Okay, I'm one of those weirdos that whole heartedly accepts and embraces the start menu enhancements that Microsoft brings forth. I still have friends who insist in using the Windows 95 like start menu on Vista - I'm not one of them.
I really liked how XP would order the most frequently used programs on the left side of the pane that opened when you hit the "Start" button. To me, that was like personal discipline - if "Rise Of Nations" was higher than Visual Studio was, I needed to get back in control.
Vista has a neat "Search" built in, in addition to the start menu, but unfortunately, the start menu has been compressed to this lame window that you can reach when you hit "All Programs". This is shown as below -
Of course I can use "Search", but I can't search for something I am not aware of the name of (say in newly installed programs), so I do find myself snooping in there every now and then. And when I do snoop in the above, I don't particularly like it. To me, finding something in the above "window/treeview" whatchamacallit, feels like repairing a car engine through it's exhaust pipe. I miss a "menu" that folds/expands.
Here is how to get that menu back.
- Right click on the task bar, choose "ToolBars"-> "New Toolbar".
- Choose this path - C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
- Hit "Select Folder"
- VOILA - you just created a neat start menu for yourself ===>