Microsoftís Start menu is a big deal. Itís the first thing many people think of when they think of Windows, or even Microsoft. The simple Start menu has existed for more than 20 years now. It started off as a way to make Windows easier to use, and now itís the center of how we interact with Windows on a daily basis. Whether itís launching apps, searching for documents, or simply shutting down your PC, you probably use the Start menu more than you think.
Microsoftís Start menu made its first appearance with Windows 95. It quickly became the go-to menu to find everything you needed from your PC, and it changed very little until the blue-and-green theme of Windows XP. The Start menu became so intertwined with the identity of Windows that users freaked out when it disappeared in Windows 8. It didnít take long for Microsoft to reverse course: the Start menu was brought back to life with Windows 10.
Microsoft has tried a variety of different Start menus over the years, but the Windows 10 version is the best combination of the modern ideas the company has attempted and the classic menu. The Start menu is iconic, and itís the identity of Windows. As long as Microsoft doesnít have any crazy ideas, itís probably here to stay for many, many more years.
Twenty years is a long time for any software, so letís take a look at how exactly the Start menu, and by extension, Windows itself, has changed since Windows 95....