Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Put the Classic Start menu in Windows 7 with Classic Shell

On more than one occasion, I’ve looked through the discussions for the Windows 7 blog posts that I have written here at TechRepublic and found messages from angry Windows users that go something along the lines of “Because Microsoft took away the Classic Start menu in Windows 7, I am not going to upgrade!”

When I see these types of messages, I imagine curmudgeonly folks sitting in front of an old Pentium II computer running Windows NT. Of course I know that is not a fair assessment, because many people I know who have either Windows XP or Windows Vista installed also use the Classic Start menu feature.

Still I have a hard time imagining anyone wanting to forego all the underlying advances in the Windows 7 operating system just because of a dislike of the Start menu and other user-interface features. However, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

In any case, those die-hard classic Start menu fans have a champion out there. At, which claims to be the world’s largest open source software development Web site, a fellow by the name of Ivo Beltchev has created a wonderful program called Classic Shell. In addition to bringing the Classic Start menu to the Windows 7 user interface, Classic Shell brings a number of other classic features to Windows 7, such as the Windows Explorer toolbar, complete with the Up button. Read more.