A submenu in the Windows Start menu that contains shortcuts (pointers) to the user's applications. When an application is first installed, one or more icons are placed in a group within the Programs menu. Clicking Programs displays the installed applications, which can be clicked and run.
Up to Windows 7, a user could right click the Start menu and select Open to display an Explorer hierarchy that showed some, but not all, of the applications in the Start menu. Since a one-for-one correlation did not exist, the Open function only confused people, and it was abandoned in Windows 7. See Program Files