On my Windows XP I simply press Start -> U to see the Windows shutdown menu, so I can choose whether to shut down or restart or standby or whatever.
Is there a similarly elegant way to do that on Windows 7, without touching the mouse?
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shutdown -t 0
Another way is to press Ctrl+Alt+Del, then Shift-Tab twice, followed by Enter or Space.
This way is useful if you want to shut down without installing Windows Updates: Normally Windows 7 has no way to shut down without installing updates like XP did, but this way you can get to a shutdown menu with separate entries for Shut down and Shut down after installing updates.
Why not just configure your power button to shut your computer down? Just go to "Control Panel"/"Power Options" and click on "Chose what the power buttons do".
Alternatively, I just press Win, left arrow key (followed the left arrow key again and the up arrow, if shutdown is not your default option!)
If you have Process Explorer installed and running:
Alt + TAB to Process Explorer
Alt + F, H, S, Y
I got very fed-up with the Windows 7 Start Menu, its look and behaviour upset the tricks I've learnt since Windows 3.1. So I installed
[Classic Start Menu] Classic Shell and got the old style menu back. Try it, you might like it.
It's lightweight, reliable and eminently configurable and your fancy-schmancy Windows 7 Start Menu is still there. I have mine set-up so Option + Click instantly displays it.
I have switched to Classic Shell which is even better than Classic Start Menu. All the above applies and more!
[In case anyone marks this as spam I'd just like to state that I have absolutely no connection with the organisation that produces it and you're welcome to contact me for further details if you like.]