Pokki, which makes software that reinstates the Start Menu, says 1.5 million copies of its Pokki Menu have been downloaded. Microsoft claims that it has sold 60 million copies of Windows 8, but that number is probably inflated because Windows 8 purchases may actually be for Windows 8 licenses supporting a Windows 7 install. That means at the very least there's enough Pokki Menus out there for 2.5% of the Windows 8 installed base.
Pokki Menu isn't the only Start Menu restorer on the market, so there are more customers who have reclaimed the Start Menu using other means.
And consider there are other customers who'd like the Start Menu back but haven't sought out Pokki Menu. Perhaps it's time for Microsoft to make the Start Menu an option in some future Windows 8 upgrade.
Windows 8 Padfone?
A Padfone is a smartphone with a 4.7-inch screen that snaps into the back of a larger screen to become a tablet.
It's unclear from the story whether Asus is interested in basing a Windows 8 Padfone on Windows Phone 8 with some tweaking or on Windows RT or on full Windows 8 with phone capabilities added.
Microsoft has moved Windows 8 applications to Windows Runtime so they can readily be ported to Windows Phone 8, so blending devices in addition to blending operating system programming architectures makes sense.
The tablet that the phone snaps into might even be something like the Surface RT, which has a removable keyboard so the tablet can be used like a notebook as well.
None of this can be done without Microsoft's blessing, so we'll just have to wait and see what they say to Asus' proposal. Here's what Asus' Benson Lin, corporate vice president of mobile-communication products, told the Journal: "With our Padfone concept, the phone plus tablet, I think it makes sense for Windows 8. There is no target timeline ... but we are interested in making Windows phones."
HP's CEO Meg Whitman stands behind Windows 8 despite its early failure to turn around the slumping PC industry, something it's not really fair to expect a new operating system to do, but which nevertheless many seem to have expected.
Whitman says HP will stick with Windows 8 doggedly and perhaps with blind faith.