

      I am using Stardock's Start11; it works great, as did Start10 for Win10. Stardock has another great product, something that Microsoft tried to do and failed (at least, abandoned): Groupy. Groupy is a great application that allows to put together a number of applications in a single window and switch between them in tabs. If one works with two and three programs and they all contribute material to a document, this is a fantastic solutionl

  8. digiguy

    I also recommend StartAllBack as an alternative to this. Their previous version for windows 8 (startisback) was the best in my opinion back then

  9. slerched

    I'm using Windows 11 as designed.


    When it eventually gets deployed in our Enterprise, we surely will not be installing something on every machine to control the Start Menu and or users will just have to get used to it. May as well learn The Way now and be over with it.

    • omen_20

      Thankfully I just got a new laptop last year so by the time I get it, it will be fixed. This Dell won't update on its own past 1909 so I doubt 11 will auto install to it. I'm glad since a mile long task bar on the bottom of an ultrawide is just asinine.

    • hrlngrv

      Preemptive surrender.


      That's the spirit!

  10. proftheory

    Is Paul going to join Brad (Sams) someday?

  11. martinusv2

    I love Stardock. They have nice UI tools.

  12. thretosix

    I'm still waiting for Microsoft to apologize for Windows 11 and tell us about Windows 12.

Leave a Reply