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Windows 7 New Taskbar - An Overview

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Windows 7 offers a new way of controlling your desktop, managing your windows, and launching applications. The Windows 7 Taskbar is a new application-launching and window-switching mechanism that consolidates the functionalities from previous Windows OS Desktop mechanisms such as Quick Launch, Recent Documents, Notification area icons, desktop shortcuts, and running application windows.

Watch Yochay Kiriaty, Windows 7 Technical Evangelist, and Taskbar product team members Chaitanya Sareen, Trish Miner, Stephan Hoefnagels as we present the new Windows 7 Taskbar functionality and motivations. This video shows what is new in the Windows 7 desktop and taskbar, and the common user tasks and scenarios we are simplifying.

The Windows 7 Taskbar Overview is one of a series of Channel 9 videos about the new Windows 7 Taskbar. Other videos include:

1.       Designing the Windows 7 Taskbar

2.       Windows 7 Taskbar Behind the Scenes

3.       Jump in to Windows 7 Taskbar Jump Lists

4.       Windows 7 Taskbar Overview
   

For more technical information on the Windows 7 Taskbar, read the Windows 7 Taskbar Part 1 – The Basics post. For more technical content on Windows 7, along with a few cool code samples, go to the The Windows 7 Blog for Developers.

If you missed the PDC sessions on the Windows 7 Taskbar, you can always watch their videos: Welcome to Windows 7 Taskbar and Integrate with Windows 7 Taskbar – but I know you already saw them few times. Wink

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  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    the new taskbar and win7 in general is pretty awsome i gotta say..
    there are some things i miss though
    there isnt any indication of what host window a tab lives in :/ its not a huge deal but in an app like vs one might have several instances with the same file name (but diffrent branches for example) its a problem, albeit not a huge one.. (peek help with this issue)
    a grouping feature cold also have been used for tab groups in ie..

    what im saying i guess is that it whould be cool if windows that are collapsed together in the taskbar could be grouped further in an app specific way Smiley is that possible somehow?

  • MathieuRhapsody In Metal We Trust
    Great video and very nice to see these new features.

    ps. It's funny to see a group of people without any 'TV' experience. Tongue Out
  • Hi big Al,
    To answer you last question, yes. You can control the way you group different windows in to one glom or several gloms. Watch the    Jump in to Windows 7 Taskbar Jump Lists for more information and examples.

    And thanks for the feedback.

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    yeah i say that one Smiley its good but i meant grouping with in a single glom Smiley (a glom is a task bar "button" right?) the ability control the number of gloms yourself is great but ie doesnt do that :/ (thats an ie thing though) it wouls have been nice to be able to control the default behaviour though, like decidning that app A is going to have gloms for each instance and app B is only going to have one glom and app C can decide for it self Smiley

    you wouldnt happen to know if the ie team are thinking about giving users more control over the gloms?


    --edit--
    oh wait, i thought you linked to the pdc session Smiley i'll watch the video  you actually linked too, thanks Smiley

    --edit2--

    ok ive watched it now Smiley good stuff, i still wonder if there is any way to control those general heuristics for generating appIDs though.. i'd imagine you could do something with shortcuts but i'll poke around a bit more once i get 7 installed on my home box.. im greatful for any extar info you have though Smiley
  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.

    About the drag/dropping of icons in notification areas.. what if I want an icon to show up only when it has a certain appearance? For instance, on my Vista laptop right now, I have the LAN icon set to hidden except when there is an actual connection. Likewise, I'd like to set up the WHS Connector icon to only show up when my network is critical (and the icon is red). I can do that in Vista right now, because it allows you to show/hide stuff based on the appearance of the icon. How would I do that in 7?

  • It's very nice to see that the user can now arrange taskbar buttons by dragging them around. I REALLY hope that the same will be true for the popup preview windows that display the application's various windows. This is because it allows the user to arrange the internal order of windows inside the popup thereby saving time when using the same windows to type different things in.

    Example:

    You may have different powershell instances launched but the first one is pointed at c: and the second one is pointed at c:\program files\. If you, the third one pointed at something else. By allowing the user to control the order of the 'preview' windows inside the popup, you save time when trying to do repetitive tasks that require frequent window switching... User in control!
  • rjdohnertrjdohnert You will never know success until you know failure
    Personally, I like Windows 7.  It screams on an older machine I have so I do think Microsoft has gotten it right.  Will I use it outside of beta?  Probably not.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    Why not?
  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!

    Charles - Why Not?

    Cost?

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    what do i have to do to report bugs in win7? i cant seem to find a connect page and the "send feedback" links say i dont have premission to post in the connect forums :/ is there an invitation code im missing? i got my beta key from msdn..

    the bugs ive found are mostly in the shell but still, they are a bit annoying.. nothing major though.

    does anyone know why the icons such as library and homegroup appear in the folder desktop in explorer but not on the actual desktop? at least i think thats a bug.. if not, its very confusing Smiley also, if you delete the library from the desktop folder in explorer, then right click on your username in the start menu (took a while for me to figure out that that was actually the library and not the "user folder" now, also confusing i might add) and add it back, it does appear on the desktop and in the desktop folder in explorer..

    also, if you delete the username folder in the desktop folder in explorer (again, because that folder isnt visible on the actual desktop), instead of disappearing, the libraries and homegroup folders pop back in the desktop folder, but not on the desktop O_o

    again, these arent critical bugs but they are confusing and would definitly hurt win7 in the eye of users if they remain until rtm :/ regular users dont notice things like the new more core aware thread scheduler for example, no matter how good it is :/

    ive also had issues with the glass turning solid in some windows and on the taskbar.. setting the color intensitiy pops the glass right back, but annoying still :/

    id love to be able to post this stuff in the proper place but this'll have to do for now Smiley

