Windows 8 Start Screen (previously also called Metro Screen) is the first thing you see when you start your Windows 8 computer. This lets you open various applications and Windows 8 apps easily, especially if you have a touchscreen monitor. But Windows does not allow you to add anything other than the basic tiles related to apps and shortcuts to different desktop applications. If you want to add more gadgets to the Windows 8 Start Screen, then you can use the free Start Screen Unlimited application from the Greatis Software. Its Lite version adds power controls (shudown, restart, reboot etc.) and a Google search box to the Start Screen, but the paid version gives you support in addition.
The Start Screen Unlimited can be downloaded from the website of the Greatis software. The download is a very small setup installer. After the installation, it displays a basic informational window called Welcome Screen which shows which components would be visible through the Start Screen Unlimited.
Now you can switch to the Windows 8 Start Screen by pressing the Windows logo key on your keyboard. If you are using some sort of Start Menu replacement (like Classic Shell), then you have to disable it or turn it off. You can also open the Start Screen by touching the right edge of your screen and select Start.
As you switch to the Start Screen, you would see a new gadget bar floating on the top. This has basic power options – shutdown, reboot, sleep, hibernate (if its enabled on your PC), button to open Control Panel, a Google search box (which opens in your default web browser) and a digital clock.
All these features are already available in Windows 8 but you have to click around in order to access them. For example, you can access the power options from the Settings screen, but you have to first press the hotkey Win + I to open the Settings side bar and then click on the Power icon to see all the options. The Start Screen Unlimited saves you from this trouble and shows you the power options right on the Start Screen.
Conclusion: The Start Screen Unlimited adds a little more life to the Windows 8 Start Screen by adding power options and direct access to the Control Panel. It also adds a quick Google search bar which comes very handy for searching something online (but is a disappointment to the Bing or Yahoo! users).
You can download Start Screen Unlimited Lite from http://www.greatis.com/startscreenunlimited/.