For most people, the Start→Programs command is the most important function of the Start menu. It's the master list of every program on your computer. You can jump directly to your word processor, calendar, or favorite game, for example, just by choosing its name from the Start→Programs menu.
When you install a software program, it usually installs either a program item or a program group on the Start→Programs menu, as shown in Figure 3-14.
Figure 3-14. The Start→Program may list the actual application (such as Microsoft Word), which you can click to launch the program. But it may also list a program group, a submenu that lists everything in a particular application folder. Sometimes an application's folder contains commands for launching the software, uninstalling the software, running specific utilities, opening the help files, and so on.
This folder lists (and lets you open) the free add-on programs that came with Windows 2000. You'll find them described in Chapter 9.
See page 378 for a summary of these advanced technical tools.
The Start→Programs menu also lists the Startup folder, a folder (program group) of programs that load automatically every time you start Windows 2000. This can be a very useful feature; if you check your email or calendar every morning, you may as well save yourself a few mouse clicks by putting a shortcut ...