Windows UI Design MadnessA post on why the shift key, not the alt key, is used for revealing the 'hibernate' button on Windows XP. The real question, of course, is really why the hibernate button is hidden at all? There's no indication that it's there, and I'm quite certain some people just don't know that the feature is available. Note also that the hotkey for the button will work even if it's hidden. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not; it clearly increases usability for people who actually use hibernate, but it's weird, and it would make more sense just to show the feature in the first place.
Another interesting revelation: you can do a 'no to all' on those Windows dialogs with 'yes to all' by shift-clicking on 'no'. Erm, that's... obvious... right? Of course it is.
Verity Stob reveals here that holding down shift on Word will give you 'close all' and 'save all'. She describes these as 'well-kept-secret-because-too-useful', which seems apt.
This has all been cleared up in Vista, in what appears to be Microsoft's traditional manner; replace it with something different, but arguably even madder.
Ah well. Those horrible damn menus which only showed a random selection of more frequently used items seem to have vanished, anyway. There may be hope for some degree of sanity yet. You have to wonder, though, does Microsoft bother to test any of this stuff on actual users? And if so, how many were able to hibernate in less than an hour?