Where is the classic start menu in Windows 7


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People do have choice. You buy laptop and you uninstall Windows, delete OEM Volume on your hard drive and then install Linux distro. That's what i did with my Toshiba Laptop.

Yes, that's an awesome solution for my Aunt, Parents, and Grandmother! And yes... they all love Ubuntu that I had to install for them. Now how do you suggest the rest of the world buy a computer with it pre-installed so that application designers see it as a viable platform? Order it from Dell by clicking on a hidden link that is not very descriptive at the bottom of the page?

Old menu was more elegant and easier to navigate through and it's just more effective then new start menu. New start menu is a mess and start search bar is in totally wrong place. Start menu should be broken into categories like it's done in GNOME on upper taskbar. System, Places etc...

I agree.

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This will make things a lot easier as we can see the differences side by side.

The classic to "me" looks clutter and ugly. For me to find what I need, I have to go through menus and then more menus, which then in the end all I see in front of me is menus going across the screen. Windows 7 makes it easier with the jump list, and Start seach. Pinning is a very useful feature imo. The only point of changing the start menu is to make it look cleaner, find what we need faster(start search) and easy access to what programs we frequently use.(pinning) :)

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Old menu was more elegant and easier to navigate through and it's just more effective then new start menu. New start menu is a mess and start search bar is in totally wrong place. Start menu should be broken into categories like it's done in GNOME on upper taskbar. System, Places etc...

What exactly about the classic Start menu made it "more elegant and easier to navigate?" Because I couldn't disagree more. I found the classic Start menu very difficult to navigate, with its numerous fly-out columns that would sometimes hide more menus and sometimes not, its lack of any built-in search window, etc.

Do you really prefer the classic Start menu, or are you just used to using it, making the newer Start menu more foreign to you?

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Just FYI, I found a workaround for making the Windows 7 Start menu area bigger to show more items without scrolling. It's a pretty horrible workaround but it's made my use of the new start menu more tolerable:

Go into the Start Menu "Customize..." option and turn on everything you can. Any option in there, turn it on. It bloats the right hand links bar so that the start menu pulls open further, exposing more list area for the All Programs menu.

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Just FYI, I found a workaround for making the Windows 7 Start menu area bigger to show more items without scrolling. It's a pretty horrible workaround but it's made my use of the new start menu more tolerable

Um, why don't you just organise your 'start menu' better? :/ That's what would "[make your] use of the new start menu more tolerable"!

I have 23 folders in the 'All Programs' section of my 'start menu' in Windows Vista and I have no scrollbar - in fact, I still have room for more!

I bet your 'start menu' is full of random shortcuts and links with maybe a few folders here and there...?

Here's an idea - Why not organise it into different sections, types or software companies? I have folders for Microsoft, Apple. Google. Adobe and Sony software. I also then have "Programming Software", "Graphics Software", "FTP Software", "Computer Security", "Media Players", "Web Browsers", "Communications Software", "Games", etc. Not only does this make it much easier to find programs but it also makes the start menu much tidier and it all fits in the space without a scrollbar - much easier to navigate (and even easier to navigate than it was with the 'classic start menu'

I don't see how you can blame Microsoft just because you are obviously very unorganised with your 'start menu'. Microsoft have actually made it more efficient and easier to use, you and others just wreck that usability by putting loads of shortcuts all over the place and not organising them.

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Okay, doing more experimenting with the Windows 7 Start Menu. The thing I noticed this time is a special exception to the "Lists must remain in the list pane of the Start Menu" rule. If you mouse-over "Getting Started", you will notice that the Start menu expands to show the sub-options of this option. Sadly, this is the only case of this expansion that I could find. I noticed that the Getting Started feature was a control panel, so on a whim, I decided to pin a control panel to the Start Menu to see if it exhibited any similar behavior. Not only did it not exhibit similar behavior, but it appears that if you pin a Control Panel to the Start menu, there is no way short of perhaps Registry editing to unpin it. If you right click the pinned Control Panel entry, it simply has "Open" as an option, and nothing else. (Most everything else I've tried has "Remove from this list" as an option.)

If I am missing something obvious, please tell me. I'd like to get these control panels out of my default list because I have so little precious space to work with as it is...

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Um, why don't you just organise your 'start menu' better? :/ That's what would "[make your] use of the new start menu more tolerable"!

