Re: Microsoft middle(nuisance)ware.
That's easy to do in 7. Just drag them into place at the top of the list. I think once you move your first one you have a line appear, above which is the stuff you want there
Yep, and I did use that, but it was a bit limited space wise. Currently I have 30 applications pinned to the start menu in Windows 10, grouped and organised according to use and/or function. (Mostly - there are a few bits and pieces I haven't bothered organising fully, but it's got everything I need on a day to day basis within easy reach.)