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Editing Windows 10 Start Menu

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Does anyone know of a method to edit entries in the Windows 10 Start Menu? There are a few I'd like to move into a custom folder so to take up less space in the main part of the menu. Been grudging the net and can't seem to find anything. Really irritating. Granted, there's always Open Shell...

There are a set of items I want to move from the main part of the menu into the "Windows System" folder.

In Vista, 7 and 8/8.1 one could just edit either " ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ " or " Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ " but in Win 10, there are entries the exist in the menu that are not found in either of those directories.
 
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Really irritating. Granted, there's always Open Shell...
I agree and why I use Start 10. It, like Open Shell, lets you move items around and put them where you want them. Sadly, in the default W10 start menu, it seems items will go in alphabetical order, whether you want it that way or not. :(

I like to unclutter my start menu. So I always like having a "Utilities" folder, for example. And under that Utilities folder, I have CCleaner, HWiNFO64, Speccy, etc. I have a Security Stuff folder for all my security apps. But Microsoft, it seems, doesn't want users to have that flexibility and I don't understand why. I could probably even get used to "Tiles" if I could create a Utilities Folder tile that then let me put all my utilities into that. But nope. :(

I know the more flexibility Microsoft allows typically results in more and more users - who really don't know what they are doing - tweaking and modifying Windows to death for which Microsoft then gets the blame. With past versions of Windows, flexibility (user customization) has always been one of Windows greatest assets. But at the same time, that same flexibility is one of its greatest liabilities too - as users disable this, enable that, tweak this, move that, and then break Windows. Then go on forums and blame MS. This is especially troublesome (and a PR nightmare for MS) when improper user changes result in security compromises.

So I understand Microsoft's predicament here. From their standpoint, making Windows less breakable is probably the smarter move. But still, the Start menu is so personal, it sure would be nice if we could "personalize" it.

That might be a good suggestion for the folks at Winaero. I am not a fan of users tweaking Windows anymore because generally, if users just leave the defaults alone, W10 will keep on working great, safely and securely. But the folks at Winaero have done an excellent job of providing a tweaker that is safe, reversible (very important!), and easy to use. But also of great importance, it allows users to make changes without the need to dig around in the Registry with Regedit - always risky.

Sorry I have no suggestion for an immediate fix - except Open Shell or Start 10. But if you find a solution, I too would be interested in learning what you found.
 
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But Microsoft, it seems, doesn't want users to have that flexibility and I don't understand why.
It's Microsoft being themselves again, treating people like children and telling us how to think. Us power users get especially irritated.
So I understand Microsoft's predicament here. From their standpoint, making Windows less breakable is probably the smarter move. But still, the Start menu is so personal, it sure would be nice if we could "personalize" it.
I don't agree. There are better ways of doing things. Giving a "Power-User" option would not be difficult. Personalizing has never been Microsoft's "thing". They have proven this with each progressing version of Windows and the increasing limitations of such. It's sad really.
Sorry I have no suggestion for an immediate fix - except Open Shell or Start 10. But if you find a solution, I too would be interested in learning what you found.
That's the idea behind this thread. Kinda of a home for Start Menu tweaks, or alternatives if nothing else.
 
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Personally did not realise it was locked as i ust make shortcuts to were you find all the other crap on the right of the menu, but again it would be nice with even that to be able to change how it's listed.
 
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I also use Start 10 which gives you loads of different options, including with or without the Windows 10 menu.
The options in Start 10 are almost endless, with menus or links to frequently used shortcuts (control panel, admin etc) and some great personalisation which gives your PC that individual look.
At $4.99 it's excellent value and I use it across all my PCs.
start10.jpg
 
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I've been using Open Shell for so long that I can't go back to the default start menu. It works perfectly, uses very few resources, and is completely free.





I don't know if it exists by default, but I have a start menu folder in Windows 10 at C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. Open Shell shows the entries in that folder if I click "all programs" in the start menu.
 
