Windows 7: Superbar Overview

So far, in our Windows 7 Overview series, we have published the following:


Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more focus items on Windows 7 including Touch, Windows 7 networking and media enhancements. Stay tuned for the ultimate Windows 7 focus from Neowin.net. Here is an overview of the new Taskbar in Windows 7.

Superbar
Even though the Taskbar is still named "Taskbar" in Windows 7, due to its fresh new look and awesome features, it is called as Superbar by many. The superbar has taken the Windows Taskbar to the next level since its launch in Windows 95.

The superbar by default uses large icons and is also more glassy than in Vista!

Improved Thumbnail Previews
Like Vista, Windows 7 taskbar also provides thumbnail previews of the running applications. But with the new superbar, you can now see previews of all running instances of that application. For example, if you have three IE tabs open, you can see previews of all the three tabs and easily switch between them by just hovering or clicking over the IE icon in the taskbar.

Aero Peek
The addition of the new improved thumbnail previews to the taskbar has led to a new feature called Aero Peek. This is very important when you want to switch between applications when several other windows are open. You might need to minimize every other window opened to look for your application or use ALT + TAB or Windows Flip 3D to browse the applications. With the new superbar, you can just hover on the thumbnail previews to get a preview of that window while the other windows fade away into glass sheets and easily switch to your application!

Show Desktop
This is one of my favorite icons in the taskbar. It has got a slightly different location in the new superbar with some additional functionality. The show desktop icon is now moved to the right hand corner of the taskbar.

It provides a preview of all windows open faded away into glass sheets when you hover over the icon. This helps to have a peek of your desktop before you switch. Clicking on the icon switches to your desktop.

Identifying Open and Closed applications
With the new superbar, everything is an icon and as we saw earlier, thumbnail previews helps us to easily preview different instances of the same application.

But, how do I differentiate between the applications that are running and closed?

At first, it looks hard to find which applications are running and closed, but it turns out that it isn't hard after all. The applications running appear as overlay icons in the superbar and others appear normal.

In the screenshot below, we can see that the applications - Windows Explorer, IE, Windows Media Player are open and the applications - FireFox, MSN Live Messenger, closed.

The superbar application also indicates that there are multiple windows of the application open by providing extra overlays

In the screenshot above, you can see that the applications - Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer and MSN Live Messenger have multiple windows open.

Another cool way of keeping track of the applications running is using the new Color Hot-track feature. Each running application's icon is given a different color when you move your mouse over the icon in the superbar. The color is based on the icon itself.

Application's Progress
Some applications provide progress - like downloading a file from Internet or copying a file from one folder to another using Windows Explorer. Superbar now provides feedback about the progress by turning that application icon into a progress bar!

But I have noticed that it becomes difficult to keep track of multiple progresses in the same application. For example, I am not sure whether IE icon shows cumulative progress feedback when there are more then one file being downloaded or just shows the progress feedback of the last file being downloaded.

New Application Previews
It looks like now developers can customize the thumbnail previews by adding Thumbnail Toolbars which provides the ability to add window controls right in context of taskbar buttons.

Here is a new look for Windows Media Player icon when you hover on to it

You can pause/play, skip to next or previous track using the thumbnail preview. The Windows Media Player deskband which was present in earlier versions(until Vista) has now transformed into a thumbnail toolbar. It would have been a lot better if volume up/volume down were also added to the toolbar and display visualizations when enabled.

Here is another application - Windows Live Messenger - I am sure this will be improved in later versions

Expect more updates from various other third-party applications too in the future.

Jump Lists
This is again another new feature which developers can make use of. Jump Lists provide quick access to the applications' options like History of recently visited sites in Internet Explorer. They are readily available for you all the time in the list and you can just jump to that item in the list to reach the destination.

Right-clicking an icon in the superbar or moving the icon upwards with left click reveals its jump list. Developers can customize and add their own lists. By default, the list contains the program's shortcut, the ability to pin/unpin from taskbar and the ability to close one or all windows and a program's recent destinations.

Pin and Unpin Applications
Unlike in Vista or earlier versions, it is now very easy to Pin and Unpin icons to the taskbar. You can easily pin/unpin start menu items to taskbar with a right click on that item.

You can also access the application's jump list to pin/unpin it from the taskbar

You can also easily pin/unpin the items in the jump list. Pinning jump list items helps to easily go to that destination.

Notification Area
With the new superbar, users can now configure the notification area on how it should behave and is in total control of the user. The user can customize which applications to show notifications and not.

Customizing the Superbar
There is no joy if Microsoft doesn't provide a way to go back in time. Some users might not like the new way of grouping items, especially the icon overlay display where sometimes it becomes difficult for some users to identify which applications are running and closed.