I have 23 folders in the 'All Programs' section of my 'start menu' in Windows Vista and I have no scrollbar - in fact, I still have room for more!

I bet your 'start menu' is full of random shortcuts and links with maybe a few folders here and there...?

I have currently 7 more items in the All Programs menu than the OS itself starts with on a clean install, I did not bring over my old start menu with me. There are 17 items by default in the Win7 64 install (It has two Internet Explorer items, bringing it 1 up from the 32bit install). Using the default settings, the Start menu only expands far enough to show 20 items in the "All Programs" list without scrolling (This changes as more items go into the initial start-menu list, as it pushes the frame up for these icons, but once the start menu size is determined (At click time) it does not change even if its contents change. You can also further expand the list artificially using the method I described in my previous post.)

Here's an idea - Why not organise it into different sections, types or software companies? I have folders for Microsoft, Apple. Google. Adobe and Sony software. I also then have "Programming Software", "Graphics Software", "FTP Software", "Computer Security", "Media Players", "Web Browsers", "Communications Software", "Games", etc. Not only does this make it much easier to find programs but it also makes the start menu much tidier and it all fits in the space without a scrollbar - much easier to navigate (and even easier to navigate than it was with the 'classic start menu'

This would work well, if the sub-items of the list actually expanded into a different list window. They don't, it expands directly down into the same list, making the use of folders not fix the scrolling problem. The main problem I have with scrolling other than not being able to see what I have available to me at a glance is memory targeting. With a scrolling list, based on how you access the list, even if the contents do not change, the position of the contents can. Which is one of the things I liked about the old Classic Start Menu, where if you haven't added anything to your Start Menu, and your resolution remains a constant, the positions of all your programs and program groups will be static, aiding memory-based location. (Even if you added an item to the Start Menu, by default, it would add to the end of the list, meaning that it would never mess up your icon placement by adding, unless you intentionally drag-dropped it somewhere else, or intentionally ran the "Sort By Name" menu item.

Below are two screen shots of a Win 7 Start Menu using default settings to show the size. There are as I said 7 more items in the list than a default, clean install, but you can only see some of them as it already has to scroll.

post-278612-1232518140_thumb.jpgpost-278612-1232518149_thumb.jpg

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Um, why don't you just organise your 'start menu' better? :/ That's what would "[make your] use of the new start menu more tolerable"!

I have 23 folders in the 'All Programs' section of my 'start menu' in Windows Vista and I have no scrollbar - in fact, I still have room for more!

I bet your 'start menu' is full of random shortcuts and links with maybe a few folders here and there...?

Here's an idea - Why not organise it into different sections, types or software companies? I have folders for Microsoft, Apple. Google. Adobe and Sony software. I also then have "Programming Software", "Graphics Software", "FTP Software", "Computer Security", "Media Players", "Web Browsers", "Communications Software", "Games", etc. Not only does this make it much easier to find programs but it also makes the start menu much tidier and it all fits in the space without a scrollbar - much easier to navigate (and even easier to navigate than it was with the 'classic start menu'

I don't see how you can blame Microsoft just because you are obviously very unorganised with your 'start menu'. Microsoft have actually made it more efficient and easier to use, you and others just wreck that usability by putting loads of shortcuts all over the place and not organising them.

Shouldn't the computer help the user stay organized and not the other way around??? Regardless of where the fault lies, blaming the user is absolutely the wrong idea.

Or aside from that, not everyone organizes their start menu the same way, and the paths to reach all the folders and shortcuts in the start menu aren't intuitive at all...

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Did KDE folks steal the windows start menu for kde4 or did the MS folks steal it from KDE?

I hope they steal from each other, 'cause both have good ideas, so that means we get the best improvements.

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This would work well, if the sub-items of the list actually expanded into a different list window. They don't, it expands directly down into the same list, making the use of folders not fix the scrolling problem.

Uh, what "scrolling problem"? Which takes more effort, rolling the mouse wheel a teeny tiny bit, or clicking down several nested menus to find your program? Oooh, the effort involved in moving a wheel must be sooooo much of a strain for you...

Or, in fact, which is quicker. Spending ages finding your program, or tapping the Winkey and typing the first few letters of your program?

I think you've just not bothered to TRY to use the improved Start Menu, and just don't like change. Well, that's absolutely great. Enjoy staying with XP whilst the rest of the world leaves you behind.

Did KDE folks steal the windows start menu for kde4 or did the MS folks steal it from KDE?