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Personalizing has never been Microsoft's "thing".
I disagree. Spend time with a mac and see how locked in to Apple's way you are. And I don't think they are treating us like children. That fact is, they are giving the majority of users what they want - a OS that just works. Power users are a very tiny percentage of the total these days. I'm like you and wish it were more flexible, but I understand most users want Windows as easy and reliable to use as a toaster or other appliance in the house.

That said, if you want more flexibility, check out Winaero. It doesn't unlock everything, but it does with a lot of things - including letting us play the old (and vastly better) W7 solitaire games. :)
 
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Spend time with a mac and see how locked in to Apple's way you are.
OOOooo let's not compare Apples to Oranges... Pun intended. :laugh: I'm comparing Windows to Windows.
I don't think they are treating us like children.
We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.
That fact is, they are giving the majority of users what they want - a OS that just works.
Exactly, they're pandering to the technological bottom-feeders...
Power users are a very tiny percentage of the total these days.
... instead of appealing to the people who influence opinion and teach everyone else how and why to compute.
I'm like you and wish it were more flexible, but I understand most users want Windows as easy and reliable to use as a toaster or other appliance in the house.
Ah but here's my point; Why can't we have it both ways? Software is very flexible, so what's stopping Microsoft from creating a basic UI platform that comes in a default config but is customizable at the desire of the user? Example; Winamp. The basic framework of that media player didn't change no matter what version of the player was used, what skin or functionality you changed or added on. I still use Winamp for this very reason. While I'm fully aware that Windows is an entirely different beast, the idea is the same.
That said, if you want more flexibility, check out Winaero. It doesn't unlock everything, but it does with a lot of things - including letting us play the old (and vastly better) W7 solitaire games. :)
Way ahead of you. I visit there regularly and agree that it's a very useful site!

I've been using Open Shell for so long that I can't go back to the default start menu.
To be fair, I love Open Shell and Classic Shell before it. However, I've been wanting to give Windows 10 an honest try without too much piled on top of it. Would be nice to not have to use a Start Menu replacement. However, in the absence of a way to edit menu entries, a replacement becomes essential.
 
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Exactly, they're pandering to the technological bottom-feeders...
That's not fair. They are meeting the needs and desires of the majority of their client base. That's just good and proper business policy.
.. instead of appealing to the people who influence opinion and teach everyone else how and why to compute.
If any company tailored their product towards a tiny niche of customers instead of the vast majority, that would just be stupid and suicidal.

I fully understand your frustration and agree it would be great if Windows could be tweaked in every way possible. But I also have no doubt that feature would be abused by those who just think they know what they are doing. And then they would certainly blame Microsoft for their own mistakes. And the unscrupulous wannabe journalists in the IT press, and the MS-bashing bloggers would, as they always do, blow it WAY WAY out of proportion with exaggerated or totally fictional headlines sensationalized just to get attention for the author. :( So while I don't like it either, I don't blame Microsoft for trying to avoid such bad and undeserved publicity.

There are just too many people who hate Microsoft. So they would rather not enable a capability than to get blamed when it is misused.

Why can't we have it both ways?
We could. But that would require MS expend more resources ($$$) to create more code. More code needs more testing and introduces more potential for something to go wrong, or worse, to be abused by the naive, or worse yet, exploited by the bad guys. And then that takes us back to unscrupulous "journalist":rolleyes:, bloggers and undeserved bad publicity.

Contrary to what many seem to think, Windows is NOT Microsoft's big money earner. Its actually way down list after productivity and business processes including Office, cloud and cloud services like Azure, SQL server, and consulting services. Even Xbox revenue is greater than what they get from Windows.

Again, I understand and agree with you. I would like more flexibility too. But you are asking a company to cater to the few and not the majority of its customers. I know of no company that will do that. And as a publicly owned company, they shouldn't.

However, in the absence of a way to edit menu entries, a replacement becomes essential.
Well, I think that's where Windows flexibility becomes apparent. The vast majority of users don't need to edit menu entries in that manner, nor have they desires to do so. But Windows allows you to install a 3rd party application to make it possible. So in effect, you can have it both ways.
 
