But what if you like desktop icons? What if you want icons like Internet Explorer and My Computer back on the desktop? Not to worry. There are many ways to place these familiar items on the desktop, and the Start Menu offers one particularly easy way. Let's say, for example, that you want the shortcut to My Computer back on the desktop. If so, you could follow this procedure:
That's all there is to it! Just a few clicks, and you've got the desktop you are most comfortable with. Note two things here: one, this will not affect the original Start Menu item, and two, you won't be able to use this particular technique for all Start Menu items.
But you're a maverick XP user, aren't you, and you want to keep on creating desktop icons. In that case, another technique is available for sending Start Menu items to the desktop:
Unlike the previous example, this method should work for almost all Start Menu items, including all of the programs kept under the All Programs heading. Just don't let any of Microsoft's XP programmers see you do this unless you want to witness an apoplectic fit.
It's also worth mentioning here that the Start Menu is really just a component of the Taskbar. Much like the Start Menu, the Taskbar's job is to manage your interaction with the programs installed on your system. It displays the programs that are currently running and lets you easily switch back and forth between open programs. The Taskbar (and thus the Start Menu) normally resides at the bottom of the screen, but you can move it, expand it, shrink it, or even make it go away when you're not using it.