KDE stole it from Microsoft. Before Windows, Linux GUI's with a billion times uglier than they are now, and then they started to copy the Windows way, and did a rubbish job of it. So instead, some copied the Apple way, and did a rubbish job of THAT too. Seems all Linux can do is copy the pro's when it comes to desktop GUI's.

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Go into the Start Menu "Customize..." option and turn on everything you can. Any option in there, turn it on. It bloats the right hand links bar so that the start menu pulls open further, exposing more list area for the All Programs menu.

Erm...why don't you just set the 'number of recent items' in that same dialog to a higher number? Achieves exactly the same without listing all the stuff on the right halve of the menu.

Basically what happens in the Vista-style menu is that for most uses, everything you need aside from pinned applications is covered by the recent items list. No more fussing around ever expanding menus, everything for Joe and his mother are right there. If you need more items, increase the number listed, use small icons or pin more items you use often. Then finally there are some self-declared powerusers left that need access to even more. And they would be helped most by taking control off the all programs list and organize it.

With this design, Windows handsomely addresses 99,9% of users, except for the handful of complainers on the techboards, declaring that the '95 way of doing things is still the most 'elegant' (which is ofcourse a term that doesn't need explanation.... :rolleyes: )

KDE stole it from Microsoft. Before Windows, Linux GUI's with a billion times uglier than they are now, and then they started to copy the Windows way, and did a rubbish job of it. So instead, some copied the Apple way, and did a rubbish job of THAT too. Seems all Linux can do is copy the pro's when it comes to desktop GUI's.

That's exactly what annoys me the most about Linux, as much as I love it anyways. For desktop use, it contains zero (or I must have missed something) original applications. Apart from a few ported apps, on the UI side everything is a reverse engineered version of something either Microsoft or Apple created.

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Shouldn't the computer help the user stay organized and not the other way around??? Regardless of where the fault lies, blaming the user is absolutely the wrong idea.

Or aside from that, not everyone organizes their start menu the same way, and the paths to reach all the folders and shortcuts in the start menu aren't intuitive at all...

The problem with having the software do the organizing for you is that, like you said, not the same for everyone. I think there should be be a global bookmark-like organizer for the Start Menu. It has to be a single "program" that can collect shortcuts from All Users and current user and make managing them easier --> like managing bookmarks in Firefox or IE. Most importantly, it has to be simple and easy.

I have encountered countless computers where the All Programs list gets pretty long, and I tried showing them how to better organize. Unfortunately, the steps are "too long" and "too complicated." The organization, of course, doesn't last very long after I left.

post-117866-1232531621.jpg

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Sorry but this is the most pointless thread. There's no need to waste your time manually organising the All Programs list because there's no need to use that list. You know the name of the application you want so just search for it. It's easier than sifting through the All Programs menu on ANY version of Windows.

Anybody who objects to the search field and yearns for some Start Menu golden age is just being obtuse.

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The problem with having the software do the organizing for you is that, like you said, not the same for everyone. I think there should be be a global bookmark-like organizer for the Start Menu. It has to be a single "program" that can collect shortcuts from All Users and current user and make managing them easier --> like managing bookmarks in Firefox or IE. Most importantly, it has to be simple and easy.

I have encountered countless computers where the All Programs list gets pretty long, and I tried showing them how to better organize. Unfortunately, the steps are "too long" and "too complicated." The organization, of course, doesn't last very long after I left.

To be clear, I didn't say the computer should do the organizing for the user. I asked, shouldn't the computer help the user stay organized. As far as organizing the start menu, there's either a properties thing that isn't resizable, or a few folders scattered in various places where the shortcuts are stored.

As far as helping the user keep the Start menu organized, I think the default set-up works pretty well. But if the user is looking to implement their own custom organization, it's far from easy. So that's why in the context of the post I was replying to, where it was suggested that the user, "Just" keep their menu organized, I felt it necessary to note that while that sounded nice, in practice, it wasn't something a lot of people either know, learn easily, or want to take the time to do with the current set up that's pretty difficult to navigate.

EDIT: In short, we're on the same page, if the user wants to organize the menu themselves, it isn't easy to do.

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Sorry but this is the most pointless thread. There's no need to waste your time manually organising the All Programs list because there's no need to use that list. You know the name of the application you want so just search for it. It's easier than sifting through the All Programs menu on ANY version of Windows.

