Upgrade, Downgrade: Pokki Offers Windows 8 Users a Familiar Menu

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together at San Diego’s DivX (now part of Rovi), and raised their initial funding from Bessemer, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and a group of individual investors that includes DivX co-founder Jordan Greenhall, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and Photobucket co-founder Alex Welch.

SweetLabs says its Pokki platform has surpassed 2 million monthly active users—double the number of people who were regularly using the Pokki ensemble of apps and games in September.

SweetLabs designed Pokki to let users start programs directly from a task bar, even Web-based apps like Gmail that would normally require opening a browser. Right-clicking on Pokki’s acorn icon opens a menu with a familiar-looking list of Favorites, All Programs, and Control Panel. Clicking on All Programs brings you to all the application folders and programs installed on your PC. SweetLabs initially developed Pokki as a free download for the Windows 7 operating system, and also offers free versions for Windows Vista and Windows XP as well.

Pokki, Windows 8

Pokki for Windows 8 favorites menu

SweetLabs has not yet laid out its plans for making money. The company first wants to build a significant Pokki user base. Ng says the company could sell virtual goods through the Pokki app store for games like Angry Birds and monetize its app recommendation service

Beyond the Start Menu functionality, SweetLabs says the Pokki Menu includes a centralized notification center, a smartphone-like home screen for organizing apps, sites, files, folders, and access to hundreds of free Pokki apps. The Pokki for Windows 8 beta is available for free download here.


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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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