With a new Start menu come new keyboard shortcuts


With the new Windows Vista Start menu, the keyboard shortcuts have once again been reorganized. You used to be able to hit the Windows key and then type L to call up the Log off menu, and then L again to trigger the logoff. Or you can hit the Windows key and then type I to launch Internet Explorer if you’ve been so careful to ensure that Internet Explorer is the only program that you run frequently which begins with the letter I. With Windows Vista, the keyboard focus is on the Search box when you open the Start menu, so these one-letter shortcuts are treated as the start of a search.

The designers of the Windows Vista Start menu realized that the loss of these one-letter shortcuts was a drawback of the new design. Their rationale for the change was that they were providing quick two- or three-letter shortcuts to hundreds of programs and documents that users frequently use, at a cost of one-letter shortcuts to a very small number of programs.

But all is not lost. The Search box still knows about what you do most often. If you really log off that frequently, then when you type L, the option to Log off will be at the top of the search hits, and you can just hit Enter to confirm.

Windows, L, L is now Windows, L, Enter. Same number of keystrokes, but now more flexible and adaptive.

Comments (54)
  1. Bryan says:

    I am a huge fan of this design.

    I basically live off the new start menu now.  At work, we use Windows XP and it drives me nuts.

    I basically type Windows -> 1 letter -> Enter almost exclusively.

    Perhaps I see a lot of benefit because almost nothing commonly used on my system overlaps on the first letter :)

  2. Mark says:

    Apologies for the ignorance (I don’t have access to Vista atm) – presumably this has affected the other ‘magic’ windows shortcuts like windows-D for the desktop and windows-F to find files.

    If so it seems a shame to have lost them. I use windows-D quite a lot (when the boss is about to see I’m on Facebook rather than doing work…). Did the start menu developers not think about procrastinators when designing Vista? ;)

  3. AlmostAlive says:

    "presumably this has affected the other ‘magic’ windows shortcuts"

    Why would one have anything to do with the other?  The windows key combination shortcuts are unrelated to the start menu.

  4. Dan McCarty says:

    For those of us still fortunate to be using XP (or who are stuck using XP, depending on how you look at it) you can still configure one- or several-key shortcuts to start all your apps.

    Just make sure that no other shortcut name in each folder begins with the same letter, as Raymond noted.

    A picture is worth a thousand words: http://h1.ripway.com/dpm/temp/startMenu.gif

  5. Tim says:

    "presumably this has affected the other ‘magic’ windows shortcuts like windows-D for the desktop and windows-F to find files"

    I’m not sure why you’d presume that, since they have nothing to do with the start menu. They work identically to Windows XP.

    The only things that are affected are where you press and release the windows key, and then type a character. Using the windows key as a modifier, like shift or control is unaffected.

  6. Barry Leiba says:

    Hmmmmmm….

    You say "adaptive".

    I say "inconsistent and unpredictable".

    Let’s call the whole thing off.

    The problem with this sort of thing is twofold:

    1. My computer doesn’t work the same as your computer.  When one of us tries to use the other’s….
    2. Even MY computer doesn’t work the same today as tomorrow.  If I do a flurry of things this afternoon that are different from what I’ve mostly done in the past, things change, and tomorrow morning is not like this morning any more.

    A better design is to have a separate hotkey to the search function (say "windows-key, windows-key", or "windows-key + s").  This is much like MacOS’s "Spotlight" hotkey.

  7. Albert says:

    "If you really log off that frequently, then when you type L, the option to Log off will be at the top of the search hits"

    So nobody on that team learned from the terrible past experience with auto-rearranging menus. IIRC Office abandoned that feature because it was so painful for the user to have commands moving around all the time.

    "…realized that the loss of these one-letter shortcuts was a drawback of the new design. Their rationale for the change…"

    There is no valid rationale for that change. Things you do more often should be more easily and quickly done. Bookmarking in an IDE should be a single combined keystroke, because you do it all the time. Creating a dialog in an IDE does not have to be that easy, because you only do it rarely. If you add one keystroke to something somebody does fifty times a day, while shaving one keystroke off something he does twice a week, do the math: The user has not come out ahead on that exchange.