Anybody who objects to the search field and yearns for some Start Menu golden age is just being obtuse.

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That's exactly what annoys me the most about Linux, as much as I love it anyways. For desktop use, it contains zero (or I must have missed something) original applications. Apart from a few ported apps, on the UI side everything is a reverse engineered version of something either Microsoft or Apple created.

You need to educate yourself more then. There are multitudes of things that Linux distros have done before Windows/Mac.

  • the many different file systems allowing file restoration and management options (before Shadow copy and Time machine)
  • the program in Ubuntu that allows you to place a shutdown icon on the task bar that shows your Pigin IM status and allows you to change it
  • in the original KDE 3, the ability to place whatever clock style or dockable application you like in the taskbar
  • transparent launch bars
  • the original desktop widgets which were transparent bars floating on the desk with applications docked in them
  • the first desktop system to allow restarting the windows manager without rebooting
  • the first desktop systems to default a user to limited permissions and allow them to raise their privileges by either clicking on an icon or automatically asking them for an "admin" password
  • package managers that allow you to install and keep updated third party applications
  • extensibility of the desktop environment allowing people to add in 3D accelerated effects and transparent windows (before Aero)
  • the ability to completely change the window borders and look... and still work with other window managers
  • I could argue that Linux had the dock bar before Mac because you could create a center aligned floating launcher that sat at the bottom of the screen. Apple added a little flair to it by allowing the icons to puff up
  • remote desktop
  • ability to have the same interface (and interfacing with the desktop) in portable devices/car PC using the same kernel (Windows still has WinCE/Mobile)
  • mounting ISOs as folders or drives, mounting drives as folders (admittedly, the latter this was brought in from Unix)
  • Multiple Desktops/instances/multiple users on the same machine, with fast switching between terminals
  • Virtualization desktop applications
  • Live CDs
  • Wireless network list with connection quality graph

I could list TONS more things that Linux distros have done first in the interface and kernel before Windows/Mac.

You (and others here) simply live in some blissfully ignorant world where Linux can do nothing right.

Edited by andir
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You need to educate yourself more then. There are multitudes of things that Linux distros have done before Windows/Mac.

You (and others here) simply live in some blissfully ignorant world where Linux can do nothing right.

Sorry, but you mentioned nothing I didn't know and I already mentioned that I think that Linux does many things right. So I'm afraid you misunderstood. No need to make any rude assumptions: you sound like you're looking for flame, but lets just not ok? Don't be evil ;)

I am far from ignorant and love Linux as an OS because of many of the things you mention. Window management for one is just brilliant and APT is unparalleled. However, what I meant by desktop use is that for being productive in a professional environment or enjoying media or the internet, all main applications except Firefox are built for Mac and Windows. MS Office, Adobe CS, but also Winamp, Itunes, you name it. OpenOffice, GIMP, XMMS, Amarok etc. are not at that same level and Wine does not cut it however much I'd like it to. Some open source projects eventually get ported, like Filezilla and VLC, and Google Chrome will follow, but you'll be months behind on whats new and hip. I do hope Ubuntus momentum continues encouraging closed source developers to port their applications. Drivers and codecs have come a long way the past few years.

Anyway, whats all this got anything to with the start menu?

It is kinda disappointing that MS couldn't think of something to hand control of the all programs list to the user. Search and most-recent-lists are fine but also kind of 'bail out' options working around the problem rather than solving them...something for Windows 8 perhaps?

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It is kinda disappointing that MS couldn't think of something to hand control of the all programs list to the user. Search and most-recent-lists are fine but also kind of 'bail out' options working around the problem rather than solving them...something for Windows 8 perhaps?

I just want a way to customize the start menu and get rid of the things I don't need to use. It's what ****es me off so much about Win 7. I don't need the back/forward/location bar on every window. I don't need the "Organize" bar on every window. I just want the OS out of my way. they keep shoving it in my face more and more and I don't need, nor want those features and can't turn them off. Microsoft keeps thinking of ways to push their ideal interface and it doesn't work for what I do. It takes up too much screen space, removes features I used (lines in trees, +/- icons)... I'd love to switch to Linux full time, but as you stated, third party apps have yet to catch up and the company I work for has little interest in allowing anything else.

