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 it’s the identity of Windows. As long as Microsoft doesn’t have any crazy ideas, it’s probably here to stay for many, many more years.
Twenty years is a long time for any software, so let’s take a look at how exactly the Start menu, and by extension, Windows itself, has changed since Windows 95.
I am still a huge fan of the original Start menu as it existed in Windows 95 through 2000 (and as an option in XP): a simple, straightforward menu that you could organise yourself. It may not have been very pretty or user-friendly (we’ve all run into those people who never organised their Start menu), but for me personally, it was really, really great.
I’m really not a fan of the thing we have now in Windows 10, where you can’t even do any organisation, and the “All apps” button just gives you an endless alphabetical list of crap. Search obviously helps a little bit here, but applications’ Start menu folders often contain other useful tools that you might not know the name of.
In any event, it’s definitely an iconic piece of UI.