You can easily access these options in the Taskbar properties dialog window

Below are screenshots of taskbar buttons with different options:

1) Always combine, hide labels (default behavior)

2) Combine when taskbar is full (similar to earlier versions of Windows)

3) Using small icons

4) Using large icons (default behavior)

The superbar is indeed a major feature update for Windows 7. Of course, many users will find the superbar initially surprising as it needs some time to grasp the new features, but once you become familiar with the superbar, you will start enjoying the simplicity of the new evolved Windows Taskbar.

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What I am looking for is a mod that allows me to rotate the taskbar to the left side of the screeen vertically. Yes that can be done, but I want the Windows orb to stay at the lower left corner and the data/time on the top left corner. Apps would appear near the orb and extend upward. Is there anything like this out there or is this just wishful thinking? Thanks.

The superbar is good, just miss the option for classic mode.

Superbar/Classic > Dock and all its silly 'fixes' like Spaces and Expose.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I think I might have things figgured out.

OSX is a Document (loose word) driven OS. It's job is to get you to the document you are looking at as fast as possible and give you the tools to maintain it.

MS produces application-driven OS. It's focus is on the tools not the final products. Subtle difference, but it shows all the way through to the super bar.

Yes apple has the Dock and Superbar seems to imitate it, but what it's really doing is helping tools present themselves in a predictable way, open or closed, 1 instance or 200, the super bar does it's best to make the TOOL itself act the way the user will expect it to.

If that's a cheap ripoff of OSX.... I have no problem with it... but I don't get the feeling that Mac had the same goal... it reminded me of a way to launch a tool to work on something, not as a springboard for the tools themselves.

Simple and beautiful. Now I know I'm getting Windows 7. I can imagine the minimal custom themes that could be possible with the superbar!!

I like all the new window gestures in Win7. If you drag a window to the top of the screen, it maximizes. If you drag a window to the left or right of the screen, it tiles the window for that side of the screen. If you drag a window and shake it around, it alternates between minimizing/maximizing all other windows. For some reason, dragging a window to the bottom doesn't minimize the window. I think that is a bug.

People need to understand that Windows 7 is also being designed as a touch-screen interface, so while a feature-crammed and extra thick superbar with "aero peek" doesn't make any sense to some, imagine how these features will work *without* a keyboard or mouse.

Do you know if you can disable one or all of those "drag to the left, right" things? I find it annoying - Ive gotten used to moving windows out the way or to a specific part of my desktop so I can copy to and from different locations for example. I know I could use the tiling feature, but I dont want to - it resizes my windows then, and saves that as their default size. Ive gotten used to dragging the windows around and often I end up hitting the top or sides of my screen with my mouse.

pasty2k2 said,
Do you know if you can disable one or all of those "drag to the left, right" things? I find it annoying - Ive gotten used to moving windows out the way or to a specific part of my desktop so I can copy to and from different locations for example. I know I could use the tiling feature, but I dont want to - it resizes my windows then, and saves that as their default size. Ive gotten used to dragging the windows around and often I end up hitting the top or sides of my screen with my mouse.

The feature is called 'Aero snap' and while I'm sure there is a way to turn it off, there's little documentation as Win7 is still beta. I'm assuming the option will be somewhere in the Window options or Pen & Touch options under control panel?

The confusion of running/non running apps that some people are having (not all) is mainly a color issue i think. It would be a lot easier to tell if they dimmed/desaturated the non-active apps.

Walrush said,
The confusion of running/non running apps that some people are having (not all) is mainly a color issue i think. It would be a lot easier to tell if they dimmed/desaturated the non-active apps.

Then people would think they can't run those apps because they're dimmed.

I see one issue is that separating pinned and non-pinned apps isn't possible. Yes, they pop up at the end of the program icons but otherwise they look the same as pinned apps. I think it'd be great if there was a separator line showing that these apps are pinned, these are not, a bit like in Vista there was the separation between quick launch and open programs.

Another thing I'd like to see is free scaling of the taskbar. On low resolution monitors (like those on netbooks) it may take a sizable chunk because it doesn't get skinnier even with small icons. OSX style free scaling is what it should have.

What I really like is that now the Taskbar is finally usable when set to right or left. In Vista the program labels getting cut off and generally the larger size compared to top/bottom position were annoying. While the Win7 Taskbar in left/right position is still larger, the difference isn't that many pixels. Since monitors these days usually have less vertical than horizontal space having the Taskbar on the left is actually very nice.

