While I don’t run all that many desktop applications any more, I run enough of them on enough machines that I really dislike dealing with the Start menu in Windows. Install more than a couple of apps and the Start menu becomes positively weed-infested with app folders, to the point that it’s impossible to find anything at all. And don’t even get me started about rearranging the menu as it’s just too time consuming, especially across multiple machines.
The solution? Many Mac users love the excellent Quicksilver, a kind of launcher-cum-search app that quickly finds and makes available every app (and file) on your computer. We Windows users have nothing nearly so sophisticated, but I have grown very fond of AppRocket from CandyLabs. While it might feel a little unorthodox give it a chance, it will definitely grow on you — it has become indispensable for me.
[Update] As a side note, since being acquired by imeem almost a year ago, virtually nothing has been done with AppRocket. Why not? I see no sign of the functionality in imeem either.