Pokki launched its Windows 8 Start menu replacement back in early October and the company has revealed today that it has been downloaded 1.5 million times for the new OS. The download figures for Pokki, which also adds an app store for hundreds of desktop apps built on its platform, show that there's a demand for a traditional Start menu on Windows 8 — something that Microsoft removed in its latest OS that has sold 60 million licenses so far.

Microsoft's Windows 8 Start button removal last year was described by the company as a reaction to telemetry data that showed Start menu usage was dropping. Pokki's own data suggests that its users open the Start menu replacement 10 times a day on average. Pokki isn't sharing exact Windows 8 usage figures, only downloads, but a similar Start menu replacement from Stardock "sold tens of thousands of copies" after the Windows 8 release in October and Classic Shell's download figures have surged— suggesting there's definite demand.

A new version with the familiar Windows logo

Whether or not there's an increased demand for a Windows 8 Start menu, Pokki is pushing ahead by improving its app today too. An updated preview version includes a refreshed UI with a light theme option, and the ability to switch the Start button icon to a modern looking Windows logo. Search has also been improved so it's more accurate for locating apps, programs, files, and folders. Options to avoid Windows 8's new Start Screen are still present, with boot directly to desktop and the ability to disable hot corners part of a number of customization settings. Overall, it's the same Pokki you're used to, but with some neat refinements and updates. The latest version is available now at pokki.com.