Forget about Start Menu. If you like how Google Desktop lets you open programs from Start Menu, but you don't like its high memory usage, you can try Launchy, a skinnable tool that appears only when you enter a keyboard shortcut (by default, Alt+Space).
You can use it too open all kinds of files from your computer. You can select what kind of files you want to index and their location. Although it won't index the text of the files or their metadata, Launchy is very fast and sexy.
Where to use Launchy? * launch applications * start different tools from Control Panel * open music files * view pictures