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That's not fair. They are meeting the needs and desires of the majority of their client base. That's just good and proper business policy.
It's perfectly fair. In a war, you don't let the grunts make battle strategy decisions, that what the Generals and officers are for. Likewise in the technology sector a company like Microsoft should be wise and smart enough to know that you appeal to the technology elites and let them disseminate knowledge down the ranks, like it used to be.

If any company tailored their product towards a tiny niche of customers instead of the vast majority, that would just be stupid and suicidal.
No, it would be wise and prudent.

There are just too many people who hate Microsoft.
If they'd quit making moronic choices and decisions, they'd have all the right people supporting them and everyone else following in line because non-techies look up to techies. I have converted more people over to Linux in the last year than I have in the previous decade. People are getting tired of Microsoft's BS and it shows.

But you are asking a company to cater to the few and not the majority of its customers. I know of no company that will do that.
I know of many. And we're talking about one of them. Microsoft used to look to industry experts and the power-user community for the majority of it's input on feature set designs. Now it panders to the general public and look at the drivel we've got. We have gone from the utility of Windows XP to the refined beauty of 7 to the utter childish crap of 10. Yup, progress... :rolleyes: :kookoo:

Well, I think that's where Windows flexibility becomes apparent. The vast majority of users don't need to edit menu entries in that manner, nor have they desires to do so. But Windows allows you to install a 3rd party application to make it possible. So in effect, you can have it both ways.
And that's fair to say. My point is that we shouldn't need to.

Understand Bill, I'm not picking a fight with you at all or wishing to offed you. My beef is with Microsoft's clearly flawed business decisions and goals. Industry leaders, technology elites and power-users should be leading the decision making process, not the technology illiterate of the world.
 
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Back in the early 90s I used HPs "Dashboard" and later Mijenix Toolbar (still using..... have mouse cursor at bottom of screen access to a) frequently used apps, CPU / memory etc usage, multiple virtual desktops, program groups, printers and other items. Takes a few hacks to get it going in Win7, Win10 I imagine would be impossible. Wish someone would do a modern version.

There are many things that MS does that don't make any sense whatsoever.

a) based up circle I travel in ... at home or in the office... it's an extreme rarity that a box has multiple users. Yet windows default install assumes that is is the norm. I'd say it's about as common as needing a 16+ core processor.

b) Who has a single drive in their system ? Why is their no wizard that detects the storage drives and asks "what would you like to do here ?" Fine keep the silly way it's done now but allow a custom option whereby the wizard asks a series of questions which place OS, Backup OS (if desired), Applications, Games, data, temp / page and scratch files. backups and lets you pick storage device, assigned partition or folder and lets user replace "My Documents" and all that other silly stuff where you want them.

The illusion that MS does this because its what their users want is just that... It's set up for one party's need s and their needs only ... and that id MSs own. I hav eyet ti meet anyone from 1st time novice to power user who said "yeah, that's what I would have done. It's not that MS doesn't do what we want, it's that they go so far as to prevent us from doing what we want. How many times have they modified Win 10 to make it harder to stop MS from installing hardware drivers ?

Beware of anything you get for free ... the cost is always more than if you paid for it. Why did MS implement all those invasive tricks and subterfuge to force people into upgrading ? Was it "We want so much for our customers to be happy, we just can't live in a world whereby folks don't get the experience of using Win10 ? Or was it "Oh crap, we thought free would entice everyone to ... er... upgrade, now we are unable to meet our partner data mining commitments so to avoid financial penalties, we need to up the adoption rate ? Why are there so many utilities in existence that help you turn Win10 stuff off ? and why does each update continue to try an prevent users from turning off these "features" ? If they were interested what their customers want, why do they wok so hard at stopping them ? My malware suite polls my system and advises me if any software is out of date ... and then, imagine that ... it asks me if I want to update ? I get to say yes or no .. I can even tell it to ignore that application.

