Start Menu X
Start Menu X is an application that allows users to customize the Windows Start menu. In case of Windows 7, it changes the format to classical mode. When it comes to Windows 8, the app integrates a Start button and is able to hide the Start screen at startup as well.
At initialization, the utility creates an icon in the system tray area and automatically changes the Start menu, while giving you the possibility to use a shortcut for switching to default mode.
When it comes to the Start button, Start Menu X provides several pictures but it doesn't allow you to select a custom image. You can choose one of the five skins for the menu, change the scale mode, ask the app to automatically adjust the column width, as well as enable virtual groups.
As far as virtual groups are concerned, you can include and exclude programs for each group (e.g. system, graphics, games), create and remove new groups, as well as edit existing ones.
In addition, you can set Start Menu X to automatically run at Windows startup, tweak the command for toggling between Start Menu X and default mode, as well as reconfigure hotkeys when using the program (e.g. lock, user account).
The application is very light on the system resources, using a low amount of CPU and RAM. It doesn't interrupt normal activity or slow down overall performance. All in all, Start Menu X comes equipped with some nice features for personalizing the Start button and menu. For enhanced functionality, such as one-click launch and tab support, you can check out the professional edition of the program.