We had a lot of fun with PapaT's StartMenu9 Free. Not as a desktop start menu widget, though it's not bad at it, but as an example of the sort of "handcrafted" software that's less common these days. S9's "look" isn't for everyone, but its functionality is up-to-date. What S9 does is place a floating desktop icon that you can right-click to open an enhanced start menu (extra stuff like My Scratch Pad and various Modules) or double-click to show the desktop (like Windows' Show Desktop button).
S9's Splash Screen … Read more