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I have noticed that the window menu for most windows look like standard menus, while the window menu for the command processor (cmd.exe) look different. I assumed that cmd.exe was providing custom-made menus, until I started seeing the same type of menu in Chrome.

Here are two images:

alt text
Standard Menu

alt text
Different Menu

Here are two more images:

alt text
Standard Menu in Chrome

alt text
Different Menu in Chrome

Right clicking anywhere on a webpage opened in Chrome brings up a menu similar to the "different menu".

What causes these two styles of windows? I am running Windows Vista 32-bit.


By The Way: I also have a Windows 7 64-bit computer. On that computer, cmd.exe's window menu is the "Standard" one, not "Different". It seems Microsoft must have fixed it. I haven't seen how the Chrome menu looks on Win7 64-bit yet.

Edit: I have now figured out what the problem was. The problem was the way the menu items were being added and removed. I found when I disabled AdBlock: Chrome's menus went back to the "Standard" style. So I am asking now, more specifically, what causes this change? What legacy or backwards-compatible code causes this to happen? (I will put it in a new question on StackOverflow if need be.)

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It's probably related to the extra menu items that the Command Prompt and Chrome add to their system menus. Perhaps those programs use methods from previous versions of Windows to add the extra items, and Vista reverts the menu appearance for compatibility. – Bavi_H Dec 13 '10 at 2:40
In Chrome on Vista I get a menu similar to the one you show as "Standard" (my CMD has the "Different" menu). – Dennis Williamson Dec 13 '10 at 6:33
I just found out: disabling AdBlock in Chrome makes the menus look "Standard" again. I suppose it must be the way that the menu items are being added. – AniDev Dec 14 '10 at 21:26
up vote 4 down vote accepted

These are all the same menu with additions.

Some applications add entries to their System menu - the menu that one sees when clicking on the little logo picture that is on the upper-left of the application's window border.

Windows simply displays the same menu when one right-clicks the task bar.

share|improve this answer
Chrome adds lots of menu options to this system menu. Accessing this menu via right-clicking the taskbar button or clicking the window icon displays the menu in the "Standard" style. Right-clicking within the webpage itself, however, causes this change of style. – AniDev Dec 13 '10 at 20:35
Some applications intercept clicks on the system menu and bring up their own. Then you would have one menu on the taskbar and another in the application. – harrymc Dec 13 '10 at 21:03
I thought so too, when I saw first the cmd.exe menu. When I saw the exact same style in my Chrome after I updated it, I realized this could not be the case: Vista must have been changing the window menu style for some reason. – AniDev Dec 14 '10 at 21:28
Vista doesn't change it : The application does. – harrymc Dec 15 '10 at 6:50
Then how would both the Chrome menu and the cmd.exe window menu look the same (and different from all other menus)? – AniDev Dec 17 '10 at 0:21

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