Just use Windows 10, the latest versions allow the "Start Menu" back more or less
https://www.howtogeek.com/197836/8-ways ... tart-menu/
Or you use free opensource http://www.classicshell.net/
to bring back the Start Menu..
With Windows 10 its easy to download from MS directly for free https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/softwar ... /windows10
and I have seen a fair amount of folks just activate it with a free activator, just use something that passes Kaspersky anti-virus or something similar.
Kaspersky antivrius is from Russia and is designed to overlook hack/programs that activate MS software for free but don't actually contain any nasty trojans/spyware.
Or even just use online dodgy online non-Microsoft KMS activator servers and run will run your Windows 10 install as an enterprise edition, you just need to download an opensource activator script..
The only other important with Windows 10 is disable Fastboot/Fast-startup so that every time you reboot windows, you actually do get a fresh clean reboot everytime you reboot. In the age of SSD drives the Fastboot idea is just a dumb idea.
https://www.howtogeek.com/243901/the-pr ... rtup-mode/
There has never been an easier time to use MS products for free, risk-free, at least for home personal use, it would seem...
The reason why its so easy to use MS software for free is the fact MS would rather let you use their latest software for free (with a dash of dodginess) rather than lose anyone to the competition like Apple and Linux etc.