LaXu said,
Then people would think they can't run those apps because they're dimmed.


Good point. Dimmed until they're moused over maybe. Either way,all valid points,especially the taskbar free scaling,that would be excellent.

They could do something similar to the "Appear Offline" effect theyve recently put into the Live messenger betas. When you are appearing offline, your picture dims slightly, somewhat transparent. They could do something like that to those icons that arent running.

Superbar looks like a basic freeware alternative to ObjectDock, less features and quite ugly. Its an improvement on the old taskbar but thats not saying much. In no way is this new bar super.

Come on guys have our standards dropped this much?

Um, this is a bunch of very nice improvements for the default Windows end user. We're all free to think differently and run third party software if it improves our own productivity.

Noticed just now that if you drag a window left, right, left, right a couple of times all other open windows gets minimized. Do it again and they come back up.

fobban said,
Noticed just now that if you drag a window left, right, left, right a couple of times all other open windows gets minimized. Do it again and they come back up.

thats called aero shake lol

Is it just me or does Aero Peek seem stupid as hell? Why don't they just hide all windows completely, why do we need to see the outline?

Because then the application you are working in is hidden too. AeroPeek is not only there to look at the desktop!

How do you know which applications you have open if the icon on the bar acts as a launch icon and a spot to hide the open applications.

warwagon said,
How do you know which applications you have open if the icon on the bar acts as a launch icon and a spot to hide the open applications.

Hover the mouse over the icon.

RAID 0 said,
Hover the mouse over the icon.

you have different icons and effects:
apps that are not opened dont have borders
apps opened have a square border
apps with more than one window open show an extra border, like a 'stack'
apps that have a progress thing turn into a progress bar themselves (the square, that is, has a green progress bar)
apps you hover over and are open, you have the color effect


^ does the job when you get used to it, but unelegant as hell.

The overview is missing an important feature---

If you drag a file to an application that's pinned on the superbar, and the file is of a type that the application can open, a link to the file will be pinned at the top of its jumplist.

Indeed, this is one of those nice little touches that really make a difference. One of the things that make me a big believer in the new taskbar. I have my most accessed folders pinned that way to explorer and it's such a timesaver!

You can also Pin the Control Panel to the taskbar and drag parts of the control panel you use regularly to it (Windows Update or some such), i can see jump lists being a major intuitive feature once application developers get their hands on it, it seems so flexible.

I really like the new Superbar. It took me awhile to get use to. It really has a lot of the same features as the Mac OS X dock.

The whole "peak" at the desktop thing is weird. I really do not understand how this is a useful thing....so you can be reminded of your desktop wallpaper? Hmmmm... The aero peek, on the other hand, is really useful.

Shadrack said,
The whole "peak" at the desktop thing is weird. I really do not understand how this is a useful thing....so you can be reminded of your desktop wallpaper? Hmmmm... The aero peek, on the other hand, is really useful.


I take it you don't use any gadgets on your desktop?

roadwarrior said,
I take it you don't use any gadgets on your desktop?

but even if you do, it's only useful to LOOK at gadgets, which only works for gadgets designed to be looked at. It's like the whole "show gadgets" thing in OS X but without being it. It would have been more useful to pin the icon of the sidebar (or windows gadgets or whattever it is called) to the taskbar and click on it to interact with gadgets and hover over it to have a peek at them. People are saying "oh, with desktop peek I dont have to minimize or move windows to see the gadgets now!". but mmm if we're talking about that sticky notes gadget (the one in vista, i think there's a different app for that in win7), it's not so great if what you want is to write on the damn thing.

I think they should also include the classic vista style taskbar as an alternative to the new one in the RTM release. People who are not comfortable with the new bar can use the classic style. The reason I ask it to be included in the final version is that the older bar is tried and tested. The old one did not really need a makeover. I think they they made this new taskbar keeping touch recognition in view. But I prefer the old one and I hope they include it just as they provided an option to switch to the classic start menu in vista.

I have already sent a feedback on this. Maybe if many of us request it, they will include it.

At first I thought MS was trying to mimic the apple dock, but after actually using Windows 7 for a few days, it's much better. I like how if I have IE pinned to the taskbar an icon will show wether it's open or not, not adding an additional icon on the right of the bar I also like how it indicates that I have multiple tabs open, of if windows live mail has any new messages or tells me the progress status of a download file in IE.

@aarste: You can choose what icons you want in the system tray; look at the screen shot that shows the entire desktop, there's an up arrow that will show what is in the system tray (all icons are hidden by default).

Aero peak is inteaded for peeking into your desktop, hence the name. It's for those people who have a lot of stuff on their desktop or how want to peak at a gadget, I for one like this feature because I have a lot of non-interactive gadgets on my desktop.

