The recent items (recent documents in XP) is not enabled in Windows 7 by default. Here are the steps to enable it.
- Right click on the Windows button and select Properties.
- Click on the Start Menu tab and make sure the Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar box is checked.
- Click on the Customize… button to bring up the Customize Start Menu dialog.
- Scroll down and make sure the Recent Items box is checked.
- Click on OK buttons to close both dialogs. The Recent Items is now enabled.