Saturday 10 March 2012

Windows XP and the Classic Start Menu

By default the Start menu in Windows XP looks quite different to Windows 2000. I quite like the new menu – I find it increases my productivity. However, some people prefer the old style Start menu. Nothing wrong with that – Windows XP has an option to change to the “Classic Start menu”.

Now, to reduce training costs (or because the management in IT don’t like change), some organisations want to make the Classic Start menu the default. Again, nothing wrong with that. The problem is that the normal way of doing this is to set the Explorer option NoSimpleStartMenu via the registry or Group Policy (where it’s called “Force classic Start Menu”). Unfortunately, when you set this entry you don’t just make the classic the default, you also disable the new “Simple Start menu” so no-one can use it.

Now I get given my new PC at work. I log in and see the classic Start menu. I then go to change it to the new simple Start menu and I can’t because that option isn’t available anymore. Not happy Jan.

I mean didn’t someone at Microsoft think that perhaps there should be an option to set the classic Start menu as the default but allow users to choose the simple Start menu if they wanted? Would that be such a revolutionary idea?

It’s just not good enough!

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