First looks at the Windows XP interface: Windows, Start-Menu and Balloon-Tips

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 3 June 2002 / Last Updated on 3 June 2002]

A first view of Windows XP : Like on each new Windows version, you will need to get used
to a new layout ( which really puts a different view on the joke Bill Gates and GM ) :

Desktop and Start-menu:

The desktop is empty :

no icons for "My Computer" or
"Network Neighborhood" /
"My Network Places"


And the Start-menu has changed
completely !



For people, which do not like to
get used to this new menu, there is
(luckily) a solution:
right-click on the Taskbar and select
to display the "Properties":

Tab: Start Menu:
select "Classic Start menu"


(you can also use the Group Policy Editor
to define the Classic Start menu as default
for all users )
This looks a lot more familiar
for long-time users of Win9x/NT4
or Windows 2000 !


Look of Windows:

Open a Windows, like in
this example: "My Computers"

The XP-look of Windows is
"colorful" (not really my taste ! )
For people, which do not like to
get used to this new Windows Style,
there is (luckily) a solution:
right-click on the free area on the
Desktop select to display the
"Properties":

tab: Themes :

Here you can switch to the
"Windows Classic" look
(and also back to the XP look)
That looks (at least for me) a lot better:
It looks now again like a Window
system.......


(you can also use the Group Policy Editor
to define the "Windows Classic Style" as
default for all users )


In the taskbar, you are "pushed" by the "Windows Messenger" to sign up
with with Microsoft ( not required, you can deactivate the Messenger )


Even with the "Classic Windows Style", most Windows in XP are very colorful :

but as usual it can be switched to the Classic style
(you can also use the Group Policy Editor to define the "Windows Classic Style" as default for all users )


Balloon Tips displayed on the Taskbar

Windows XP has a "bad habit" to keep on displaying
from the taskbar Balloon Tips , showing all kind of
(sometimes stupid and annoying ) reminders.

To stop Windows XP to display these balloon messages, you can use :
- TweakUI for Windows XP
- via a Registry entry


Use REGEDIT and open the key :
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced,
right-click on that last key "Advanced" and select from the pop-up menu to create
a "New" -> "DWord Value" :


Enter as name for the new sub-key : "EnableBalloonTips" and make sure, that the value is "0":

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