Who at Microsoft keeps using eye-bleeding colors? What's with the Spoiled-Apricot brown?
I so miss 1998-2003's movies when computing was supposed to be cool. Seriously, that could be a fun project for someone - re-map Win ___ 's ugly design into sliding stylish TV/Movie type UI's. The buttons would map 1-1, but you could have your choice of skins, say: Transformers, Matrix, Johnny Mnemonic, and Species 8472!
One variant could have the start menu be triggered from the middle of the screen, and then it flowers outward like a firework blast. Or maybe a Stargate.