November 4, 2012 / IST / OS.

With more than four million upgrades over the first weekend of its release and many millions more expected in the coming months, Windows 8 is quickly becoming a daily reality for many people around the world. Given its unique differences from its predecessors, a learning curve is required and everyone is certain to find a feature or two that seems unwieldy.

Whether you want to pretty things up, reclaim your stolen “Start” button or take the reins over every facet of your experience, here are three tools that let you own Windows 8:

1. Windows 8 Manager

If you’re familiar with Windows 7 Manager from popular application maker Yamicsoft, then you already know what to expect with Windows 8 Manager: every tool that you could possibly envision in your battle to control your PC! Like its predecessor, Windows 8 Manager provides the tools that you need to both customize your Windows 8 interface and keep things running smoothly under the hood, as well.

The one downside here is that, while it is free to evaluate Windows 8 Manager, unlocking its full potential as a Windows utility requires that you purchase the full version.

2. OSX Skin Pack

Whether you’re an Apple person who’s been forced to use Windows 8 at work or a Windows user who’s always admired the clean, sleek look of Mac computers, this cool skinpack for Windows 8 will allow you to turn your desktop into a Apple-fan’s dream.

The treatment is purely aesthetic – you won’t be able to run Mac apps – but you’ll be able to replicate much of the surface experience of a Mac with this skinpack on your Windows 8 machine. The software includes RocketDock, a mimic of the classic Mac dock that rests at the bottom of the desktop, and Finderbar, a replication of the permanent top menu found in OSX, among many other tweaks and changes that give your Windows installation the roar of a Lion!

3. Classic Shell

One of the most oft-repeated complaints about Windows 8 is the abrupt and disconcerting disappearance of the Start menu, a mainstay of Windows operating systems since the release of Windows 95. If you’re happy with Windows 8 but miss that handy start button on your desktop, Classic Shell is the ultimate free software to get things back to normal on your PC.

Classic Shell simply places the start menu exactly where you’d expect to find it, functioning exactly as it did in previous versions of Windows. The look and feel of the button and menu replicates the Windows 7/Vista experience, but you can easily select a “classic” look that will take you back to the good old days of Windows XP.