Pinned Programs in Windows 7 and Windows 8

I found this accidentally tonight. I can’t believe I missed this feature while I had Windows 7, and only found it after months of Windows 8. I’m talking in context of the programs you “pin” to the taskbar, which become your 1-click launchpads for the applications that you frequently use. Earlier, we would have shortcuts on Desktop for applications and would have a handful on the Taskbar, because of lack of space. Earlier Windows utilized separate spaces for shortcuts and open applications. The latest trend merges the two.

All this is cool. But what I discovered is very useful. The application icons, whether the application is running or not, behaves as a useful context menu as well. Check the menu I get after doing a Right-Click on two separate icons: Outlook and Chrome. Note that Outlook is not running and Chrome is. But it doesn’t matter. Both context menus are useful in allowing me to directly launch a specific action within the application, not just launch it.

pinned_01

pinned_02

Good job, Microsoft.

Another minor but interesting touch on the Taskbar – the pinned programs when hovered with mouse, show a tinge of the respective program‘s branding color, no matter what theme your Desktop has donned.

Utilize your “pins” in Windows.

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta is a usability professional who loves to play chess and has a strong eye for details. He's also the CEO of IDYeah Creations, a UX practice in Pune, India. Vishal is also a guest blogger on UXBooth, Technorati, BlogCritics, and SAP Community Network.

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