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> I don't understand how the "modern" Windows start menu works they introduced in Win 8 I think.

The current start menu was introduced in Windows 10 though even the initial 10 version was a bit different. Windows 8 had a "start screen" where there were only tiles (that are now at the side) and took the entire screen.

Because the Windows 8 start screen and the initial Windows 10 start menu strongly deemphasized folders (submenus) everything was placed on the top level (in Windows 8 you'd see even subfolder icons on the top level). More recent versions of Windows 10 have the start menu show proper folders by default, but they use a tree-like "flow down" approach instead of an actual popup menu approach which makes navigating them harder.

These two combined makes the start menu a mess with tons of toplevel entries for applications that you are not going to use often or at all and a UI that makes it hard to create proper categories.

Nowadays we have more applications and programs than we ever had in the history of personal computing, yet the UIs for launchers are now being made as if we only have a handful of applications. This is true not only for Windows but also for launchers like those found in GNOME, elementaryOS, etc.

I've given up trying to locate the program I need via the tiles. Now I hit the Windows key and start typing the application name I need. Making the interface worse has actually made things easier in many cases. Except when I end up launching a web search by mistake.

I do the same, because for some reason only microsoft knows those tiles display the latest news and try to get me to launch candy crush instead of helping me to launch programs.

So I only use the search feature which works ok most of the time. Some days ago I fixed the printer on my wife's laptop which involved a restart as usual. Right after the restart I typed "printer" in the search field and all I got was web -search. So right after a restart windows "forgets" that it has a native setting for configuring printers (and basicly everthing else).

Windows 7 had start menu search, only without the web bits, so its still worse.

That stopped working on my machine, I found a ton of articles on the web about it but none of the suggestions fixed it. In the end I did a reinstall.

Linux Desktop launchers are much, much worse I think, if only because .desktop files are among the stupidest things ever designed.

.desktop files are just the equivalent to Windows .lnk files, if anything they can contain additional metadata. The issue is the DEs that use them (and not all are of the same bad quality).

If anything i'd say that .desktop files are among the few things that Free Desktop got right (though i think that is largely because they're basically KDE1's .kdelnk or whatever they were called).

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