Lenovo bolts Start Menu bloatware onto Windows 8 systems

first_imgBringing back the Start Button apparently wasn’t enough for Lenovo. The world’s biggest PC manufacturer has decided to start shipping Pokki Menu — a Start Menu replacement app — on its systems. The goal, presumably, is to strike a nostalgic chord with folks who pick up a new Windows 8 system.The introduction of the tiled Start Screen and removal of the Start Button sparked plenty of heated discussion around Windows 8. Third party developers smelled the opportunity and offered up apps like Pokki to placate users who wanted to reap the benefits of a new OS without having to give up the familiarity of the old.But as Ars Technica points out, Pokki Menu isn’t just about familiarity. Indeed, it’s not a simple duplication of the Windows 7 Start Menu. ALl the key elements are there, but Pokki does quite a bit more than just bring back the Start Menu.Pokki also includes its own app store, and it pushes recommended apps right on the start menu. SweetLabs wants to make sure users know about its own Windows 8 apps, and it’s also hoping to generate some referral income from paid downloads.So what’s the story here? Was Lenovo’s decision to include Pokki sparked by customer complaints? Has Lenovo lost faith in Microsoft’s vision for the desktop?Perhaps it’s just a cash grab, as bloatware often is. Companies like SweetLabs (who develop Pokki Menu) are generally willing to pay big OEMs like Lenovo to preload their apps. SweetLabs is no doubt hoping to generate revenue on an ongoing basis through its app store and the recommendations it pushes to Lenovo users.Those who hate the Windows 8 Start Screen will be pleased to see Pokki on a Lenovo system. Those who hate bloatware, not so much. Based on previous experience with Lenovo’s systems, however, you’ll be able to uninstall it if you want to.last_img