About Start Software

Start Software is an award-winning developer and leading publisher of asbestos software, systems for the legal services industry and more.

Want to know more about asbestos software Alpha Tracker? Alpha Tracker is the most used asbestos software in the UK, Australia & New Zealand with more than 60m items of asbestos data stored.

Our legal services software Alpha Legal helps will writers, accountants, solicitors, IFAs and estate agents to communicate securely with clients. Read about developments here on the blog.

Or need help with Alpha Anywhere or Alpha Transform projects or software development? You'll find useful info here.

Windows 8 - uh?!

Clients are starting to ask now whether Tracker, Toy Tracker and other systems will work fine on Windows 8, the next generation Windows operating system from Microsoft. So, to start our testing process, we've started to test the Windows 8 Consumer Preview release which is a "beta" quality release from Microsoft aimed at getting feedback from users.

The "big new thing" is the new Metro user interface which sits on top of the classic Windows 7 desktop:

The Windows 8 Metro UI

It makes the PC look very like an Android tablet or iPad - very modern and very slick, but pretty hopeless if you want to do some "real work" with the usual Office products such as Excel, Word, Outlook etc.

You can drop into the classic desktop view to run these programs as usual but there is something obvious missing... the Start button!  This means that there is no easy way to access your program list, the Run dialog box or - most importantly for me - the instant Search box.  I use the Search box to find and run programs, find emails, find documents... and there simply isn't an equivalent in Windows 8.

It looks like I'm not the only one to find the lack of a Search box a pain - http://www.extremetech.com/computing/96249-5-deal-breaking-flaws-in-windows-8/2

It also means that it isn't obvious how to switch the computer off either - in fact, it is so obscure, I gave that as a test to Dan and Kim and they failed just like I did...


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