- Yeah, I said it. The Windows 7 taskbar is the most important Windows UI change since Windows 95, and it will dramatically change the way you use Windows. And it's better than the Mac's Dock.
That's because the "superbar" -as the taskbar is known by developers- jerks taskbar functionality in a new direction. It's no longer merely a window manager.. just a place to manage open windows and by proxy, open applications. It's now a bona fide application launcher.
More than that, it blends the two in ways that will remind many of the OS X Dock-apps that are running and those that aren't can live together. True, you've been able to launch apps from the Windows taskbar's Quick Launch ghetto for ages, but that's been demolished so that Microsoft could completely and seamlessly integrate the launching of new apps and the managing of running ones.
Managing Apps and Open Windows
The OS X Dock operates from a similar standpoint, but Windows 7 takes this (not to mention the translucency gambit) a step further: The visual signification of a running application (versus one that's not and merely "pinned" to the taskbar) is exceptionally subtle- a kind of "glare" appears on the top left corner of the icon and it's faintly outlined. It borders on actively encouraging you to forget the distinction,...