Retro Start menu star Classic Shell heads out to pasture

Long a mainstay of the old-fashioned Windows interface fan club, Classic Shell’s developer Ivo Beltchev has thrown in the towel, releasing the code to SourceForge

start tiles scrabble
Jake and Lindsay Sherbert (CC BY 2.0)

Hundreds of millions of downloads just doesn’t cut it, apparently. Ivo Beltchev, who first released the Start Menu replacement in 2009, has decided it just isn’t worth the effort any more. Yesterday he posted this on his official web blog:

After months of deliberation, I have decided to stop the development of Classic Shell…

There were few factors that led to my decision:

1) Lack of free time.

2) Windows 10 is being updated way too frequently

3) Each new version of Windows moves further away from the classic Win32 programming model… The new ways things are done make it very difficult to achieve the same customizations

It seems that the Win10 upgrade treadmill has claimed another victim.

I wrote about Classic Shell two years ago. It was, and is, a valuable crutch for folks who want to stick with the Win7 (or even WinXP!) way of working with Windows.

What will become of Classic Shell? Looks like Beltchev is going back to his roots: Classic Shell started as an open-source product. He pulled the source code and turned it into freeware after discovering that people were selling it with little or no modification. As of yesterday, the source code has been posted once again to the SourceForge site, where it’s available under the terms of the MIT license.

As for support, Beltchev says:

I will keep the MediaFire download mirror for another 6 months. The forum on will stay open until the end of 2018, however I will not frequently participate in the discussions.

Classic Shell isn’t going away. Its remains to be seen if the open source community will give it the care and feeding necessary to keep it working in the face of the slings and arrows of outrageous Win10.

And there’s always rival-but-different Start10, from Stardock, as an alternative.

Join us for the wake on the AskWoody Lounge.


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