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Keep yourself alive

Everybody should know by now that change is life, and that keeping that up allow us all to have our minds active and our emotions alive. You should also be aware that the human nature itself is under constant variation and that it is also searching for new things all the time, reason why creativity is certainly a big part in everybody's lives.

Open-Shell screenshot

Reasoning upon the concept above, one must ask oneself: how could I extrapolate that special kind of change into my day to day, into the things I do and, most importantly, into the things I am looking at every day of my life. Lucky friend, you have come to the right place, because we have some answers for you here.   

The new Classic

Back in the day, Classic Shell was a software designed by Ivo Beltchev that aimed to allow for the customization of the Windows Start menu so that you can improve the access and visibility of your applications according to your liking, in order not to fall into the monotony of life, because, come on, we all are looking at the same dull screens just every day. Isn't it boring?

The tool was actually around for some years before finding its fame following Microsoft's extremely controversial decision to make and popularize certain operative system without a Start button or menu. From that point on, it remained popular even after the Start menu made an official return within ulterior Windows versions.

However, development of the program was sadly ended back in 2017, but before that fatal day, the developer implemented a transition for the tool to remain into an opensource software state. In other words, Ivo Beltchev gave the source code to the community for further maintenance and upgrade at will. That is why even with a dead Classic, the project was able to be kept alive. It just has been renamed, and not just once.

That way, Classic Shell was called Classic Start for a short time, but it was rebranded on July 2018 for the community as NeoClassic-UI. However, in order to avoid certain copyright issues, it is now being spearheaded under the label of Open Shell Menu, which totally fits given it's announced open source nature.

Is it still a Classic?

You will be happy to learn that despise all of the changes that this tool has been through, there are actually no major changes on the functionality of the software, as it is still the old and good free software that improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it.

That being said, the following key features still remain alive: 

  • Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins;
  • Quick access to recent, frequently-used, or pinned programs;
  • Find programs, settings, files and documents;
  • File size in Explorer status bar is shown;
  • Classic-style Start Menu button for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10;
  • Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer;
  • Title bar and status bar for Internet Explorer.

Controversies

You might have heard of some people being afraid of programs altering your operative system without you actually know what is happening. Do not panic! What you should know here, is that the software is programmed in C++, and that, although it modifies Windows behaviors, it does not do so by tweaking the registry settings or replacing or patching system files, as the modifications are done using APIs. In a nutshell, nothing to worry in here.

Being nostalgic is a choice

In conclusion, if you were already familiar with the original software Classic Shell, or with the ulterior versions like Classic Start, NeoClassic-UI or Open Shell Menu, now you know that they are all the same useful thing, so, just download it. If you were not familiar with it yet, well, you just have to try it.

I mean, the tool is still a nice utility to install on computers for people that are kind of a bit resistant to change, or that just prefer the older style menu. It has nothing to do with being nostalgic though, you might just prefer the way it works, the stuff it allows you to do and the way it relates to the user. What are you waiting for? Bring the classics back!

by Augusto Baldi

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