With the latest update to Windows 8, Microsoft finally yielded to the demands of the Windows users and decided to add a Start Menu in Windows 8.1. But this new Start Menu is no match to the classic Start Menu that Windows used to have in the times of Windows XP. So if you are coming from Windows XP and have just upgraded to Windows 8.1, then you are perhaps not going to like this new Start Menu. If you want to bring back the classic Start Menu in Windows 8 or 8.1, then you can either use the open source Classic Shell or you can use the free Spencer application.
Spencer is a Windows application that shows a Windows XP style Start Menu in Windows 8 and 8.1. It comes as a portable program, so you do not have to install anything. You can extract the Spencer.exe application from the downloaded ZIP archive to any folder on your computer and run it from there. But to make it look like a real Start Menu, you have to pin it to your Windows Taskbar. In order to do that, you can right-click on Spencer.exe and select Pin to Taskbar as shown in the following snapshot:
Once you have pinned it to your Windows Taskbar, you are all set. Now you can click on the Spencer icon in the Taskbar and it would show the old classic XP style Start Menu that you are so much familiar with. It works along side the new Start Menu that has been introduced in Windows 8.1.
Conclusion: Spencer is a small and portable tool that shows up XP style Start Menu in Windows 8 and 8.1. It is very productive and useful if you have just upgraded from Windows XP and now have started using Windows 8 or 8.1 for the very first time.
You can download Spencer from http://thesz.diecru.eu/content/spencer.php.