    The mentality behind the decision you’re describing is that of a programmer who’s far more concerned with symmetry and abstract "perfection" than with the untidy and lopsided reality of the actual user experience. That kind of thinking is bad enough in an API designer; in a UI designer it’s positively monstrous.

    I’m no great fan of Larry Wall, but he calls this sort of thing "Huffman coding", and appropriately so: One of Perl’s design goals is to make anything you do all the time doable with a minimum of typing; less common things can be more verbose. Readability can suffer from very short identifiers when you hand them over to an idiot (hardly rare among Perl users, as Perl’s write-only reputation demonstrates), but readability of code is not an issue with the Start Menu UI.

  8. Tom says:

    I just made the transition from XP to Vista at work and this exact issue was one of the most troubling things to me.  I used to organize my Programs menu into categories, each starting with a different letter.  I could then press Windows, P, first letter of category, first letter of program, enter.  For example, Win P N R Enter.  It may sound like more keystrokes, but it was very fast, easy, and I had absolute control over it.

    Now I have to hit Windows, type the first few letters of what I want, and hit enter.  Sounds so easy, right?  But controlling this feels very awkward.  For example, if I want to start Word, I should be able to hit Windows, type word, and hit enter.  But no, WordPad comes up.  So, am I supposed to type Microsoft Word?  Or switch to mouse/arrow keys to select from the list of things?  My solution has been to get rid of these kinds of conflicts by renaming shortcuts for things I don’t like.  For example, WordPad is now WrrdPad.

    As I install new programs, new conflicts can easily arise unexpectedly.  And if I had that search box searching my files, email, and who knows what else, it might be even worse.  (I disabled those options before finding this out.)

    Honestly, I think the new system was poorly thought out and am disappointed that there is no longer a quick way to navigate the programs menu using the keyboard.  The new system both rewards and punishes keyboard users…

  9. Paul says:

    "CTRL-ESC, R. XP broke that"

    Try turning off the Fisher-Price UI. Works fine then.

  10. CornedBee says:

    For example, WordPad is now WrrdPad.

    Oh, come on, you could have at least called it WeirdPad!

  11. Dan says:

    For me, L brings up "DataPilot Launcher", a third-party app I installed.  Log Off isn’t even on the list.

    R brings up "Speech Recognition".  No Restart.

    S brings up "ScummVM".  No Shutdown.

    Not that I’m complaining.  I always do WIN+R shutdown -r/-l/-s -t 0 ENTER anyway.  I’m a command prompt guy.

    Still, is there I setting I might have toggled and forgotten about?  I don’t think I would have, though, unless I misread it and thought it was sucking up CPU to do something I didn’t need.

    Then again it might be about time to reinstall some OSs here.  .NET in XP is completely broken (any .NET program crashes as soon as it’s run except for VS.NET, which is horribly broken in other vital ways) and the Startup folder stopped working in Vista for no reason (it might be working again… I think some program added itself and it was working.  Not sure when it happened, since I moved all my startup items into HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun.

    Paul: I assume you mean use Classic Start Menu, as turning off Luna won’t fix the shortcuts. :) I actually like the "New" Start Menu.  Looks nicer (especially with the right third-party themes) and gives me access to commonly used programs.  In Vista it’s even better, I especially like the Treeview for All Programs now.  Much tider than a mess of menus (I know some people who never organize their menus who will especially profit from this and the start menu search bar).

  12. Is it slow for anyone else, or are you guys all running SSD-powered quad-core laptops?

    • Nitpicking the nitpickers’ corner:  Nits are actually baby lice or, more commonly, the egg-stage of lice.
  13. Me says:

    @Tom and Dan: You clearly haven’t read the article.

  14. MS says:

    I’m still not used to the new design of either the new start menu or the new Ctrl+Alt+Del screen.  Of course, I tend to rely more on WinKey (Ctrl+Esc) combos anyhow.