Windows works hard to stifle flexibility for one reason only, it hurts their bottom line. Google brought to the would an economic model modeled on Jerry Seinfeld ... he had a show about nothing and Google sold nothing but made money by data mining. MS was late to the game but adopted that model for Win10.

Fine, let Win10 exist for the folks who don't know any better ... but leave the folks why are willing to pay the extra cost for Win 10 pro the choice of making their own decisions.

BTW, if anyone find a modern day "Dashboard" or Mijenix Toolbar, pease advise.
 
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It's perfectly fair. In a war, you don't let the grunts make battle strategy decisions, that what the Generals and officers are for

you appeal to the technology elites and let them disseminate knowledge down the ranks, like it used to be.
??? Ummm, you consider yourself a general? And it never used to be where tech companies appealed to the elites. And "elites"? That's a disconcerting choice of words.

Tech companies appealed to corporations and big businesses (and universities) who hopefully could afford their products. But those companies didn't disseminate knowledge, except as needed for their employees to use those tools to do their jobs. Only after more and more units were sold, did the technologies "trickle down" to those with less deep pockets. That's exactly how it works today too.

How did my family, friends, and clients learn to use their computers? I taught them. How did I learn? Through trial and errors, schools, and many [often costly :(] mistakes.

And yes, in the early days, MS consulted outside experts. They still do. But even back then, they added features they thought ("thought" because it was all new territory) the majority of users needed. Over time, they learned what the majority of users really needed.
No, it would be wise and prudent.
Then, sorry, but you don't understand business then. There's no profit (or even breaking even) if you only cater to the "elite" niche markets - not if you want your products to be affordable to the mass markets.

Do you think Lexus could exist if there was no Toyota? Cadillac if no Chevy?

If they'd quit making moronic choices and decisions, they'd have all the right people supporting them
While I agree to a point, too many people don't understand giant corporations like Microsoft. You talk about choices and decisions and I agree. But those that cause problems are "marketing" and "executive" policy choices and decisions - many of which I have vehemently complained about myself over the years - to the point, more than once, it even jeopardized my MS-MVP status.

But the "developers" at Microsoft are a different breed of people than the marketing weenies and "C" level execs. The developers are top-notch dedicated people who have the true desire to make the best product possible. This is why I get defensive over Windows Defender, for example, when I hear excuses for bashing it being justified by claiming Microsoft makes "moronic choices and decisions" - choices and decisions made by marketing weenies and C-level execs, not the developers.

Here's an example of what I said above about "unscrupulous wannabe journalists in the IT press, blowing something WAY WAY out of proportion with exaggerated or totally fictional headlines sensationalized just to get attention for the author." Note this ZD-Net article headline from yesterday,
Vulnerability in Microsoft CTF protocol goes back to Windows XP

Insecure CTF protocol allows hackers to hijack any Windows app, escape sandboxes, get admin rights.
Then the first line says (my bold underline added to illustrate my point),
CTF, a little-known Microsoft protocol used by all Windows operating system versions since Windows XP, is insecure and can be exploited with ease.
All Windows versions??? Can be exploited with ease??? !!! :eek: :eek: :eek:
With ease???? That's really scary! But what's the truth? Read a little bit further and we learn it can only be exploited IF the hackers or malware already have a foothold on a user's computer. That's a pretty big IF if you ask me. Yet ZD-Net and that author would have every Windows user out there who reads that headline think their system can be compromised "with ease". :kookoo: :mad: :banghead:

You are not offending me. I hope I am not you.
a) based up circle I travel in ... at home or in the office... it's an extreme rarity that a box has multiple users.
Maybe in your circles, but not mine. I know of many home computers with more than one user. Each adult may have their own, but even then, the other adult may have an account on it. And in many homes, the children share a computer but have separate accounts. And many many business can't afford a separate computer for every employee. Businesses that are open for more than 8 - 9 hours per day (workers come in shifts) often have multiple accounts on a single computer.
b) Who has a single drive in their system ?
Most computers, by far, only have a single drive.

