Every month NetApplicatons confirms that Windows 7 is still the most popular version of Windows, but PC users are definitely seeing a pressure to upgrade if only because new PCs come with Windows 10 and consumers do not generally have the right to downgrade.
For some veteran users this means quite a bit of culture shock, but for them Classic Shell has always been a remedy, taking users right back to the well-worn conventions of Windows 7.
The 3rd party shell for Windows 10 claims to improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it. The main features are:
- Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins
- Quick access to recent, frequently-used, or pinned programs
- Find programs, settings, files and documents
- Start button for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
- Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer
- Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer
Now in a bit of good news/bad news scenario, the developer of Classic Shell, Ivo Beltchev, has said they will no longer be updating the free software, citing other priorities and difficulty keeping up with the rate of change in Windows 10. In a forum post he writes:
There were few factors that led to my decision:
1) Lack of free time. I have other hobbies that demand my time, some related to software and some not. It requires a lot of effort to add new major features to Classic Shell and keep it relevant. Even keeping it running on newer version of Windows is a lot of work. That leads me to point #2
2) Windows 10 is being updated way too frequently (twice a year) and each new version changes something that breaks Classic Shell. And
3) Each new version of Windows moves further away from the classic Win32 programming model, which allowed room for a lot of tinkering. The new ways things are done make it very difficult to achieve the same customizations
The good news is that Ivo has made the software open source, and has uploaded it to Sourceforge. The software has been provided under the MIT license, meaning developers who fork the project will be able to make their work commercial and sell their solutions and given that the software has received millions of downloads this should give developers an excellent incentive to keep working on the application.
So if you are pining for Windows 7 and feel trapped by live tiles, you can still nip over to SourceForge here and dip back into nostalgia.