Most Vista newbies are so accustomed to Windows XP Start menus that they stop in their tracks trying to find their way around Vista's revamped Start menu. Here's how to avoid the learning curve:
1. Right-click the Start button and select Properties.
2. Press the Classic Start menu button.
3. Click Customize.
Alternatively, you can stick with Vista's Start menu and customize it to fit your needs. For example, because almost all items in the Start menu are by default listed as links, you must click the link to open the app's window. For quicker access you can set it to open as a Menu, then when you click on the item, you instantly get a scroll-down menu without opening any new windows. You can also control the size of the Start menu by selecting the number of recent programs to display (up to 30).
4. Press OK to finish.