Your questions: what do I like about Windows 7? The Taskbar, saving me time (and money ;)

Yesterday I noted that there were a few things I like about Windows 7.

I saw a tweet about the post today from microsoftsubnet on the Seven things to love, hate about Windows 7 by Tom Henderson and Brendan Allen in Network World (01/15/09, See

The next area of Windows 7 to mention that I find that I use and enjoy is the new and improved Taskbar, as covered here on MSDN.

Windows 7 taskbar.

I find that the Taskbar’s new features saves me time and effort navigating the many files I keep open on my desktop throughout the day, showing all the apps running in adjacent, live thumbnails, as well as all of the windows I have opened in each app.  At one count, I have six or seven mails open in Outlook, a couple of bugs in PS, several tabs in IE8, Office Communicator and a couple of additional apps I don’t recall.  More on the Taskbar from MSDN:

In Windows Vista, hovering over an application’s taskbar button displays a thumbnail that represents the running window. If the taskbar has collapsed the application’s windows, the thumbnail represents this by appearing as a stack, but only the active window is shown in the thumbnail itself.

In Windows 7, each member of a group is shown as a separate thumbnail and is now also a switch target. An application can define its children (such as true child windows, individual documents, or tabs) and provide corresponding thumbnails for each of those windows even when they would not normally appear in the taskbar. This enables users to switch directly into the view of the application that they want rather than switching into the application and then switching to their destination. For example, multiple-document interface (MDI)/tabbed-document interface (TDI)applications can have each document or tab displayed as a separate thumbnail and switch target when the mouse hovers over a group’s taskbar button.

Three taskbar thumbnails that represent individual tabs in Windows Internet Explorer.

Cleary I’m not the only one who thinks this way: this feature was also noted today by Jason Chen on Gizmodo in his post Win 7 Tip: The Taskbar Is the Most Useful New UI Change.  Chen reports this week (Jan 15 2009) that…

"Once you get past the slightly differently-colored Aero theme in Windows 7, you’ll realize that it looks, UI-wise, almost the same as Vista. That is, until you look down at the Taskbar. Now that’s new.

"First, you’ll notice that the Quick Launch Bar (the little tray on the left in XP and Vista where you can click to launch apps) has been combined with the Taskbar (the place where open apps used to sit so you can access them). Now, it’s just one bar of icons that opens up "in place", much like OS X’s dock. You then can right click on these and pin them to to the Taskbar (again, like the Dock) so you can launch these apps when not in use."

More on the Taskbar can be seen in the PDC video on Channel 9 covering the Windows 7 desktop from Chaitanya Sareen, and described in his blog post on the e7 blog.

When used with some of the new hotkey shortcut combinations in the Windows 7 Beta (courtesy of Brandon), you can fly through your work on Win7.

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Tags: Microsoft, your questions, Windows Live, customer experience, Windows 7.

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