    I like the new way though, its just a matter of programming the brain to work both ways since I use both.

  15. Tom says:

    Would you care to explain?  Or are you just trolling?  Windows key followed by P was one of the "one-letter shortcuts" which is now "treated as the start of a search".  It used to bring up the Programs menu, which was then fully navigable by keyboard.  This is not true of the Vista start menu.  Any keyboard navigation requires a mess of arrow keys and enter which cannot be anywhere near as fast as the old way.  (Try it.)

  16. Bryan says:

    "Not that I’m complaining.  I always do WIN+R shutdown -r/-l/-s -t 0 ENTER anyway.  I’m a command prompt guy."

    Or you could just do:

    Start -> shutdown -r -t 0 -> enter

    After doing it a few times, it’ll be there in total, so now I do:

    Start -> shut -> enter

    Similar, I browse to a lot of the same paths.  It’s easier to do:

    Start -> C:Pro -> down -> down -> enter

    Than:

    Windows + E -> loc -> right -> pro -> right -> world -> right -> int -> right -> add

    The Start menu is very powerful.  But it’s not a mind reader – you’re going to have to go through the legwork a couple of times before it knows.

    For example, when I go Start -> Wo -> Enter, it brings up Word 2007.  Same with all the other common office things.  But if I go Start -> A, Access isn’t even on the list.  I don’t use it!

  17. Bryan says:

    "It used to bring up the Programs menu, which was then fully navigable by keyboard.  This is not true of the Vista start menu."

    (Sorry to post twice in rapid succession)

    I hated it because let’s say you have adobe reader in your start menu as well as the default Accessories.

    You can’t type adobe and get focus.  You type adobe and end up all over the place.

    So you have to do:

    Start -> P -> Enter -> A -> A -> Enter

  18. Good Point says:

    >Hmmmmmm….

    >

    >You say “adaptive”.

    >

    >I say “inconsistent and unpredictable”.

    Especially those machines in the lab that get ghosted every other day.

    Since 99% of windows users barely use the keyboard for anything other than entering text, why brutalize the start menu in this way? (How many people have you seen using the mouse to go to the next field in a dialog/form, instead of TAB?).  Just leave it as a freaking menu.

    [That’s what’s great about doing user interface work. No matter what you do, people will say that what you did was idiotic. For every person who posts that they love what you did, there will be ten times as many who say that they hate it. (Because complainers post more than fans.) -Raymond]
  19. Joe Bruno says:

    Vista has only gone half way. All computers’ power switches seem to turn the computer on and off, despite variations in how often people actually want to do this.

    Fortunately Vista is only a half-way stage to the next version of Windows.

  20. poochner says:

    Users don’t like to use TAB in forms because they often don’t use a tab ordering the user likes.  The order that makes sense to the programmer isn’t always the one that the user expects, so they’ve learned to use the mouse because it does what they want.  That’s assuming the programmer even gave the tab order any thought and it’s not still the default.  Well, that and users aren’t so reluctant to take their hands off the home row.

  21. Tom says:

    @ Bryan:

    "Start -> P -> Enter -> A -> A -> Enter"

    This indicates two easily preventable failures of your start menu organization.  First, the first press of Enter.  Not necessary if you ensured that the only thing on the first level of the start menu that responded to P was the Program menu.  Second, the conflict between Adobe and Accessories.  Why have both at the same level of your start menu?  Not necessary.

    For the majority of users who never bothered to organize their start menus in XP, I agree that the Vista approach is a major improvement.  But for those who took care to organize things, it’s a step backward.

    This is just one example of the growing trend in computing to encourage users to leave everything as a disorganized mess and rely on search mechanisms to sort it all out.  Sure, by all means, help those users.  But don’t punish those of us who do take the time to organize things, recognizing that it saves time in the long run.

  22. Weiguo says:

    <i>"The problem with this sort of thing is twofold:

    1. My computer doesn’t work the same as your computer.  When one of us tries to use the other’s…."</i>

    yeah, heaven forbid OSes should actually tailor themselves to the user so as to be more usable.

