Are you bored of your Windows XP destop’s Start Menu? It is very plain but it does it’s job. But, if you are like me and have dozens and dozens of applications installed it can be a pain to locate the one you need quickly.
If you have seen a Windows Vista desktop, you might have noticed the shiny new Start Menu in Vista. In fact, that is one of my favorite things about Vista. The Start Menu is more functional in Vista with the search feature that brings up apps/items as you type.
VistaStartMenu is a small utility for Windows XP that gives you the same power and funtionality as the Vista’s Start Menu. You can get that Vista feature without upgrading to Vista. It not only looks like Vista’s Start Menu but comes packed with some very nitfy features:
- Slick transparent Start menu interface
- Groups apps visually so you can easily identify the application you want quickly.
- Single Click access to programs – normally you will have to find the folder of the application and then navigate to the actual application to open. With VistaStartMenu, the folder icon gets replaced by the application icon (see picture) and you can just click on the folder to open the app.
- It is flexible enough to let you resize the menu, resize the font size, etc. The icons resize automatically depending on the menu size.
- If you use dual monitor, you can drag the menu to either monitors.
- Menu also sports tabs for QuickStart & Autorun.
- You even get tabs for each drives in your computer in the menu
- If you rely on keyboard shortcuts a lot, you are in luck here. You get a command line to start typing the app name and apps show up as you type.
- In fact, you can use the same command line to search your computer (Alt+Enter) or search the Internet. (Ctrl+Enter)
- For powerusers, there is something called a QuickLaunch method that lets you navigate through the complete menu with keystrokes. This is very intuitive and you’d never need your mouse to navigate through this once you are used to it.
VistaStartMenu comes as a FREE & PRO version. For most folks, the free version would suffice and has most of the features mentioned above.
VistaStartMenu PRO version will set you back $19.99 but you will get these extra features:
- One-click Launch – that lets you just click on the folder in the menu without goign into it to find the executable
- Quick un-install – lets you quickly uninstall applications with a right-click
- Menu customization – Lets you order items, add new ones, remove the ones you don’t like, add more tabs to the quick menu, etc.
For those, who haven’t been able to adapt to application launcher programs like Humanized Enso, Launchy, RocketDock, etc., VistaStartMenu can be a refreshing change to their dull & boring XP Start Menu.
If you try it, let me know how you liked it in the comments.