What does it tell you when the world's largest PC maker is adding a Start menu to Windows 8 through a third party? That's what Lenovo is doing with Pokki, one of several alternatives to Microsoft's gimped Start button. Yes, Windows 8.1 brings this button back, but it takes you to the Start Screen and doesn't give users the menu of options they've come to rely on. That's why vendors are taking matters into their own hands. Microsoft's next CEO could minimize the Win 8 backlash by simply giving consumers what they want.
While Microsoft is at it, the company should ditch the desktop in Windows RT. The Surface with Windows RT has been a total flop, and it's not just because Microsoft forgot to bundle the keyboard; it has more to do with the fact that users expect to be able to download desktop apps when they can't. It's easy to see why users are confused by the cheaper of the two Surfaces, as there's absolutely no point for it to have a desktop at all. With the exception of Office, most other apps run in the Modern interface. If Microsoft is serious about keeping RT around, it needs to ditch the desktop. This will also help Microsoft compete in the sub-$200 tablet market, where it's mostly about content consumption anyway.