Windows taskbar

In Windows, the default location for the taskbar is at the bottom of the screen, and from left to right it contains by default the Start menu, Quick Launch bar, Taskbar buttons and Notification area[1]). With the release of Windows XP, Microsoft changed the behavior of the taskbar to take advantage of Fitts' law.

- The Start menu contains commands that can access programs, documents, and settings. These commands include Programs, Documents, Settings, Find, Help, Run, and Shut Down.
- The Quick Launch bar, introduced with Internet Explorer 4, contains shortcuts to applications. Windows provides default entries, such as Internet Explorer, and the user or third-party software may add any further shortcuts that they choose. A single click on the application's icon in this area launches the application. This section may not always be present: for example it is absent by default in Windows XP, although it can be enabled.
- The Windows Shell places a taskbar button on the taskbar whenever an application creates an unowned window: that is, a window that doesn't have a parent and that is created according to normal Windows UI guidelines. Typically all SDI applications have a single taskbar button for each open window, although modal windows may also appear there. Windows XP introduced taskbar grouping, which can group the taskbar buttons of several windows from the same application into a single button. This button pops up a menu listing all the grouped windows when clicked. This keeps the taskbar from being overcrowded when many windows are open at once.
- The last part of the taskbar is called the notification area. It contains mainly status notifications, though some programs, such as Winamp, use it for minimized windows. The clock by default appears here, and applications can put icons in the notification area to indicate the status of an operation or to notify the user about an event. For example, an application might put a printer icon in the status area to show that a print job is under way, or a display driver application may provide quick access to various screen resolutions. In Windows XP, the user can choose to permanently display or hide some icons, or hide them if inactive for some time. A button allows the user to reveal all the icons. Optionally, a clock can be displayed in the notification area. A class of utilities typically called taskbar clock replacements can replace the Windows XP taskbar clock with a clock with more features.

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