  23. Wolf Logan says:

    Joe Bruno: "All computers’ power switches seem to turn the computer on and off, despite variations in how often people actually want to do this."

    Check "Power Options" | "Choose what the power buttons do".

  24. C Gomez says:

    The new start menu and its keyboard friendly interface have a big fan here.  While backwards compatibility is important, this was a case of fixing old UI design with better UI design.  It shouldn’t break any programs (and if it did… wow), and it’s certainly made me more productive.

    I don’t miss the cascading menus at all.  Why hunt through menus for a start menu shortcut?  I know what the program is, can’t I just tell you what I want to run?  Ah… now I can.

  25. Mike Dunn says:

    Speaking of keyboard navigation, starting with (I think) Win 2K, you can hit Windows, F and the Sear&ch item will be selected. That’s because Sear&ch used to be &Find. Backcompat shows up in odd places.

    And count me in as a fan of the Start menu search box. It’s my favorite new feature in the whole OS.

  26. Barry Leiba says:

    Weiguo: I have no issue with tailoring interfaces.  The issue is that what happens is different for everyone AND not understandable to most.  Two users who "didn’t change anything" have different behaviour, and are confused by it.  This isn’t just an academic complaint; real users I know have had this confusion, and I’ve had to try to explain it to them.  "Try" is the operative word here.

    Ultimately, Raymond is right in his response to Good Point’s comment: any UI decision you make will displease someone.  And à chacun, son goût.

  27. John Topley says:

    "CTRL-ESC, R. XP broke that"

    Why not just use WinKey + R?

  28. Bryan says:

    "This is just one example of the growing trend in computing to encourage users to leave everything as a disorganized mess and rely on search mechanisms to sort it all out.  Sure, by all means, help those users.  But don’t punish those of us who do take the time to organize things, recognizing that it saves time in the long run."

    Because it saves time to never have had to reorganize things in the first place?

    I don’t mind organizing my start menu.  But I’m not going to do it every time Joe-Application decides they need to put their start menu items in Quicklaunch, Twice in All Programs, and on the Desktop for the current user and all users.

    In most situation, the Windows UI team is very good at their job.  If you give it a chance, in most cases, I find that the new UI enhancements are really more productive than the old way.

  29. Tom says:

    “any UI decision you make will displease someone”

    Unless you give them a choice, and offer the old behavior as well.

    [That’s still a UI decision. Some people would argue that UI backward compability is holding back progress. -Raymond]
  30. Tom says:

    "Because it saves time to never have had to reorganize things in the first place?"

    No!  Which operation do you do more?  Install a program or run a program?  It makes sense to save time for the things you do most often.  I HOPE you run your programs more often than you install them.

    By the way, the Win+1, Win+2, etc. hotkeys added in Vista to launch items in the Quick Launch toolbar have been great for this.  They actually work reliably, unlike hotkeys set up in the properties for a shortcut.

  31. Nick says:

    Raymond:

    What I’d love to see in the Explorer UI and/or the common tree control (assuming it doesn’t exist) is the ability to expand a node without leaving the home row of the keyboard.  Right now you have to hit the arrow keys, which really slow you down moving your hands around.

    Something like CTRL+SPACE would be a great way to toggle tree nodes (at least I think so, in my near-zero experience on UI).  This way you would be able to navigate Explorer or Regedit very quickly and without extra hand strain.

    Oh, and after a few weeks of using Vista, I do prefer the new Start Menu over XP’s; however, it would be nice if you could resize the Start Menu horizontally.

    Just some thoughts.  I wish there was a place where users could submit feature ideas to Microsoft and get some kind of feedback, but I realize that’s somewhat impractical.

