Thanks CaKeY for this. It looks like the patent for tasks grouping in Windows's Taskbar has approved three days ago.
The patent, approved on June 29th, described that the method used to cluster and group taskbar buttons in Microsoft Windows is the intellectual property rights of Microsoft Corp. Prior to this patent's approval, it was believed that BeOS, in 1999, was the first one to offer this feature.
"A method and system are provided for organizing, displaying, and accessing representations of one or more running tasks on a graphical user interface in a computer system. The system organizes like application files and clusters the corresponding taskbar buttons and, upon reaching a threshold limit, creates and displays a group button that contains the like application files and removes the like taskbar buttons from the taskbar. Further, upon reaching a second threshold limit, the system ungroups the application taskbar buttons, displays them on the taskbar and removes the group button from the taskbar," reads the patent's abstract.
On a personal note, I think it's kind of dumb that every software corporations are lodging for patents on every little thing that they claim to be their inventions. Then again, if they didn't, then there's a chance that somebody else will...
View: The patent
News source: Slashdot