In Windows 7 Microsoft has significantly changed the way the Taskbar works, and it’s starting to make me wonder if a lot of the items sitting in the System Tray might work their way out onto the Taskbar. What do I mean? A good example is this Gmail Notifier that gHacks found. It shows a Gmail icon that is intermingled with all the rest of your shortcuts. When it’s running it will show you how many unread emails there are in your Inbox, and if you click on it you can see a preview of each one.
That’s cool enough by itself, but then it even goes to another level by making use of the Jump List functionality. If you right-click on the icon you’ll see options to compose an email, go to your Inbox, or check for new mail. At the top of the list it will also show the subject line from each of the new emails in your Inbox.
I think the improvements Microsoft has made in Windows 7 is reinvigorating Windows developers, and is once again teaching them to think outside the box. This notifier is a great example of that. It takes something that would normally reside in the System Tray, and moves it to the Taskbar where it’s more prominent, useful, and sleek. I can’t wait to see what people come up with once the operating system is actually released and even more widespread!