  32. Peter says:

    "[That’s what’s great about doing user interface work. No matter what you do, people will say that what you did was idiotic. For every person who posts that they love what you did, there will be ten times as many who say that they hate it. (Because complainers post more than fans.) -Raymond]"

    I’ll be a ‘one’ to provoke ten more haters then :-)

    The new way sounds¹ much more robust than the old to me. Despite what’s been said, the old one does randomly change itself; one day win,i starts Firefox (because it’s my "Internet" program), the next IE’s gotten in there so now it toggles among the two. If I get rid of IE then something made by Intel sneaks in and the same effect is had.

    And I have at least three shortcuts starting in "Microsoft Office" on my start menu, plus a few others with just "Microsoft" – the old method will never deal with this. Net result is that it’s easier just to not.

    Whereas I assume¹ the Vista method would actually work in most of these cases, because if I start typing "Exc…" it’s quite likely the only program that’s going to appear, or at least the first.

    For what it’s worth, I suspect there are still better ways to quicklaunch applications than these menus, but until we find one there’s nothing wrong with improving what we have.

    ¹ I don’t, haven’t and probably won’t (in the near future) use Vista, so this is based solely on Raymond’s post and a little common (non)sense and extrapolation.

  33. Alex Pope says:

    Nope, Windows+<anything> still works as it did in XP.  Raymond is talking about when you could call up the Start Menu (windows key) and *then* type a letter ("i" for internet explorer, "l" for log off, etc).

  34. Hieronymous Coward says:

    Bah.

    The only shortcut that matters to me is CTRL-ESC, R. XP broke that (BOO!)*. Vista made it even shorter (YAY!)

    * Nitpicker’s corner: Nits are body lice. Primates pick nits to eat them. Gross.

  35. Dean Harding says:

    No!  Which operation do you do more?  Install a program or run a program?

    It doesn’t matter. Typing "Win, fir, Enter" to launch firefox is just as fast for me than to type "Win, P, M, F" or whatever. So I can save time during the "install" phase and not loose any time during the "run" phase. Overall, a time-saving.

    You also save time during the uninstall phase, because if you move icons around, the uninstaller can’t find then and they’re left lying around.

  36. While that’s nice, I find the windows start menu search takes a few seconds most of the time.  I discovered that if you hit winkey and then right arrow 3 times, it opens the little side menu.

    From there, you can use the usual L, R, S, H shortcuts.

    It also means that "winkey, right arrow, enter" initiates shutdown (or hibernate, in my case).

    I keep meaning to write a blog post about this, probably get more google visibility than a comment here :)

  37. Vista is full of bad design decisions, if you ask me, and that’s why many people, including myself, will never downgrade to Vista from XP (and if Microsoft fails with Vista successor too, I’ll say farewell to Microsoft. I do have hope though).

    > quick two- or three-letter shortcuts to hundreds of programs and documents that users frequently use

    100s of programs and docs ‘used frequently’ sounds way too much to me. I don’t even visit more than 30 websites *frequently*.

    > adaptive

    > "inconsistent and unpredictable"

    Can’t agree more.

    > No matter what you do, people will say that what you did was idiotic.

    And maybe they will be right this time :)

  38. [ICR] says:

    If you consider that very few people actually bother to organise their start menu, navigating a cascading menu is a nightmare. Vista’s solution greatly improves their situation. It seems to be mainly the people who painstakingly organise their start menu’s who are complaining and at a loss – the sorts of people who can happily find alternatives.

    And I’ve never understood the need to launch a program with as few a strokes as possible. How slow do you people type? I use a launcher program myself, and I find the benefits in typing out a fuller name for what I want (e.g. typing "firefox" over "fir") far outweigh the few keystrokes less I gain. I never think of Firefox as "fir", or as "AF" or any other bizaar ordering system. It’s "Firefox", and if I want to open firefox I will tell it to open "firefox". The unity found in a unified model is actually beneficial to me. It also means I have to be less adaptive if I install new applications that conflict with it’s name whilst not having to bother with painstaking organisation.

    The given example of Word and Wordpad doesn’t apply here though, as I think of it as "Word" and not "Microsoft Word". In this case, I personally see a "Down Arrow" just as invasive and confusing as creating some other pneumonic to launch it, except this happens less.