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    personally i think 7 is great Smiley with peek and the start search combined with all the techy stuff like readyboost and kernel improvment it completly pwns xp imo..

    ive run 7 on a 512 mb vpc without much trouble and even xp struggles with that amount of memory (with no glass though, but still)

    the pref/memory improvment and peek are cause for an upgrade from vista as well i think but perhaps not as urgently.. if i wasnt such a geek that i have to use the latest stuff when ever possible, pricing would definitly be a deal tipper..

    vista was a tad expensive i think.. i do belive (and hope) 7 will be cheaper because of the faster release cycle, but i'll be interesting to see the final pricing.. it will most likely affect how quickly i'll adopt 7 on my home boxes
  • Isnt this just Mac OS X all over again? This actually goes for a lot of Vista/win7 features ... Search (Spotlight), Gadgets (Widgets), Chess, Calendar ... and now the taskbar (mac os dock). I miss some innovation here!
  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    sorry dude but you need to check your research Smiley apple will claim they invented everything from touch to fire to the wheel, but it just aint so..

    search/spotlight: was at pdc 2002 or 2004 (cant remember witch) waaay before osx came out.. it was a part of the whole winFS deal that later got scrapped.. apple then implemented a simpler version of that and called it spotlight.. ironically win vista came out the stripped down version of the winFS idea, saved searces turned out pretty much liek spotlight and everyone was saying that microsoft stole the idea.. but ms had the concept first (of ms and apple anyway) but aplle was faster to market (like they usually are)

    i cant really speak for widgets but win7 doesnt even include a calander app so i dont know what you mean there..

    as for the taskbar.. check out the pdc talk. there they show windows 2.1 that actually had a taskbar nearly identical to the one in 7. and that was several years before the dock. so if anything microsoft is stealing the taskbar from win 2.1 not from osx.

    imo aero peek is pretty inovative. its such a simple idea but its darn useful. as are the tab groups in explorer, you dont see that in any other browser..

    i would note thoght that there really arent any new ideas.. Smiley im willing to bet that all ui advanced made in the last 10 years was first described in some research paper of book.. its just the sad truth Smiley  imo the taskbar still aces the dock in that programs can group however they want (i dont think thats possible in osx but im not sure) and also peek has not equivalent in osx as far as i know Smiley
  • DouglasHDouglasH Just Causual
    At least if you are going to compare it to OS/x make sure you get it in order who borrowed what from whom.

    Spotlight was borrowed from desktop search. Gadgets oh have been around since OS/2 days. way before konfabulator etc were even thought of. and came to windows first. (desktop x stardock) Calendar I'll give you ya.  games I don't count as they typically are removed from business installs anyway.

    Current taskbar imo is an evolution of the current task bar. that aside, there have been plenty of other ideas out there that both apple and ms have borrowed from;)

    Douglas
  • The general new Taskbar concept is fine, but I think it feels only half-done
    1. Why are the Notification area icons still so small, it is very difficult to tell them apart and see what they are?
    2. If you click on an app icon that is not running or has one instance, the windows maximizes, if you click again, it minimizes. That's good. Why is the behaviour radically different when there are 2 or more instances of an app running: you can no longer minimize any window and clicking does nothing else but bring up the quick preview button. Why doesn't click just open for example the most recently used window instance of that program, and clicking again would minimize that or all windows in that program group? To me, that would be a much, much better usability.
    3. I find the Start menu has a lot of redundances and unnecessary noise. Why are there so  many, many links in right hand pane that all lead to almost the same Library place in Windows Explorer.  Why not just eliminate the  all and replace them with one large button labled "Libraries". Simple, effective, easy. Why are there 2 places to pin icons, start menu and task bar? I find it confusing and inconsistent, since your most important apps should now be on the Taskbar.  Why not eliminate that stupid "All Programs" link, and instead directly just show all programs? Fewer clicks = happier users.
    4. The replacement for the mini taskbar media player has missing functionality, functionality I use a lot:  no skimming, no volume control.
    5. Why does the running  Windows Live Messenger have 2 windows instead of one when hovering or clicking,  making it super akward to launch the list of contacts online (as I mentioned in point 2)

    So sorry, I am not getting this new Windows 7 Taskbar in its current form. I find it akward and requireing a lot more clicks and moving the mouse around than the current Taskbar.
  • I love Win7 for its technical accomplishments, however I prefer the Vista task/start bar.
    I hope i'll be able to config it back down somehow without having it revert to a win98 look.
  • I'm not impressed Sad

    1) Way too many clicks to do anything. Currently I only need a single click to switch to my application. Are you telling me that I'm going to have to hover over the taskbar button, hover over the instance/tab and then finally click the button to actually switch? And this is supposed to make it "easier"?
    2) That taskbar is way too big / thick. Not only will we have huge applications bars thanks to the ribbon, but now the taskbar is twice as thick as well. I bought a higher resolution monitor to have more room, not so that you guys can fill it up.
    3) The whole this "icon is both for running and closed application instances" I'll have to see if I can get used to.
    4) Where are the needed customizations? What if don't want those icons to be so huge? (my eyes are quite fine thank you very much) What if I want to drag one IE window to one monitor and another instance to another? Will it separate the two? Please tell me you will finally have proper multi-monitor support!

    I say you guys go back to the drawing board and a little less BS (i.e. marketing talk) would help as well. This is C9 after all. Thanks.
  • Has anything been done for dual monitor support?  (Something like UltraMon)

    Can you change where the start button is when the start bar is docked someplace other than the bottom.  I'd like to have the start bar on the left, but still have the start button in the lower left of the screen instead of the upper left.

    Otherwise it looks great and I'm looking forward to playing around with it.
  • sarsar

    this is a fucking * is ssooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      fucking bad

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