Beware of anything you get for free ... the cost is always more than if you paid for it. Why did MS implement all those invasive tricks and subterfuge to force people into upgrading ?
Two points here. First, those invasive tricks and subterfuge tactics were dictated by marketing weenies and misguided C-Level execs. Not the developers. And note Microsoft knows very well (in hindsight) that was a huge mistake.

And second, why did they want everyone to upgrade? That is just simple and good business sense to be able to concentrate its resources on 1 product than it is on many. This is in almost any industry. Ford is discontinuing making cars (except the Mustang) to concentrate on SUVs and F-series pickup trucks. The best restaurants have the smallest menus.

Windows works hard to stifle flexibility for one reason only, it hurts their bottom line.
I don't get this. Any business manager who is not constantly thinking of the bottom line is sure to fail. Period. So to criticize for this seems absurd to me. Yes, absolutely, flexibility hurts its bottom line. And I already explained why. Because users will abuse it, break it, then blame Windows and Microsoft for it. History proved, over and over again, that is the case. But it does not stop there, those unscrupulous journalists, bloggers and MS bashers then go on the rampage spewing exaggerated tales of MS wrong doing. And that inaccurate bad publicity is what really hurts the bottom line.

So Microsoft would much rather get blamed for less flexibility (but a working Windows), than more flexibility (and broken Windows - broken by users who have no clue what they are doing and should get 10 feet from any computer). While I personally wish for more flexibility, as a tech who has made a lot of money off those inept user mess ups, I sure see Microsoft's position on this. And as a business owner, I agree with it.
 
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??? Ummm, you consider yourself a general?
Bill, you know the that was a metaphor. As yes, I consider myself a leader in the technology industry, in my area.
And it never used to be where tech companies appealed to the elites.
Where were you for the 80's, 90's and 00's?
And "elites"? That's a disconcerting choice of words.
Why? In the context it was used, I was describing people who had a high degree of experience, understanding and skill. I do believe that is the very definition of elite, and there's nothing wrong with that.
You are not offending me. I hope I am not you.
No, we're good.

We're off topic though so I'm going to call it good with that response and we can focus back on the start menu thing.
 
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We took the powershell method at work. We use this script in audit mode for new image bases: https://community.spiceworks.com/scripts/show/4378-windows-10-decrapifier-18xx-19xx

We use the default settings to make it as clean as possible, but you can customize in xml near the beginning of the script for the layout and which apps to keep. You can also run it on a specific profile I think on an already existing Windows 10 install. I like it because it is super clean and in our environment has no ill effects.

EDIT: I forgot to mention this mainly affects the start menu, but please read up as it disables other things that are deemed unnecessary. Fully customizable still though and I like how it uses native windows 10 start menu still.

Here is a screenie of mine:

 
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We took the powershell method at work. We use this script in audit mode for new image bases: https://community.spiceworks.com/scripts/show/4378-windows-10-decrapifier-18xx-19xx

We use the default settings to make it as clean as possible, but you can customize in xml near the beginning of the script for the layout and which apps to keep. You can also run it on a specific profile I think on an already existing Windows 10 install. I like it because it is super clean and in our environment has no ill effects.

EDIT: I forgot to mention this mainly affects the start menu, but please read up as it disables other things that are deemed unnecessary. Fully customizable still though and I like how it uses native windows 10 start menu still.

Here is a screenie of mine:

That looks great. Unfortunately, the files aren't available for download and I've got enough accounts all over the place. I'd rather just use LTSC which I have a valid license for. Others might find this of benefit though!
 
