Windows 95 to Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate 1 one item of the Windows operating system is a virtual landmark in the platform’s graphical user interface landscape: the Start menu button. From 1995, the release date of Windows 95, and throughout 2006, until November, and then January
2007, the Start menu button consisted mainly of a rectangular, or quasi-rectangular shape, containing the Windows logo and the “Start”. You will be able to see this in the image included at the bottom of this article that features a selection of Windows Start menu buttons, including those in Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP and Windows Server 2003.
“Back when Microsoft was young and applications were still 16-bit, Microsoft had a teenage love affair with IBM, a much older partner. Somewhere between DOS and OS/2, Microsoft gave birth to Windows 95. For all its critiques, it really was a revolution in the UI field of computing. At the time, applications were disjointed and not aware like they are today. Background services connecting applications together didn’t exist pervasively. As a result, until Windows 95, the PC had not seen application-level multi-tasking in the consumer space. The Start Menu provided an elegant way to open and manage different applications”, revealed Viral Tarpara, Microsoft IT Pro Evangelist – UK.
At the top of the article, the image depicts the Vista Start menu button which now features only the Windows logo sphere. And it is with Vista that Microsoft introduced a major overhauling not only of the Start button, but also of the Start menu. Without aiming to deliver the same level of redesign as it did with the Ribbon/Fluent UI for Office 2007, Vista’s Aero did change the way that end users access and manage items, functionality, and features of the operating system via the Start menu. And from Vista RTM to Vista SP1 RC1, Microsoft further altered that Start menu in order to accommodate third party desktop search applications.