A history of the Windows Start menu

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  1. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 34,521
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18290
       11 Feb 2016 #1

    A history of the Windows Start menu

    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....

    Read more: A history of the Windows Start menu | The Verge
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  2.    11 Feb 2016 #1

    I much prefer a classic start menu that I can customize rather than the Win10 mixture that includes tiles. That's a big reason why I'm still using Classic Shell.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    11 Feb 2016 #2

    Isn't the Windows 10 incarnation really just a Modern/Metro app in a big window?
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  4.    11 Feb 2016 #3

    I was happy, as in Insider, when I saw the initial direction the Start Menu was taking -- and then, the designers caved into the smartphone-UI crowd and stuck Tiles in it! We already had a Start Screen with tiles; I failed to see why we also needed what amounts to a smaller version of the same thing with Tiles.

    I, too, have switched over to using Classic Shell.
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  5.    11 Feb 2016 #4

    Hmmmm - I thought the tiles were there in the very first TP build
    (What I liked was that the first TP builds had a better windowing format - more like Windows 8.1)
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  6. Posts : 21
    XP/7/8.1/10 PRO 10586
       11 Feb 2016 #5

    The 10 Start Menu would have been flawless if they kept two things from Win 7 in it.

    The search all programs and menus right into the startbar, instead of using whoretana, and pinning your favorites on top, but I guess the pinning was not necessary because of the live tiles pinned to the side of it, replacing the pinning altogether.

    However I find when clicking "ALL APPS" in Windows 10 verses "All Programs" in Windows 7 is far less slower and less convenience then in Win7 how you clicked and all the folders were there bunched and quick to scroll, now you have to do everything alphabetically and really search, which is an annoyance. The Classic Shell option does justice for this sole purpose.

    Also not a fan of modern UI or settings menu. I prefer control panel. Rest is ok once you get used to it, but settings should die, forever.

    (Or until they fit SSD and i7 & GTX 980 power into a tablet that will replace the PC. Otherwise don't tinker with it. Still think there should have been only 2 editions. PC edition and Tablet/Mobile edition of 10, having Mobile and Tablet version to one and Windows 10 PC on the other, without the use of settings and modern crapI settings.
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  7.    11 Feb 2016 #6

    Classic Shell's menu offers many different features not found in the Windows 10 menu or any other Start Menu. The main benefits over the Windows 10 menu are:

    1. Submenus for quickly accessing anything, a vast amount of info can be organized using submenus on the right side
    2. You don't *have* to pin everything to make it accessible.
    3. Better, flexible presentation of All Apps (All Programs). You can make it show like Windows 7-style treeview or in multiple columns submenu
    4. Search is faster and shows your personal files unlike Windows 10 menu where you've to click "My stuff". You can even click or press Enter on the headers of categories to filter results (show only from that category).
    5. Jump to any item by typing its first letter, can show All Programs automatically when you click Start button
    6. Cleanly separated programs (mouse first, keyboard first desktop apps) vs touch-first Store apps
    7. Nice custom Start buttons and animated ones with adjustable size
    8. Customize icon size and DPI to make it as small or as large as you want depending on your resolution and usage (mouse vs touch).
    9. Skinnable
    10. Menu can open with Winkey on monitor with mouse pointer for those using multiple displays
    11. Open several apps by holding down Shift. This is extremely powerful, you can hold Shift to launch many things one after the other via search or by browsing menus.
    12 Search Providers to pass on search queries to another program or internet websites

    These and just some of the extra advantages. See the full comparison: Classic Shell View topic - Compare Start Menus:Classic Shell vs Windows 10 and others I think for the price of FREE, everyone could benefit from it.
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  8. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 901
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       11 Feb 2016 #7

    I really haven't seen any reason to not use Classic Shell, its far more powerful that even Win 7 start. I don't notice any overhead and its highly configurable. I do still keep a link on the task bar to the Metro interface just incase I some time want to try it out. So far that hasn't happen for me, apps just don't make in on computer. I do wish someone would make my gadgets into apps as I think there would be less overhead? perhaps better boot up times. 8 Gadget pack and the 4 gadgets I use, do take about 15 seconds to load.
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  9. Posts : 21
    XP/7/8.1/10 PRO 10586
       12 Feb 2016 #8

    Unfortunately like Gadget 10 for W10 and a few other startup programs do take its tool on boot up times in W10 or any O/S for that matter and presently the only real way solution is to have an SSD as a boot drive. That's the only thing I find makes a difference in anything, then when I try to go back and use a mechanical drive I start to get impatient, lol. I could only imagine how lucky are the users on Samsung 950 M2 cards with read/writes in the 2200/1100 range. Must be grand speeds.
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  10.    12 Feb 2016 #9

    Another vote here for Classic Shell.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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