Mouse gestures are nice as well

How will system tray applications work now? Such as AV, ATI CCC, WLM, HD Temp monitor etc. that'd you leave running in the background and hidden/visible in the systray area. Would they become icons on the superbar now?

No - they work the same as before, except the default setting for all new icons that appear down there is "Always Hide". You can change the settings for each icon in the taskbar properties.

One thing it does do differently though is instead of having the icons on the actual taskbar, it opens a sort of toolbar-like box with them all in.

Im guessing that as time goes on, most apps will be developed to work with the superbar - that area is most likely a legacy thing.

Why isnt there an option to display just the windows for a specific app? Example: three IE windows open. Instead of doing that whole hover or right click drag up business to view your three windows, have an Alt-Tab type key combo that just displays the current focused apps windows. It shows all three IE windows, and you pick yours - no tiny little screen previews where you cant see which site is which.

Seem like this noob haven't play around with the beta yet. Superbar have all ur features and one. Alt-Tab still work the same as XP, so is Win-Tab. Hover the mouse over to the IE icon shows preview of all ur open tab, move it from one preview to another and the actual window on the desktop will also change accordingly, showing the highlighted one in front while the rest go cloak. Hover the mouse between all ur icon on the super bar and you'll might learn something.

And where is Aero Shake in the review.

You obviously didnt read my comment properly, instead just trying to insult me.

I said that the tiny little previews you get when you hover/click/dragup/whatever on the IE window icons, are too small to see which window is which, unless you have vastly different coloured sites up. While I use tabs in IE, I also have multiple instances, to organise what im doing even more.

I said that instead of having this, why not have an option similar to Apples offering by showing all windows of that application, making it easier to see what you want. However, as pointed out above, you can do this by just simply control-clicking on the icon on the superbar.

pasty2k2 said,
You obviously didnt read my comment properly, instead just trying to insult me.

I said that the tiny little previews you get when you hover/click/dragup/whatever on the IE window icons, are too small to see which window is which, unless you have vastly different coloured sites up. While I use tabs in IE, I also have multiple instances, to organise what im doing even more.

I said that instead of having this, why not have an option similar to Apples offering by showing all windows of that application, making it easier to see what you want. However, as pointed out above, you can do this by just simply control-clicking on the icon on the superbar.

You can also hover over the preview, and a split second later, you can see exactly which window it is, FULL SCREEN. If you have 5 tabs open, it takes you a second to preview all of them in their original size and window location.

However, as pointed out above, you can do this by just simply control-clicking on the icon on the superbar.
god damn i can do the same thing by hover over the preview image with just one hand on the mouse instead of control+clicking with both hand one the keyboard and the mouse, what is more easier again??

hxuanv said,
god damn i can do the same thing by hover over the preview image with just one hand on the mouse instead of control+clicking with both hand one the keyboard and the mouse, what is more easier again??


The point of control+click is that you don't want to wait for the hover action to take effect which doesn't happen right away. The default timer for mouse hover is 400ms it seems. Sure you can wait and then go through the thumbs which do then show each window above, but again, IF you don't want to wait, just use the cntrl+mouseclick.

Exactly, GP007.

I dont want to wait for my PC to do what I want it to do. Whats the point of having a nice, fast UI if the main way of using it is to "hover" for information, therefore inducing a wait time. Control Click is the best idea. What are you going to be doing with the other hand while using your PC anyway?

I think I'm going to have to try installing this. My computer's rather old, but I've been told that while Vista will run on my computer, Windows 7 will actually RUN!

I think this superbar is far too big.. my task bar takes up far less room (pixel height) than the superbig bar does now.. What happened to space efficiency, there's tons of space wasted between each item pinned to the superbar, sh*tloads of padding around each icon

highonsnow said,
I think this superbar is far too big.. my task bar takes up far less room (pixel height) than the superbig bar does now..

So set it to small icons.
It's 10 pixels heigher than the old taskbar....10 pixels....

The more I use it, the more I like it, there are just some things I dont like, but who knows.. they may or may not change in the future or get added in service packs (yes i know they are service packs not feature packs) and / or future versions

Being a huge fan of the quick launch bar, I don't know how I feel about this new superbar...
I have yet to play with the beta, but is there no way to break these icons down smaller, or have them get pushed back (3 primary icons visible, rest hidden) and still accessible with the >> click?
With this there is far too much visual on my desktop then I'd like to have; the added features like application progress don't really matter to me - I dont mind a smaller download progress window being shown rather then one progress bar for all my IE tabs being shown.
Maybe something will change, but if not, I'll get used to this, as I love many of the other new features coming with Win 7

Why isnt there an option to display just the windows for a specific app? Example: three IE windows open. Instead of doing that whole hover or right click drag up business to view your three windows, have an Alt-Tab type key combo that just displays the current focused apps windows. It shows all three IE windows, and you pick yours - no tiny little screen previews where you cant see which site is which.

