Microsoft details the Windows 7 Taskbar

Chaitanya Sareen, Windows Team at Microsoft, has produced a blog post detailing the new Windows 7 Taskbar.

In the post Sareen highlights the following areas of evolution:

In the post, Sareen also posts screen shots of one of the latest builds of Windows 7 at Microsoft, Build 6948.fbl_shell_dex.081112-1755. Most of the features we already know about from PDC but one interesting addition, that Microsoft didn't demonstrate at PDC, is overlay icons and progress bars in the taskbar. Microsoft now allows application developers to give feedback about progress by having their taskbar button turn into a progress bar. This is particularly useful for file copy progress, as shown below. An icon can now also be shown over a program's taskbar button.

If you are interested in the Windows 7 development or the new taskbar then it's a worth while read and explains some of the design decisions that Microsoft have made.

If you're interested in all the features being demonstrated on video then we recorded several videos at PDC where members of the Windows team demonstrated the new Taskbar, you can view them here.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Multi-touch LG KF900 Prada is launched

Next Story

New study shows online use good for teens

39 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

yay its worst for quick multitasking! awesome, because it wasn't bad enough how it is now. And wow different colours and the colour moves with the mouse. Not impressed with it. Rather the present taskbar and even that is very dated and not multi-task friendly.

You can still use the normal taskbar if you prefer it instead. This is just an option, and probably be the default. Just like in XP you can turn off the large Green 'start' button and go back to the win2k style

Actually, in the final version of Windows 7 Microsoft is getting rid of the old taskbar style so that won't be an option in future beta builds and the final build. Look around on the internet and you'll find articles that state this.

I keep wondering how many Win7 features OSX will have next spring, just so they can claim they did it first.. It's looking very very suspicious the timing of their next release, and all the promises that it's going to be relatively minor. It's almost like they're setting up the release just so they can air another 2 dozen "I'm A Mac" comercials where they lie about who came up with jump menus and how Dorky PC is just a biter...

Many of the solutions to problems in Windows taskbar, which were addressed in Windows 7, have been part of the Dock since it was developed by NeXT. Others were added when it was merged with the Mac UI in Mac OS X in 2001.

In other words, Microsoft solved many problems in the Windows Taskbar by implementing the same features as found in the OS X Dock (unified launch / switch, overlays, application menus, etc.)

Live previews and Jump lists/menus, for example, are MS' answer to Stacks and Expose. But without the visual comfort and organization offered by Spaces. OS X has had a Stacks list view option in the Dock (as well as fan and grid) for a while now.

You can hate Apple because of their marketing, that's fine. But the Superbar is only innovative in that it's new in Windows, not in the industry.

LTD said,
In other words, Microsoft solved many problems in the Windows Taskbar by implementing the same features as found in the OS X Dock (unified launch / switch, overlays, application menus, etc.)


But the Mac does not have unified launch/switch, and does not have anything like Jump Lists.

Live previews and Jump lists/menus, for example, are MS' answer to Stacks and Expose. But without the visual comfort and organization offered by Spaces. OS X has had a Stacks list view option in the Dock (as well as fan and grid) for a while now.


Jump Lists are nothing like stacks in OS X. Stacks are just Apple's answer to folder toolbands that that Taskbar has supported since Win95 + IE 4.0.

The progress bar overlay when Photoshop renders for a long time, for example. Transmit shows a badge when uploading to FTP, Adium and Mail badge with a number of unread messages.

shakey_snake said,
"We'll always had overlay icons throughout Windows"

Who wrote this blog post, lol?


Not sure what you mean. We've had icon overlays, like, forever.

Not trying to get anyone to flame me, but the Windows 7 'Superbar' seems to have some similarities to the controlled area in Windows 1.01, just thought I'd point that out.

this is what they were talking about in PDC, its also evidence that the new style taskbar is Windows, and has been since 1985.

Sacha said,
Gasp! Proof of Windows 1.01 code still existing in Windows 7! They just made better graphics and jump menus.


Interesting, the similarities between the Superbar and the OS X dock must mean that Microsoft hacked Apple and stole their source code!

:rolleyes:

Next up from Sacha, Windows has code from (Insert) because both use an LDA operand!

Athernar said,
Interesting, the similarities between the Superbar and the OS X dock must mean that Microsoft hacked Apple and stole their source code!

:rolleyes:

Next up from Sacha, Windows has code from (Insert) because both use an LDA operand!

lol ... he was sarcastic (i think)

georgevella said,

lol ... he was sarcastic (i think)


Microsoft even said they were "stealing from themselves." Frankly, it's good to see very old ideas being reused and fixed up.

LTD said,
Um . . . aren't those just icons on the desktop, with the open Windows covering most of the desktop?

Than again I've never used Windows 1.0, and I don't recall Windows 3.1 having a dock-like feature.

Right? Wrong?

No it was a bar. Windows 1 didn't have a desktop to my knowledge. But that bar was taken out in Windows 2 if Im not mistaken.

I'm not sure about the overlay icons, but the progress bar idea was implemented in build 6801 too (check the file copy dialog).

This is particularly useful for file copy progress, as shown below. An icon can now also be shown over a program's taskbar button.

that already is there with 6801 [unlocked of course]

creamhackered said,
ah ok I hadn't noticed that. They didn't really demonstrate this at all at PDC though.


Yes we did There was even a whole session on that stuff which included the overlays and progress bars.