  39. The case of Word and Wordpad is sometimes not very nice, I have to admit. Overall I like the new Start Menu, particularly because I never bothered to keep my Start menu organized; if I did, I could be sure it wasn’t anymore after a few months, so I simply took care of that my most used programs got a path that was marked by unambiguous keystrokes (one can insert & into the file and folder names to change the hotkey; only downsde is that they are displayed and not get the next letter underlined :) and I had a QuickRun menu that only had unambiguous hotkeys.

    As for Word and Wordpad, Windows Media Player and VLC Media Player, sometimes I found the ordering mechanism confusing. It seemed that it put WMP after VLC because of collation and only heavy use of a program might turn it up on top of that list. Likewise, VLC ended up again at the top after I ran it just once, instead of dozens of times for WMP. And this ordering seems to change sometimes by restarting and then towards the most used as sort key.

    It would be nice to see how Explorer orders the search results, meanwhile I just adapted to type »word of« for Microsoft Office Word to not accidentally get Wordpad. I agree here that waiting for the search results and pondering whether you have to use the arrow keys again is disruptive.

    On a similar note, I found that I accidentally ran those pesky uninstallers more often since every single program thinks it has to put an uninstaller link into the Start Menu. So when starting to type the name of the program the uninstaller whos up, too, for it’s named »Uninstall <Application>«. But this happens usually only once before I delete them, as I find it unnecessary to have Start Menu entries for things I use exactly once in a program’s lifecycle on my machine.

    One other problem of the Vista approach I have noticed is that it pulls names of shortcuts out of context. For example, MiKTeX installs shortcuts named »Browse Packages», »Update«, »Previewer«, »Settings« and »Help«. In the traditional flyout style those names were strongly tied to MikTeX, since they are contained by a folder with that name so I naturally assume they belong to this application. With the search approach, however, those shortcuts show up every once in a while when I try to start something else (not that I need them, it just was a convenient example I immediately found) and I don’t know where they belong. This is not the case with most Microsoft or other strongly branded products as they tend to insert bunches of categories in front of the name (»Microsoft Office Word«) when all I care about is usually the last part (»Word«)

  40. Neil says:

    New Ctrl+Alt+Del screen? With yet more changed keyboard shortcuts? (I haven’t tried Vista, but I’m used to Ctrl+Alt+Del, L, Enter.)

  41. Worf says:

    Enough griping!

    I dislike the way the start menu works in XP *AND* Vista. However, unlike all the weird shift-right-click, or shift-no-to-all hidden tricks (that even using Windows for ages I never knew until I read this blog…), there’s a simple easy way to return the thing to way it worked in previous versions!

    Set the start menu to the classic way, and boom, the good old shortcuts work again. Yay!!!

    (I dislike scrolling the start menu – it was awful in Win95, and with vertically challenged monitors and PCs, even more of a pain scrolling. Especially if you know the program you want is always at the opposite end of the list…)

  42. Tom says:

    Wow, what a bunch of whiners.  Have any of you actually used Vista’s new search?  It’s 10X faster and more convenient than doing the same thing in XP.  I just laugh when I watch my one of my colleagues piloting through their start menus in XP to try to find some app or utility, especially when they’re not sure what folder it’s in.  The same operation in Vista takes about 1 second.

  43. Josh says:

    Ctrl-Alt-Del, L, Enter still works in vista.  But I’ve long since trained myself to use the Win-L combination in XP to do the same thing.

  44. Bryan says:

    "No!  Which operation do you do more?  Install a program or run a program?  It makes sense to save time for the things you do most often.  I HOPE you run your programs more often than you install them."

    Because a lot of installs now use Windows Installer technology, it’s not uncommon to have those shortcuts regenerated when you reinstall the product.  MSI can’t know that you’ve moved around the shortcuts, so it’s going to replace them in a number of upgrade situations.

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned that keeping your apps updated is very important.  So I do that.

    Windows Installer isn’t the only tech that’s this way, just an easy example.

