.. but the list of programs shown is not definitive yet. Some of the entries exist because I am trying them out on behalf of some of my local clients. So far, there are twenty eight icons showing and the icon size is set to ‘small’. They have to be small otherwise I could only have ten program icons showing. The menu presently extends to maybe seventy five percent of the total screen height

Menu Win 7

Note that the programs are not in alphabetical order because the Start Menu does not allow for it.

Apart from that, it looks ok, yes? The only problem is that I have maybe one hundred programs/utilities which I regularly access.

Vista and XP allowed me to use what has become known as the Classic menu. essentially mimicking the appearance of the Windows 2000 start menu. I had twelve application groups showing above ‘Programs’ which included Communications, Games, Graphics, Multimedia, Office, Net Security, Office, System etc. Within these groups, I had program icons relating to genre.

Anybody who has ever used the Classic Menu will know that all one has to do is click on Start (XP) or the Orb (Vista) and then hover the mouse over whatever group, and then select a program from the neatly organised, alphabetically sorted flip out menu.

I also had Quick Launch showing, and there were items like IE, Control Panel, SIW, Messenger clients etc in there, just one click away. Everything was set up for ease of access, mindlessly simple.

One option to what I did as explained above was to accept the default list of ‘most recently used programs’ list which would show where my chosen apps are in the pic above, and then fumble through a mass of folders under ‘All Programs’.. Yikes. I visited some clients whose ‘All Programs’ list covered the entire screen. Most of them were pleased to find out that there was a better way to sort the list.

Windows 7 has ‘improved’ on my way of sorting the mass of programs by taking away the Classic menu and blocking all attempts to mimic it even, leaving me with the option as explained in the paragraph above, OR the ability to type the name of what I want in the ‘Search programs and files’ box which sits to the left of the Shutdown button on the Start Menu.

Apparently, it is easier to click the mouse cursor into the ‘search’ box, let go of the mouse, type in the name, scroll down to what you want, and then press the ENTER KEY. Part of this can still be done with the mouse, but it is a three part process.

Another Windows 7 option is to pin the program icons to the ‘Superbar’ which, unless checked to auto hide, is going to be ‘in yer face’ for the entire session!!

Quick Launch is still available but is hidden. I have written a piece on how to find it a couple of posts back. What I didn’t mention is that once found and enabled, you risk causing problems with the new ‘Superbar’. The originator of the warning was not specific about what problems, and it could be that the ‘problems’ warning is akin to a child’s fear of monsters under the bed.

Also, it sets up with a label attached to it which reads ‘”User Pinned”. This is in case you forget, but the label can be removed if your memory is up to it.. :-)

Now, bearing in mind that the default start menu (and features thereof) for Vista, XP and win 7 is as it looks in the picture above..

.. why does the Microsoft design team (and some users) find it so offensive to include the option of the older classic menu if the end user so wishes?

It is not as if the inclusion of the option forces any end user into the classic menu, rather than make the change to the new ways.