ViStart Beta 5A few months ago I wrote about a cool application for Windows XP which will emulate the Start Menu in Windows Vista. Then came along another Start Menu emulator from the creator of the Vista Transformation Pack, and this one has received a great update as the final step before Vista Transformation Pack 7 is released.

ViStart Beta 5 is the standalone Start Menu that runs in Windows XP, and perfectly replaces your Start Menu. It does all of the following:

  • Puts your user image in the upper-right corner, and replaces that image with other graphics as you hover over the menu items on the right side.
  • The Programs menu is actually contained within the Start Menu, instead of popping out like it does in XP. This is a big thing that skins alone were never able to emulate.
  • Search! It doesn’t index your files, but the search bar does pull up matching program names as you type.
  • System Tray icon that you can right-click on to shut-down, restart, or log-off of your computer.

The screenshot above is what ViStart looks like in the Vista Transformation Pack, and as you can see there are a lot of similarities to the Vista counterpart. While this program can be run as a standalone program, the font used is what’s specified in your system settings. So from my experience it doesn’t look as spectacular if you don’t have the Vista Transformation Pack installed.

Things are definitely looking up for the Vista Transformation Pack, and when version 7 gets released we’ll be sure to let you know. In the mean time you can play around with ViStart a little more:

ViStart Homepage (English Download Mirror for Beta 5)