Lenovo responds to questions about its partnership with SweetLabs (Pokki)

Last week, we learned about Lenovo’s decision to partner with SweetLabs and install a piece of software known as Pokki on all Idea and Think line units. The 3rd party software adds a traditional style start menu to Windows 8 in an attempt to help customer transition from Windows 7. This week, we reached out to Lenovo for more details about the partnership and their intentions going forward.

Lenovo declined to comment on the length of their Partnership with Pokki, but did state that they intend to keep shipping Pokki with Windows 8.1 later this autumn. The latest operating system update includes a new start button, which does not bring back the tradition start menu, but instead creates an easier way for users to return to the new start screen – it is a change Microsoft made in hopes of making the OS easier to use.

Users will not have the option during machine customization on Lenovo.com to choose whether or not they want Pokki installed – it will be preinstalled on all units; this decision is a blow to Microsoft who is being completely sidestepped in the process.

Lenovo did not give us a statement on how they felt Pokki would affect their relationship with Microsoft, but instead stated that "by preloading Pokki software on our devices, we are giving users a new way to get acquainted with the features of Windows 8…. Making the computing experience even better.”

Lenovo has also stated that Pokki has “imbedded discovery points” for the Windows Store allowing users to consider using Windows 8 modern applications, but the major concern with Pokki remains - users might decide to forgo using the Windows Store completely in favor of the Pokki app library.

Lenovo reminded us that they “are fully committed to Windows 8, which is preloaded on many of [their] devices across [their] Lenovo and Think brands” and that they “look forward to implementing Windows 8.1 on upcoming devices”.

The company shows no intentions of removing Pokki for a while to come.

Do you like the idea of Pokki or do you think Lenovo is butchering Microsoft’s latest operating system?

Michael Archambault