Macs have this, F10 or something. It works great. If they are going to borrow the whole dock idea, at least borrow the good bits. Regardless of the similarity between this and the Mac Dock, it seems stupid that they only add functionality to the "eye candy" type stuff. What is wrong with a good old keyboard combo? They bothered with some combos, now where are the rest of them.

MS is attempting to marry the Dock and the Taskbar in order to get a . . . Dockbar.

This melding of two different features doesn't always work, however. It needs to be simplified.

pasty2k2 said,
Why isnt there an option to display just the windows for a specific app? Example: three IE windows open. Instead of doing that whole hover or right click drag up business to view your three windows, have an Alt-Tab type key combo that just displays the current focused apps windows. It shows all three IE windows, and you pick yours - no tiny little screen previews where you cant see which site is which.

Macs have this, F10 or something. It works great. If they are going to borrow the whole dock idea, at least borrow the good bits. Regardless of the similarity between this and the Mac Dock, it seems stupid that they only add functionality to the "eye candy" type stuff. What is wrong with a good old keyboard combo? They bothered with some combos, now where are the rest of them.

Windows definitely needs something like exposé Aero peek is half useful but it only shows you one window, not all you might be interested in.

You can hold Cntrl+ click on the app icon to cycle through that apps running windows. And why do you bring up rightclick+drag up? Just clicking on the icon will bring up the thumbs for the apps open windows so you don't have to hover and wait either.

There are also other keyboard shortcuts to use out there, and if you really want something more send feedback to MS insted of just moaning about it.

Julius Caro said,
Windows definitely needs something like exposé Aero peek is half useful but it only shows you one window, not all you might be interested in.

And virtual desktops, like in Spaces. The Spaces/Expose combo is brilliant.

Hell, preserve Aero Peek and implement a virtual workspace paradigm. Would be very nice.

Virtual Desktops were around in Windows 3.1 with 3rd party - Spaces is not an original apple idea.
It would be like imusic is okay - like a weak attempt at WinAmp

atari800 said,
Virtual Desktops were around in Windows 3.1 with 3rd party - Spaces is not an original apple idea.
It would be like imusic is okay - like a weak attempt at WinAmp

OS X has it built in. And Linux to some degree as well. Third party doesn't count. It's what you get out of the box. That's part of an effective user experience - whether everything is already there when you fire up the OS. Hell, every OS out there has third-party options like virtual desktops. That isn't the point. Spaces is masterfully integrated into the OS, and I've never come across something as effective, clean, and beautifully simple as Spaces + Expose.

And I don't know what "imusic" is. If you're referring to iTunes, then Winamp is a different beast. I don't know what iTunes is like on Windows, but it's great on OS X.

GP007 said,
You can hold Cntrl+ click on the app icon to cycle through that apps running windows. And why do you bring up rightclick+drag up? Just clicking on the icon will bring up the thumbs for the apps open windows so you don't have to hover and wait either.

There are also other keyboard shortcuts to use out there, and if you really want something more send feedback to MS insted of just moaning about it.

I didn't know you could control-click a running window and get an Alt-Tab like switcher, thats cool. I stand corrected on a useful keyshortcut.

Like I said above, I do submit feedback on things. I moan because most of the time, these things arent picked up on, as I have signed up for a few past betas and most of my submissions are ignored. Admittedly they cant cater for all requests, that would be silly, but most of these I feel are perfectly normal requests, as if they had only gone so far in adding a feature. Example: the Windows Media Player 12 preview in the article. The original quick play bar had loads more stuff, this one has play, previous and next. But they didnt keep the original bar as well? So they just removed functionality for simplicity's sake.

LTD said,
OS X has it built in. And Linux to some degree as well. Third party doesn't count. It's what you get out of the box. That's part of an effective user experience - whether everything is already there when you fire up the OS. Hell, every OS out there has third-party options like virtual desktops. That isn't the point. Spaces is masterfully integrated into the OS, and I've never come across something as effective, clean, and beautifully simple as Spaces + Expose.

And I don't know what "imusic" is. If you're referring to iTunes, then Winamp is a different beast. I don't know what iTunes is like on Windows, but it's great on OS X.


