Chaitanya Sareen and Rebecca Deutsch offered an in-depth look at the changes Microsoft made to the desktop (the most visual difference between Windows 7 and today's Vista desktop.) as well as the rationale for them. To get the best understanding of the changes, check out the two embedded videos after the jump..
The new Taskbar in Windows 7 is no longer separated into the basic areas that have become traditional, the Start button, Quick Launch, the space reserved for opened programs, and the notification area. The Windows 7 Taskbar, even with the pre-beta build 6801 release, is a much more unitary item, merging both opened applications and the quick launch shortcuts. At the same time, control over the notification area has been handed over to end users.
“Two features that are really important are jump lists and libraries. Jump lists are the little menus down at the start menu on the task bar that show up when you right click on the start menu, and libraries are the way to bring together search and storage locations and multiple computers. The idea of both of these is to integrate deeply with the Windows desktop experience. These are opportunities for [developers and their] software to really work seamlessly through and across and with Windows. It's an opportunity for [developers] to differentiate [their] software, and an opportunity to participate in the personalization, the choice, and the control that Windows 7 promises end users,” Sinofsky stated.