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":

See Also


The Author — Johannes Helmig

Dr.Johannes Helmig is working as Director, Technical Knowledge Management in the Belgium office of Gerber Technology where he is involved in Customer Service and internal training, with special interest in Networking.

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