Third party doesnt count? Where is the rule book?
I belive in W98 there was something called PowerToys with Virtual Desktop Manager -

And of course if there is an apple equivalent you must say it is masterfully integrated.... when in fact it is a concept stolen and reconstructed and marked as apple innovation. Did the apple macintosh white ciderblock type computer have that?
PARC ring a bell?

Steve Jobs once said:
It is not who makes it first but who exploits it best

Bah.... who cares really...it is a task bar on a monitor on some OS...


Jobs should be concentrating on iLife 2.0 or buzzard repellent or something

LTD said,
OS X has it built in. And Linux to some degree as well.

OS X has it becoz it is based on UNIX and UNIX has it! OS X didnt invent everything! Oh MY!

Remember, LTD has been trained to think the same as everyone else who has their OS spoonfed to them. "Third Party" enhancements for Apple just meant "If your little idea is successful, Apple will steal it and drive you out of business. If not, you'll fade away anyway." PC users are more open to adding options to their OS.

My desktop, for example, puts OS X and Vista/7 to shame, combining the best of both of them, etc. At least FOR ME it does. As I spend 20 hours a day on my rig, I demand a great deal of customization and modification over stock...and the PC gives me that in a way Apple has never been able to.

Makes no difference where Apple got it from.

The point is, it's fully integrated, and the functionality and elegance of it is there right out of the box, implemented effectively.

Like I care who came up with the idea or who ended up taking credit for it. Big deal.

In this industry, if your idea isn't implemented right and no one wants to use it, it's next to worthless. Until someone snaps it up and does it right. The originator can get the credit but the ultimately successful party gets the glory.

excalpius said,
Remember, LTD has been trained to think the same as everyone else who has their OS spoonfed to them. "Third Party" enhancements for Apple just meant "If your little idea is successful, Apple will steal it and drive you out of business. If not, you'll fade away anyway." PC users are more open to adding options to their OS.

My desktop, for example, puts OS X and Vista/7 to shame, combining the best of both of them, etc. At least FOR ME it does. As I spend 20 hours a day on my rig, I demand a great deal of customization and modification over stock...and the PC gives me that in a way Apple has never been able to.

So you've got a boatload of third party apps running. Third party apps exist for every OS.

And if you really want customization, then we're talking Linux/Unix.

Chaks said,
OS X has it becoz it is based on UNIX and UNIX has it! OS X didnt invent everything! Oh MY!

That's actually not how things work.

LTD said,

OS X has it built in. And Linux to some degree as well. Third party doesn't count. It's what you get out of the box. That's part of an effective user experience - whether everything is already there when you fire up the OS. Hell, every OS out there has third-party options like virtual desktops. That isn't the point. Spaces is masterfully integrated into the OS, and I've never come across something as effective, clean, and beautifully simple as Spaces + Expose.

And I don't know what "imusic" is. If you're referring to iTunes, then Winamp is a different beast. I don't know what iTunes is like on Windows, but it's great on OS X.

In case you haven't noticed MS can't put jack S*** into an OS without getting fined billions for it. So dont even go there.

excalpius said,
Remember, LTD has been trained to think the same as everyone else who has their OS spoonfed to them. "Third Party" enhancements for Apple just meant "If your little idea is successful, Apple will steal it and drive you out of business. If not, you'll fade away anyway." PC users are more open to adding options to their OS.

There is a huge number of Apple users who made a conscious, informed choice in dumping Windows. I'm among them. Whether they did that years ago, or just recently. There is no spoonfeeding, just support and acknowledgement of good work. Quite the contrary, we have excellent reasons for the move. In fact, our reasons had better be damn good, given the ubiquity and pervasiveness of the Windows ecosystem.

And people can have as many or as few options for their OS as they like. Who really cares how much third party cruft you install.

I don't get what's so great about the whole desktop peek thing. There was Winkey+D since Windows XP. Doesn't get any better than that. :P

iamwhoiam said,
It's just a cheap gimmick.

It's not really a gimmick at all, you can simply use the mouse to show the desktop without clicking and without pressing keys on your keyboard - pretty handy feature for looking at gadgets or any info that people might have on their desktop (files, stats info, calendars, etc).

And the task peek feature is even nicer, it shows you the window of that task which you are hovering over so that you don't have to click to switch to it. You might just want to check the status of something or read a few lines of text, so having a way to do that without clicking and then easily revert back to what you were doing is *really* nice.

My 2c

actually, win7 "show desktop" feature get better, it restores windows where they been, if pressed second time. and also provide quick aero peek feature.

х.iso said,
actually, win7 "show desktop" feature get better, it restores windows where they been, if pressed second time. and also provide quick aero peek feature.

