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Many of the Linux powered Netbooks come with a simple “Easy Mode” front end – large, chunky icons, all categorised into tabbed menus for you to launch. However, their Windows XP equivalents usually boot to the standard desktop. A Windows version of these easy menus would therefore be useful.

I’ve come across 3 which, kind of, work.

EasyDeskXP

I came across EasyDeskXP quite by accident – its SourceForge hosted site contains few details. And, I have to say, it’s still early days for this application.

It’s not easy to use, I couldn’t find any documentation and it has few configurations options. It also looks hideously ugly – particularly the carbon fibre “look” surround. Horrible.

Easy Mode XP

Next up, Easy Mode XP, is a particular project aimed specifically at EEE PC users. The software is, therefore, branded accordingly but it’s not too bad. However, there are a few niggling issues here and there, including copious spelling mistakes.

The site is in German, but the link I’ve provided is via Google Translate.

FSL Launcher

Now, unlike the previous two applications, FSL Launcher hasn’t been designed for Netbooks, but any PC in general. It’s okay I guess – it’s not the prettiest thing, but not as ugly as EasyDeskXP. It also doesn’t take over the entire desktop, as these easy menus generally do (and whether you find that good or bad, is up to you). Personally, I’d prefer something more like the Linux versions – taking over the entire desktop experience, but allowing you to drop back to the Windows desktop when you want.

Having said all that, it’s the best one I’ve come across so far. Not that this is a huge collection – I was thinking  there’d be more choice.