Windows 7 – All Programs Revamped

Windows 7 has a revamped the All Programs mechanism. It is quite an improvement over the previous system.

I’ve never liked the All Programs (or just Programs in Windows XP and before) menu. Like many multi-level menus, it is a rather flighty thing, with submenus disappearing if your mouse pointer falls off the edge of a menu, and with lots of programs to visually scan before you find the right one.

If you had a lot of programs installed, the list of programs would go on for several columns. This crowded display method makes it very hard to find what you are looking for.

The search method, introduced in Windows Vista pretty well makes the All Programs menu redundant. Still, the old fashioned method of finding a program to run sometimes comes in handy, especially for those strongly in the habit of using it.

Microsoft has finally revamped how this menu system behaves.

Yes, you still have to manually scan for programs, and come to think of it, they’ve even taken something away, since typing in the first few letters of a program or folder reverts to the Start menu search function, rather than searching the All Programs menu.

The significant change they’ve made is much more stable and less flighty nature of the menu itself.

When you click on the All Programs menu, the Start menu is replaced with a list of all programs and program directories.

This may seem at first to be the same as the previous system.

The menu stays put as you move the mouse off the program list. This is very helpful.

Programs are listed in a single long column with a scroll bar. This makes it easier to scan for a program. However, if you know by force of habit where to click for a specific program, you will have the extra step of scrolling.

Although I rarely use the All Programs in Windows XP, and never in Windows 7, I welcome the improvement to the user interface.