YOU ARE A GOD!!!

It did this anyway? If you clicked the show desktop button in XP and Vista (probably others before this also), it did exactly that.

Maybe not Aero Peek though :P

The idea of "peek" is not to click and actually minimize windows if you don't have to. If you have a few gadgets that show some sorta updating data that you wanna see real quick (just 1sec etc) then why go through the trouble of actually minimizing everything and then bringing it all back up later?

True. Although trying to touch the bottom right hand side of your screen may proove fiddly... Still, easier than a tiny icon amongst a few others.

While it is not any less effective than the traditional windows taskbar, the superbar is on the verge of being a mess.
The application progress is confusing since it only refers to one of the windows, but it's shown on the icon shared by all the instances of that application. The "improved thumbnails" thing mentioned only happens on internet explorer. I'm sure more apps will be able to make use of it, but right now it's like: why is IE the only app that shows icons for things that are not windows?
And the "desktop peek" thing is useless. Seeing the borders of the windows won't help you determine what is what, and the way to show that there is a full-screen window open is not 'that' clear. If its purpose is for you to be able to peek at your gadgets, it's pointless since you can't interact with them. Cool for those gadgets that dont require interaction (like weather). The gadgets 'layer' should be pinned to the taskbar so that people can click on that icon and see and interact with the gadgets.
Aero peek is cool, cuz it's like "If you can't tell by the thumbnail what the window is, now you can!", but nothing else..

Julius Caro said,
While it is not any less effective than the traditional windows taskbar, the superbar is on the verge of being a mess.

It's certainly easy for it to look like one. It's an attempt at something Dock-like, but not as elegant or easy. Seems to suffer from a case of "featuritis." MS usually errs on the side of messiness, even when implementing something potentially useful. Things end up looking and feeling crammed.

I don't think it's a dock attempt at all. It's an extension of qucik launch. I never got the hang of the Mac dock. Why do minimized windows go to the bottom right of the dock and not group with the icon that starts them etc.

simsie said,
I don't think it's a dock attempt at all. It's an extension of qucik launch. I never got the hang of the Mac dock. Why do minimized windows go to the bottom right of the dock and not group with the icon that starts them etc.

Because they're a different category - minimized windows. In one simple space you see all of your open, minimized windows. This is more organized and prevents clutter. it's completely logical. Plus it doesn't look stupid.

I actually dont think either the windows bar or the apple dock are particulary great. To me my favourite setup across windows and apple is to use a 3rd party solution to a dock in windows...

This results in a mac / windows style bar at the bottom. At the moment in Vista im running the traditional windows vista style bar at the bottom without any quicklaunch icons. Then on hovering the mouse at the very edge at the bottom of the screen objectdock appears (just above the windows bar with all my most used programs - identifying which ones are currently already open with a white triangle.

Prior to this setup I used to just have two lines on windows, the bottom line had 20 icons for quick launch and then the top line was my windows bar. - the only problem with this was the tendency to occasionally open programs by accident. Now with the 1/2 second hover needed at the edge of the screen to display shortcuts means this doesnt happen, and also privdes a tiny bit more space. (on a small laptop screen this would be even more useful). It also lets me always see what I have open, which I find essential, and objectdock make hovering over them even easier by magnufying the icons you are hovering over.

eg. http://mmck.co.uk/dock.jpg

The "improved thumbnails" thing mentioned only happens on internet explorer."


Wth r u talking about, work with my computer, cc cleaner, norton antivirus, nero, microsoft word, and almost all except for gaming that require full screen like wow and stuff.

And the "desktop peek" thing is useless. Seeing the borders of the windows won't help you determine what is what and the way to show that there is a full-screen window open is not 'that' clear.

another idiot comment, aero peek is to peek at the desktop, like gadget and stuff. and u can interact with the gadget if u click on the button instead of just hover over it. Major Noob

LTD said,
Because they're a different category - minimized windows. In one simple space you see all of your open, minimized windows. This is more organized and prevents clutter. it's completely logical. Plus it doesn't look stupid.

So why do minimized windows go with document/folder shortcuts over on the right-hand side? Those seem to be two rather different categories of thing; what I would've expected is for document shortcuts to go with app shortcuts on the left, since they're both quick links to objects which exist somewhere else in the system.

And why is the trashcan over there? Why provide global access to an application-specific trash? I used to work for Apple doing new user training, and the number of times I would see people drag a mail message from within Apple Mail to the Dock's trashcan was somewhat staggering.

