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Last post Author Topic: Is the Windows start menu dead?  (Read 34348 times)

BinderDundat

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2007, 12:36:11 PM »
For me the Start Menu is a bit like a catalogue.  There are programs in there that I use so infrequently that I don't remember their names.  Being able to look at the icons and file names lets me visually sort through the stuff I have in storage.  I have made a bunch of categories that help finding programs and I have extracted the useful executable onto the category's top level, with the program's install folder given a number for the rare occasions when it is useful (so as not to conflict with initial key navigation of the menus).  I also have a number of commonly used programs that are accessed via the initial keys.  (winkey), p, o, e launches Excel.  I don't use Excel every day, but often enough that I remember the shortcut.  Likewise there are a bunch of top-level entries that are there right away: (winkey), 1 opens my browser; (winkey) 2 opens Nero; (winkey) 4 opens my password manager and so on.  If for some reason, I want to open my video editing software (I haven't used it other than to explore the interface a couple of times) I can open programs and video and see what's in there.  Look at the attachment for my setup.  Please ignore the first image.  For some reason the screen capture utility didn't see the Start Menu, so I had to do it the hard way (printscreen and paste etc)
« Last Edit: September 23, 2007, 12:47:40 PM by BinderDundat »

sri

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2007, 12:58:45 PM »
I just saw this thread and wanted to add my opinion.

To me, the windows start menu is dead. It's useless now that there are excellent applications ike Launchy/FARR. I use Launchy and LaunchOnFly (last free version) for file/folder/program launching.
<a href="https://sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>

Josh

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #52 on: September 23, 2007, 02:26:47 PM »
Actually, I have to say that the start menu is even more useful to me now in vista. I simply hit the windows logo key, type what I am looking for, and its found in the start menu. I can even do folder browsing like in farr. The Vista start menu has impressed me. I love it

Darwin

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #53 on: September 23, 2007, 03:02:50 PM »
Actually, I have to say that the start menu is even more useful to me now in vista. I simply hit the windows logo key, type what I am looking for, and its found in the start menu. I can even do folder browsing like in farr. The Vista start menu has impressed me. I love it

This is why the Vista Start Menu is so great for Windows XP users!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2007, 05:43:22 PM »
[off-topic]Personally, if you give me the choice between Vista Start Meny and farr... especially with the new locate32 plug in...[/off-topic]  :P

Darwin

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2007, 06:16:15 PM »
Point taken, Armando  ;)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Josh

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2007, 06:21:37 PM »
Farr with locate32 is nice, however, I've found that the need to have two separate programs doesnt really justify resource usage when the start menu functions just as well for me, if not quicker, and uses resources already being utilized by the OS. Resource usage is my prime concern when it comes to choosing a solution.

jgpaiva

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2007, 06:24:26 PM »
Farr with locate32 is nice, however, I've found that the need to have two separate programs doesnt really justify resource usage
Actually, those aren't 2 separate programs, i don't use locate, only its database updater, when i need to update the DB, and that's something that probably vista start menu also does (if it includes indexing).

Darwin

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2007, 06:29:35 PM »
As far as I know, Vista Start Menu doesn't index anything. It's search feature is nice and quick (it has a "live" search feature which is very handy) but I'm not running it these days. I'm cycling through it, Dash Command, Direct Access, FARR (now w/the Locate plugin) and very occasionally now, Active Words...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #59 on: September 23, 2007, 06:41:19 PM »
Farr with locate32 is nice, however, I've found that the need to have two separate programs doesnt really justify resource usage when the start menu functions just as well for me, if not quicker, and uses resources already being utilized by the OS. Resource usage is my prime concern when it comes to choosing a solution.

I agree, to sme extent... And I do like the idea of the vista start menu.

But I'd need farr anyway (and locate is only 6.5 mb running): the vista start menu is not as feature rich. Also for me it's more coherent to use only one interface (farr) for all that app-file switching-launching-searching, etc.

In addition, I find X1 or Archivarius better than WDS... So if I was running vista, I'd probably have to ditch wds anyway. Would the vista start memu work without wds?

edit : oups was abit slow on the keyboard..Darwin and jgpaiva were quicker! As usual.

Darwin

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #60 on: September 23, 2007, 06:57:29 PM »
Just to clarify - I was writing about Dennis Nazarenko's Vista Start Menu, rather than the new start menu built into Vista!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Josh

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #61 on: September 23, 2007, 07:09:54 PM »
Farr with locate32 is nice, however, I've found that the need to have two separate programs doesnt really justify resource usage
Actually, those aren't 2 separate programs, i don't use locate, only its database updater, when i need to update the DB, and that's something that probably vista start menu also does (if it includes indexing).

Vista's start menu DOES have an indexer. Hence why you have "SearchIndexer.exe, SearchProtocolHost.exe, and SearchFilterHost.exe" running. These three applications make up the instant search capability that is possible in any explorer window, not just the Vista start menu. And as far as locate and farr goes, wouldnt farr need to launch locate32 in order for it to run? Wouldnt this slow things down for the sheer fact that it has to launch a program as opposed to using one which is already running? A better idea would be to tap into the Windows Search protocol and utilize databases that are already being indexed anyway. If locate could do what the Windows search indexer does, then I would use it. Right now, however, it only indexes on demand (via a scheduled update, or user-forced update) and does not integrate into explorer without having to first launch the application.