I didn't mean to sound rude, but you stated that the desktop had zero original applications. I have to ask... what would you consider original? The basic application structures are in place. Spreadsheets, Word Processors, Image Editors, Media players... what else is there for productivity? The only thing I can think of that's lacking in Linux environments is CAD/Design software. My Dad uses AutoCAD for Electricians and the only way I can get it to run for him is through a VM image of his old Windows box. Wine is making epic strides recently comparatively and I just keep trying it there. Otherwise, he can do everything else in Linux.

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what would you consider original? The basic application structures are in place. Spreadsheets, Word Processors, Image Editors, Media players... what else is there for productivity?

CAD is a serious issue, even on Mac. It would not surprise me if it was just too complex to port. I realize now I have not been clear. What I mean with 'original apps' is that research and innovation tends to happen on Mac or Windows based software. Although the applications and their basic concepts are wellknown and have been available on Linux for ages, apps like OpenOffice, GIMP and the media players are made to resemble closed source applications and will probably play catch-up forever. Aside from a small number of interesting usability concepts (like tear-off menus in GIMP, virtual desktops) the open source development community is very code centric.

On 7...MS is trying to make a GUI that suits the majority. I would argue that at least with 7 they are rather successful at it. They are also trying to reduce complexity in Windows from a code point of view. This sadly cuts into customizability options. Business-wise I find it hard to argue with the strategy, so I wonder how many options there are for third parties to modify the GUI?

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I wonder how many options there are for third parties to modify the GUI?

Apparently there's quite the start up market for restoring classic work options: http://www.addintools.com/english/menuoffice/

You have to pay $30 or a feature that used to be a part of Office native. Obviously, the market is there. Someone is making money off it. Whether this was in Microsoft's plan is debatable. Being a 90% market share giant though means you have to maintain certain usability functions or tread that line of deliberate obfuscation that they were questioned about during the previous anti-trust hearings. They are simply doing this to "change" the system for change's sake and convert as many people as possible to the new methods that differ from the competition. If any car manufacturer had a majority share, it would be like that company deciding to change the fueling method of their vehicles forcing every other manufacturer to follow suit, retooling their entire line to remain compatible with the new fuel pumps being forced on the populous by the fuel companies trying to cater to the majority. This of course would cost the competition extra money in both patent licensing to the major and compatibility testing. That or artificially raise the price of competitor's vehicles to comply to the new defacto standard by forcing the users to purchase adapters to work with the new system.

It's an abuse of market power. Simple as that. There's simply no reason to remove code other than to forcefully change the way people use their PCs and make those that are used to the competitive methods pay more upfront costs to retain those methods.

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There's simply no reason to remove code other than to forcefully change the way people use their PCs and make those that are used to the competitive methods pay more upfront costs to retain those methods.

Well, wouldn't you say that MS has to update and support every line of code they put in their products? You argue that they should put it in as an option, but I think that maintaining every iteration of the interface in all versions for decades (when do you drop it?) is not a viable business practice, nor practical from a production point of view. Heck, there had to be people using the Active Desktop who were unhappy to see it go.... ;)

Another approach would be to open up to third parties to provide niche solutions, which at some level they are.

But I agree that the market share is absurd. Perhaps it's just because computers have been ubiquitous for only about 10 years and the competition needs time to reach a similar level of penetration. Which isn't helped by the fact that there are only 3 players in the game and they play completely different strategies. There are only 3 kernels with desktop computer potential, but how many car engine manufacturers are there?

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It's an abuse of market power. Simple as that. There's simply no reason to remove code other than to forcefully change the way people use their PCs and make those that are used to the competitive methods pay more upfront costs to retain those methods.

Evolution?

There's no reason why humans don't live in cabes cooking on a campfire apart from that times change and people move on.

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This was mentioned in another thread. I don't know if it works but here it is....

Classic Start Bar

Submitted by davidbrown2 on Thu, 2009-01-22 03:00

It is possible to use the classic start bar.

If you go to the theme selector and go further down to the High-Contrast themes, theres a windows classic theme there.

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This was mentioned in another thread. I don't know if it works but here it is....

Classic Start Bar

Submitted by davidbrown2 on Thu, 2009-01-22 03:00

It is possible to use the classic start bar.

If you go to the theme selector and go further down to the High-Contrast themes, theres a windows classic theme there.

Update: This does not provide the classic start menu from Windows 95,98,2000. I tried it. Windows Server 2008 R2 does still have the old start menu I understand. Some third-party app will come out to provide the classic style start menu in Windows 7. :rolleyes:

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