If you used Windows XP for a long time (who didn't?), one of the biggest changes when moving to Windows 7 or Vista was the massively-altered Explorer. While the new Explorer introduces some useful new features, it also removed just as many -- which is where Classic Shell comes in!
We've covered Classic Shell before, but here's the crib note: Classic Shell restores almost every Windows XP-era Explorer feature. The best change, in our opinion, is the reemergence of the 'up' arrow, meaning you now navigate without using the Windows Vista/7 'breadcrumbs' address bar. The status bar yet again shows the total size of your selection, and -- praise be! -- the diabolical Windows 7 Copy File 'copy and replace?' dialog has been replaced with a Windows XP lookalike (image after the break).
New to the most recent version of Classic Shell is the ability to make IE9 look like IE8. With Classic Shell the title bar yet again has a caption, so you can see the full title of Web pages. The current security zone and loading progress indicator have been put back into the status bar, too. If you enable 'Show tabs on a separate row,' it's almost like using IE8.
Finally, Classic Shell replaces the omnipotent Windows 7 Start Menu with the age-old 'classic' Windows 2000/XP-style Start Menu. Classic Shell makes the Start Menu skinable, too, if you're into the kind of thing.
As awesome as it sounds, we've only touched on a small section of Classic Shell's feature set. Check the Classic Shell site for a complete list. There's a few more images of Classic Shell in action after the break.
Download Classic Shell for Windows