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That looks great. Unfortunately, the files aren't available for download and I've got enough accounts all over the place. I'd rather just use LTSC which I have a valid license for. Others might find this of benefit though!
You are right that this is best done right when the system is first set up. It works then for all future profiles that are created. For others that may be interested, here is what I do:

1: put the system into audit mode by pressing ctrl+shift+f3 when the system boots into OOBE (first boot after install, setup stuff)
2: After the PC reboots into audit mode, it logs in by itself and a window pops up with the option to reboot. Do not close this window, just drag it out of the way
3: Open powershell and run the command
Code:
set-executionpolicy unrestricted
and when prompted to continue, type "a" and enter.
4: Change the directory to wherever the script lives (I use a flash drive). In my case it would be
Code:
CD D:
5: Once the directory is changed, I finally run the command:
Code:
./decrapifier.ps1 -clearstart
You are able to save the script with different names. In this case I picked "decrapifier.ps1"
6: It will run for about 30 seconds. As it reminds you at the end, PLEASE RUN THE FOLLOWING WHEN IT IS DONE:
Code:
set-executionpolicy restricted
and press "a" then enter. This will set the powershell execution policy back to default.
7: In that window we dragged aside a while back, choose Out of Box Experience (OOBE) in the dropdown menu and click restart.
8: The system will (re) boot back into the normal OOBE first time setup. Proceed normally from this point on.

EDIT: From the link I provided above, there isn't a download link. You must copy the code from the code window and save it as a .ps1 in notepad.

Also, us using this at work was born of necessity at the time and we stuck with it. LTSB was the only other option during the first round of Windows 10 images we made. We tested it, didn't like the limitations and found this. I am hoping LTSC is different than LTSB and this isn't even necessary anymore. But it never hurts to share info.
 
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Decrapifier has become my new favourite word :)
 
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seriously i want to move to something a fresh start menu after it refuses to appear after i installed some apps
how come M$ create unreliable start menu, just start menu
 
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The W10 start menu is a disaster and modifying it should be avoided because, on the assumption that you don't actually break it altogether, Microsoft will just overwrite your changes and revert it at the next update.

Replace it with something else if you don't like The Microsoft Start Menu as it is.
 
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The W10 start menu is a disaster and modifying it should be avoided because, on the assumption that you don't actually break it altogether, Microsoft will just overwrite your changes and revert it at the next update.

Replace it with something else if you don't like The Microsoft Start Menu as it is.
I can't speak for feature updates as we clean install a new iso every time we need to update, but normal updates do not revert anything that decrapifier changes. I have seen other powershell scripts really mess up the start menu, but being deployed on hundreds of PC's at my place of work currently, there are no issues to be found.

I don't think it is fair to say that you shouldn't try.
 
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Right when it comes to software I'm worse than a newbie. Where do I get open shell as I would dearly like to change my start menu? Thanks in advance.
 
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Where were you for the 80's, 90's and 00's?
On the front lines - literally. In the 70s too. The DoD was spearheading networking along with academia with DARPA. And the USAF (with help from the Navy) was leading the DoD. And I was extremely fortunate and just plain lucky to be stationed at the right place at the right time, and to have enough rank, skills and experience (plus a great commander) to be a part of that on a base where a little organization known as SAC (later STRATCOM) Headquarters as well as TAC's (later ACC) largest and most important wing, the 55th, was and still is located,. And we worked very closely with MS (they kept over a dozen on-site engineers) and others companies as they bent over backwards to appeal and cater to their biggest clients - that is, not to their niche customers.

If you consider the biggest clients as the "elite", then fine. I don't.

In any large organization, you don't want a bunch of "elitists" modifying and customizing their individual work computers to their own liking. That rapidly becomes a support nightmare, not to mention potential security risks.

I feel it is important to differentiate between (1) the corporate user on corporate networks who use their computers for corporate work - along with their 100s or even 1000s of fellow co-workers, (2) the vast majority of individual home users who would be considered "normal" users, and (3) the "elite" enthusiast who represent but a tiny percentage of all Windows users.

You want Microsoft to bend over backwards and cater to just those few "elite" enthusiasts. While I understand and would also like greater flexibility, it is just unrealistic to expect any company to cater their products to the elite few. For that reason, IMO, it is unreasonable to be so critical of Microsoft for not catering to your elitist viewpoint. That's not good business.
Where do I get open shell as I would dearly like to change my start menu?
Did you try Google?
 
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