We already saw that programs in the pin list are pruned from the most-frequently-used programs list because they would be redundant. Another fine-tuning rule was introduced after the initial explorations with the new Windows XP Start menu: Programs with specific "noise" names are removed from consideration.

Many "noise" programs were showing up as frequently used because they happened to be shortcuts to common helper programs like Notepad or Wordpad to display a "Read Me" document. These shortcuts needed to be filtered out so that they couldn't be nominated as, say, the Notepad representative. The list of English "poison words" is given in Knowledge Base article 282066.

(Incidentally, a program can also register itself as not eligible for inclusion in the front page of the Start menu by creating a NoStartPage value in its application registration.)

We'll see in the epilogue that Windows Vista uses an improved method for avoiding the "unwanted representative" problem.