    "On a similar note, I found that I accidentally ran those pesky uninstallers more often since every single program thinks it has to put an uninstaller link into the Start Menu. So when starting to type the name of the program the uninstaller whos up, too, for it’s named »Uninstall <Application>«. But this happens usually only once before I delete them, as I find it unnecessary to have Start Menu entries for things I use exactly once in a program’s lifecycle on my machine."

    They’re not supposed to do this.  An application with an uninstall shortcut is poorly designed and violating Microsoft Best Practices for installations.

    You can’t blame Microsoft because people don’t follow basic guidelines.

    As an aside, I look at the search as a V1.  I’d expect a lot more (especially in the area of performance.  Some searches take a lot longer than others) for V2.  If the search is the same in the next version of Windows, I will definitely be disappointed.

  45. Bryan says:

    Oops!

    Reinstall should be upgrade in my above post.  Ugh :-

  46. Ulric says:

    I keep getting the feeling that Vista was designed by people who hate Windows and thought everything needed to be redone.

    So those of use that are the real fans of windows really feel like Microsoft does not want us anymore.

    Vista is so different that is isn’t harder to learn OS X than it is to learn Vista.  Same with Office Vista.  

    You have to re-learn everything anyway, and many of the keyboard shortcut that your muscle are programmed that are absent on OSX are now absent on Vista as well, anyway.  The UI is just as sluggish, if not more, on Vista than on OS X.  So… it’s really hard to defend Windows or Office anymore.

    I think this is a major mistake.  

  47. Maurits says:

    Windows, L, L is now Windows, L, Enter

    Hmmm…

    On my Windows XP machine, "Windows, L" doesn’t do anything.  I have to do "Windows, U, L" to log off.

    But on my Vista machine I turned on "classic start menu"… "Windows, L" logs me off, with no need for an Enter.

    (experiments)

    Hmmm, on XP, there’s a "Show Log Off" checkbox in the Customize area of the classic start menu…

    … but "Windows, L" brings up an "are you sure" box…

    so now

    XP: "Windows, L, L" or "Windows, L, space" or "Windows, L, Enter" all work

    Vista: "Windows, L" by itself works.

    I have to wonder if this is intentional or if the "are you sure" was accidentally omitted?

  48. mirobin says:

    I have reluctantly accepted the new "search by default" functionality.  It is much less frustrating if you take the time to customize what the search function will actually search through.

    That being said, months after switching to Vista, I will still occasionally type "WIN, R, notepad" only to have some unwanted window appear.

    I really wish that the search dialog functioned like the run dialog, but alas, it does not … *sigh*

  49. mvadu says:

    > Good Point

    (How many people have you seen using the mouse to go to the next field in a dialog/form, instead of TAB?).  

    Look around for some females..:) In my experience girls usually use mouse to navigate to each text box in a data entry form..

    They usually don’t read any of the error message.. I suppose their eyes can’t see any text in the error message other that Ok/Cancel..

  50. kaon says:

    I don’t foresee using Vista anytime soon.

    For WinXP users, check out Launchy (freeware). http://www.launchy.net

  51. David Walker says:

    "Windows + E -> loc -> right -> pro -> right -> world -> right -> int -> right -> add" …

    ""Start -> P -> Enter -> A -> A -> Enter"  

    Bleah!

    It’s far easier to make the task bar two rows high, and make the quick launch bar slightly wider than the default of 4 items.  

    I have 14 of my most-used icons there.  ONE-CLICK access.

    As an added bonus to making the Task bar 2 rows high, the clock will show the date AND the day of the week, which is extremely useful, IMHO.  Plus, one-click access to easily switch to lots of running programs.

    Beaing able to make the task bar 2 (or 3 or 4) rows high is one of the best "customization" decisions Microsoft ever made.

  52. Daniel says:

    The sweet thing now is that one can start the programms in the "Quick Start" Area by using Windows + 1 (opens the first program), Windows + 2 (opens the secons program), … (you get the point)

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