LTD will never admit it, but the OSX dock is a bigger mess than the Win7 superbar can ever become. If you don't like the default superbar setup, you can make it like the old one with a few changes to the options.

And like another poster said, all MS did was extend the already present quick launch bar to the rest of the taskbar. The thinking is that you'll pin apps you always open and always use anyways, and that's how I'll do it. You don't like that? Then don't pin anything there, and turn the QL toolbar back on.

hxuanv said,
Wth r u talking about, work with my computer, cc cleaner, norton antivirus, nero, microsoft word, and almost all except for gaming that require full screen like wow and stuff.

Maybe you should try quoting the whole thing and you'll understand. "why is IE the only app that shows icons for things that are not windows?" Sure thumbnails work for separate windows. He's not saying that. He's saying IE is the only thing that displays thumbnails for things which are /not/ separate windows, like a bunch of tabs in one window. I don't have those programs you mentioned, but explorer and Word don't have any tabbing capabilities, just previews for separate windows.

Memnochxx said,
Maybe you should try quoting the whole thing and you'll understand. "why is IE the only app that shows icons for things that are not windows?" Sure thumbnails work for separate windows. He's not saying that. He's saying IE is the only thing that displays thumbnails for things which are /not/ separate windows, like a bunch of tabs in one window. I don't have those programs you mentioned, but explorer and Word don't have any tabbing capabilities, just previews for separate windows.

You have to understand that Windows 7 just got released to beta and since IE is an Microsoft app, they made it work with the new development APIs made available for Superbar. IE is a proof of concept that things can be done. As Windows 7 hits RTM, expect more and more to come.

You wont get things working just like that. Give it time.

AND IT IS NOT WINDOWS CONCERN FOR APPLICATIONS NOT TO TAKE THE ADVANTAGE OF SUPERBAR. IT IS AVAILABLE THERE, IF YOU WANT IT, USE IT, DONT BLAME

hxuanv
Wth r u talking about, work with my computer, cc cleaner, norton antivirus, nero, microsoft word, and almost all except for gaming that require full screen like wow and stuff.

No. What I meant was that you have thumbnails for every tab in internet explorer, whereas you dont have them for opera, chrome, or firefox. I guess that's what the article meant by "improved thumbnails", because otherwise they look like the same old thumbnails to me.

hxuanv
another idiot comment, aero peek is to peek at the desktop, like gadget and stuff. and u can interact with the gadget if u click on the button instead of just hover over it. Major Noob

The other day I got called out for talking about the "peek at the desktop" and calling it "aero peek", apparently aero peek is when you hover over the window thumbnails. I wont admit to being a major noob until you neowinians make up your damn minds about what "aero peek" actually is. Maybe both things are aero peek, I dont care, I think my post is pretty damn clear.


And I explained why peeking at the desktop is pointless if you can't interact with your gadgets.


I understand that other apps will obviously be able to take advantage of it, but it makes it more confusing to some extent, since a thumbnail does not always translate into a window.

Chaks said,
You have to understand that Windows 7 just got released to beta and since IE is an Microsoft app, they made it work with the new development APIs made available for Superbar. IE is a proof of concept that things can be done. As Windows 7 hits RTM, expect more and more to come.

You wont get things working just like that. Give it time.

AND IT IS NOT WINDOWS CONCERN FOR APPLICATIONS NOT TO TAKE THE ADVANTAGE OF SUPERBAR. IT IS AVAILABLE THERE, IF YOU WANT IT, USE IT, DONT BLAME :(


Hey, I wasn't complaining at all. I was trying to explain what somebody else said.

+1

The one thing missing that would make the superbar work for me, is if this was an option.

By not including this, they are literally forcing us users who hate combining taskbar objects together and having labels all over stuff into using "their way". I know its only a beta so far, but this should be in here by now. At this rate it wont be there before release - lets hope some people provide tools for this later if its not added by MS!

pasty2k2 said,
The one thing missing that would make the superbar work for me, is if this was an option.

Why don't you just unpin those icons not wanted from the superbar then

geoken said,
How would you differentiate windows if they weren't combined and had no labels?

By the order in which they are on the taskbar. I can easily remember the order in which I opened a window.


iamwhoiam said,
So, submit feedback on it. They won't know people want that option if they're not aware of it.

I have.

este said,
Why don't you just unpin those icons not wanted from the superbar then

Huh? That doesnt make sense, I want to be able to uncombine icons that group together under mulitple instances, ergo 3 IE windows to show as 3 separate icons on the superbar, without labels.

+1 This is beginner's 101 interface design here. They should take a GOOD look at the options present in Stardock's ObjectDock Plus if they want to make the Superbar truly Super.