One of the biggest criticisms desktop PC users have of Windows 8 is the lack of a Start Menu. Lenovo has now announced a partnership with Sweet Labs which will bring the Pokki start menu to its new range of devices.
Pokki is one of the third-party solutions that were released to meet the demand for a start menu for Windows 8 and has been downloaded about 3 million times since it was released when Windows 8 went on sale in October.
According to both IDC and Gartner, Lenovo is currently the world's top PC supplier so its fortunes are closely linked to that of Windows 8 and in a bid to satisfy users who want a start menu approached Chester Ng, Sweet Dream's co-founder and CEO, during an Intel Capital conference. It will start to ship its new range of devices with Pokki pre-installed, initially in English-speaking countries "in the next several weeks".
But will consumers find Pokki an acceptable substitute? It has the advantage of being customisable, but it doesn't resemble the Windows 7 start menu and it does push apps, for example Angry Birds, that desktop, particularly enterprise users, may consider "crapware".
According to the Pokki announcement, Lenovo's decision to bundle it with its new range of devices, means that two of the top four PC manufacturers are now shipping Pokki (its other OEM partners are Acer and Toshiba) and it is expanding its own App Store in anticipation of its extended reach. It is inviting developers to have game apps featured in its Game Arcade and to build HTML5 web or social apps in full-featured desktop versions.
So this represents yet another opportunity for app developers but is it enough to have an impact on Windows 8?