As you know, I’ve been playing with Windows 7 on my HP TouchSmart. So far, I’m enjoying the experience. One complaint I’ve always had about Windows through the years is that the task bar never changed much. Well, that is about to change with Windows 7!
If you’re a power user, you’re going to love this. If you want one reason to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 – this is the one. The taskbar is double the height, with good reason. We have bigger screens now than we used to! Of course, if you’ve always set your taskbar to double height, you’ll already know what you have to gain.
Your time and date are now stacked on top of one another. The system tray icons look much cleaner and crisper. The most dramatic change, though, is that the icons can be moved around. They’re managed in a different fashion, as well.
Once I had opened a few windows, I was able to show you how no new icons were added to my task bar at the bottom of the screen. The icons were stacked on top of each other over top of the default icon for the application. If I click that icon, I get thumbnail previews of all of the windows. If I right-click the icon, it pulled in the history from the window (Internet Explorer at this time).
If I don’t like where the icon is, I can drag it elsewhere on my task bar. No matter how many windows I open, the taskbar doesn’t really grow. The nice thing is that again, I can click my window icon once to get previews of where I’m going. So if I have several Windows Explorer windows open, I can can even right-click to get options like seeing what the most frequently-visited folders are.
By the way, the Windows Explorer has been completely rebuilt. I hope to get the developer in here with me to discuss all of those changes whenever he’s cleared to do so.
All-in-all, the taskbar in Windows 7 is definitely awesome. I love messing with it, and I know you will too. Make sure that you download your beta copy of Win 7 if you have a VM or testing box to put it on. Don’t use it as your primary operating system yet, as it IS still in beta version. I think once you start playing around with it, you’re going to be happily surprised at everything it brings to the table.
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