Windows 7 taskbar

By | July 13, 2009

With the advent of Windows 7 there have been some really big changes introduced.  Some of the first things users will notice are the fact that the look and feel of the new Windows 7 OS has changed. It actually looks more like the Mac OS, familiar to Mac users.

PC users will immediately notice the ever popular task bar within Windows 7 has not only increased in size, but it looks and behaves differently than in previous versions of Windows. Now, any open folders files or applications will be represented on the task bar by an icon rather than a bar with the printed name of the file or application on it.

This will likely take some getting used to but there are some definite benefits to this system. Now you can reorder the task bar icons whereas in previous versions of Windows the icons would appear on the task bar in the order that you opened them. The only way to change the order would be to close and reopen applications.

Another neat feature of the new Windows 7 task bar is the fact that it will even allow you to set a pinned location on your task bar for certain items.  For example you can elect to have all internet explorer icons always open at the far left or far right of your task bar instead of opening anywhere on the task bar it wants to.


In addition that the task bar is larger and more graphical than text based, Windows 7 is also allowing users to get a small preview of what is on each tab by hovering over the tab you are interested in. A small image of what is on that tab will appear in a small box about twice the size of an average thumbnail image. In cases where there might be more than one thing happening in a window such as Internet Explorer or FireFox tabbed browsing, the contents of all the tabs in the application will appear in its own separate preview window. In testing (on a friends computer), I have not yet found the maximum number of tabs that will appear in the preview area, but I would imagine there will be a time when there simply cannot be any additional previews opened at one time.

With this new taskbar there are now more things you can do with it. In the past it was possible to place icons on your desktop to quick start any program you use frequently. Now with Windows 7, you can place your favorite applications quick launch icons directly on your taskbar; no more right clicking to show desktop and then choosing your icon from the list.

You can customize the size of the taskbar as well, to allow for more icons. Since you can now place quick launch icons on the taskbar the ability to make the taskbar larger will prove very useful. Windows 7 shows the difference between an open window and an application quick launch button on the taskbar by bordering each differently.


Windows 7 will also allow customization of the icons that appear in your system tray (the section by the clock). There is a reduced the number of icons that will appear there by default, but it will still allow you to turn on or off any of those icons to your liking.

Although this is a big change for Windows users it is perhaps a needed change that will bring more usability to the Windows platform. Some of us will probably have a tough time at first getting used to the new interface/capabilities; but I trust you will find the same as I did. This interface seems more user-friendly and results in less wasted time clicking around trying to find your stuff.

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