Home > Articles

Interface Changes

This chapter is from the book

Other Interface Changes

Traditionally, Microsoft has increasingly added new features to enhance the desktop user's experience, and Windows Server 2003 is no exception. A number of new display settings and effects are available for customizing the look and feel of the desktop in Windows Server 2003. Historically, settings that enhance the user experience have had the potential to degrade performance and therefore have not been appropriate on a server platform. In Windows Server 2003, although these settings exist, a lot of them are either disabled by default or can be disabled relatively easily. For example, the default desktop is blank—there is no flashy background wallpaper, just the standard blue Windows desktop.

The Desktop

One of the first things you will probably notice when you log on to Windows Server 2003 is that there is nothing on the desktop (except the Recycle Bin). Where did everything go? All the icons formerly on the desktop have been moved to the Start menu, although you can adjust the display settings to put some of them back on the desktop.

In addition, several settings are available for enhancing the behavior of menus and windows that can unnecessarily affect performance, such as animating windows when maximizing and minimizing, fading menus into view, and so on.

Fortunately for Windows Server 2003, where minimizing such performance degradations is of concern, a single location is provided to modify these settings based on their impact to server performance. On the Advanced tab of the Control Panel applet is a Performance section. Clicking the Settings button brings up the Performance Options window shown in Figure 3.8.

Figure 3.8Figure 3.8 You can customize the desktop appearance to optimize performance.

As you can see, you have the option to manually enable or disable each of the various display settings, or you can choose a single option to optimize for performance.

The Start Menu

At first glance, it looks like the entire Start menu has been rearranged in Windows Server 2003. In actuality, as you can see in Figure 3.9, the Start menu has been broken down into the following sections:

  • Pinned Programs—This section allows you to "pin" shortcuts for easy access right off the Start menu. By default, it contains shortcuts for the Manage Your Server Wizard and Windows Explorer. You can also add the special desktop shortcuts for Internet or email applications, such as Internet Explorer or Outlook, or any other shortcuts you want.

  • Recently Used Programs—This section is similar to the former Documents section, except it contains a list of all recently used programs, such as Command Prompt, Active Directory Users and Computers, and the like, as shown in Figure 3.9. You can specify how many recently used items appear here by modifying the Start menu properties.

  • Figure 3.9Figure 3.9 The Start menu has been broken down into several sections.

  • All Programs Menu—This section at the root of the Start menu contains the items that were formerly on the Programs menu, including Windows Update and any installed programs, as well as user-added shortcuts.

  • Standard Folders—This section contains the items that were formerly on the desktop, such as My Computer, My Documents, My Network Places, and My Recent Documents, if enabled. By default, only My Computer is displayed.

  • Control Panel—This section contains the Control Panel applet, Administrative Tools, Printers and Faxes, and potentially other Control Panel items (such as Network Connections).

  • Default Utilities—This section contains most of the former Start menu items, including Run, Search, and Help (now called Help and Support).

You can modify these sections by customizing the Start menu and taskbar properties. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the taskbar or Start menu and then select Properties.

  2. Select the Start Menu tab. Then click the Customize button next to the Start Menu radio button.

  3. On the General tab of the Customize Start Menu dialog box, modify the number of programs that appear in the Recently Used Programs section and select the Internet and email application to display in the Pinned Programs section.

  4. Select the Advanced tab, where you can choose which items to display in each of the other sections—for example, whether to show Administrative Tools and Network Connections. You can also specify to display recently opened documents, such as the former Documents Start Menu item. One final setting on this tab is the option labeled Highlight Newly Installed Programs. This setting causes a balloon to pop up over the Start menu, notifying you when a new application has been installed. The pop-up balloon can be somewhat annoying, but this option also highlights the new application in a different color on the Start menu, making it easier to find.

Custom Shortcuts

You can add your own shortcuts only to the Pinned Programs and All Programs Menu sections; the other sections of the Start menu do not allow the creation of shortcuts.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020