Ever wonder why some programs are highlighted in the “All Programs” list of the Start menu?
Start by reading this fine MSDN blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2005/11/24/496690.aspx
Even though it is written prior to Vista, it basically holds true for Vista as well. There are some exceptions, however. On Windows Vista:
1. Apps installed within 5 hours of Windows installation completion do not show up highlighted
2. 5 hour timer is not user-(or OEM)-adjustable
3. Apps remain highlighted for a week, or until the very first time they are launched.
4. 7 day timer is based on system time and is not affected by sleep, hibernate, shutoff time, etc.
5. Apps installed by other users are not highlighted for the current user before their first ever logon.
6. Apps you install but never launch will remain highlighted for 7 days, or until you launch them, whichever comes first.