And yes, Vista's start menu is totally independent of WDS.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2007, 07:11:31 PM by Josh »

Armando

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #62 on: September 23, 2007, 10:52:37 PM »
Josh, when you say that Vista's start menu is totally independen of WDS, do you mean that it has its own indexer? (Sorry, I don't use vista...) [edit : removed the first useless part of the sentence)

BTW, i've never found XP's indexer reliable (Vista is obviously a  different beast with its tight integration of Windows Desktop Search). So, in XP, at least, I find the Locate32-farr combination (+X1/Archivarius for deeper search) a pretty handy thing to have.

A year agp I’ve also tested Windows Desktop Search against X1, Copernic, YDS and Archivarius and it was definitely less accurate, slower and offered less features. It might have improved though (especially in Vista)! It’S been a year… Have you extensively compared Vista’s search capabilities (in terms of accuracy, speed, features…) to other solutions?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2007, 10:54:21 PM by Armando »

Josh

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #63 on: September 24, 2007, 04:20:17 AM »
Thats just it, you have to install WDS separately, it is not used by the Vista search feature. Vista expanded upon the already existent indexing service and provided a way for users to see direct results of what it can do. When I visited mouser, I suggested he tap into the API for the indexing service as it provides a large database of many attributes of files chosen to be indexed by the end user.

Armando

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #64 on: September 24, 2007, 10:24:39 AM »
Thanks for the clarifications, Josh!

Josh

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #65 on: February 06, 2008, 11:15:21 AM »
I would like to add this. I have been using vista for about a year now and I have to say, I no longer feel like I have to be an OCD person to be able to organize my start menu. In fact, I dont care how its oragnized. The new built-in search feature is a god send and works BEAUTIFULLY. I type what I want and its found, all with a single key stroke. This feature alone makes vista worth the money for me as I have been far more productive.

Armando

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #66 on: February 06, 2008, 11:36:15 AM »
Thanks for the heads up Josh! I must agree that it's very fluid. I don't use Vista, but I manage my parent's computer... And without the Vista start menu and the built in search feature, I'd be lost!

justice

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #67 on: February 06, 2008, 01:08:32 PM »
it does help that they've not added it as an alternative, but made it harder to browse, finally some "usage direction" from microsoft.

Lashiec

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #68 on: February 06, 2008, 02:54:16 PM »
I'd say that the new start menu in Vista is a train wreck. The "new" (SuSE and other distros already carried it as the default with KDE 3) approach in KDE 4 or the old Windows paradigm was much better IMO.

Armando

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #69 on: February 06, 2008, 03:08:46 PM »
Why?  :)

Lashiec

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #70 on: February 06, 2008, 03:28:28 PM »
It has nothing to do with the search box, which is quite a leap in productivity (if you're not using a dedicated launcher, that is), but with the new organization of the menu.

On paper it looks good, but the space in the start menu for the complete list of programs it's tiny, and the vertical scrollbar makes its appearance even with not too many folders in there, so that means you have to scroll and keep searching. On the old paradigm, everything is there at a glance, unless you have like 200 folders in there (which is not my case, don't worry :P). Besides, considering that screens are growing in width, it couldn't come at the worst moment.

I like the new KDE approach, because apart from dividing the apps in logical sections, with big icons, and keeping the old KDE and GNOME approach in the "All Applications" view, it also carries a search box with it. Of course, by default it's nothing more than a menu for applications, while Windows start menu also has links for documentation and the like.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 03:31:39 PM by Lashiec »

Armando

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #71 on: February 06, 2008, 03:59:00 PM »
I like your analysis. I don't have Vista or the new KDE nearby to "check" what you're saying, but it seems quite sound... Of course, I wasn't speaking of the "start menu" per se (and I don't think Josh was either), but more about the search box and its easy access.

MrCrispy

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #72 on: February 06, 2008, 04:12:21 PM »
I cannot go back to XP's start menu now. I never used the damn thing anyway. Since every shareware author and their little sister feel its mandatory to install 10 different entries, it soon becomes a 10 level monstrosity with a 1000 items. I used to spend a lot of time customizing it so I would have a nice layered menu (Utils\, Utils\Graphics etc), but I realized I would place my most use programs in quick launch anyway.

techidave

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #73 on: February 08, 2008, 11:22:50 AM »
I haven't really weighed in here so will do so now: I like the start menu and don't think it's going anywhere, but I REALLY wish that Microsoft would innovate more with it. I think that Vista Start Menu is where they SHOULD have taken it with XP.

I am trying both Vista Start Menu and also Mouser's Launch Bar Commander on 2 different XP machines.   Vista Start Menu looks like Vista menu but I don't like saying this but... I hate it!  Its so annoying and I am ready to unistall it.  Perhaps its because I am not used to it.  LBC has a very nice layout, fast, but so far is a little harder to customize than I think it should be.

I am remembering the start menu is one of the things I didn't like about Vista last spring when I tried it.  Oh well, it will be a whlie before we implement Vista here at school.

Dave


Darwin

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Re: Is the Windows start menu dead?
« Reply #74 on: February 08, 2008, 03:21:28 PM »
I don't use Vista Start Menu anymore, though it's still installed. The XP menu and TrueLaunchBar cover all my needs. I like VSM but find the resource overhead a bit onerous (haven't actually tried it since I upgraded to 2gBs of RAM, though). What don't you like about it - particularly, what do you find annoying? No doubt your response will remind me of issues I've forgotten about, but I thought I'd ask!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin