Windows 7 Taskbar After Two Weeks

At this moment I have Windows 7 on the family room media center PC and dual booting on both my workstation and my laptop.  On the dual boot machines I find myself almost exclusively booting into Win7.  The only piece I’m missing is a driver for the fingerprint reader.  Hopefully that will come shortly.  Other than that, it is going great.  Both machines seem snappier under Win7 than they do under Vista. 

With respect to the new taskbar, I have to say that *I* really like it.  I still have concerns about the changing behavior of a mouse button left click on a taskbar icon depending on whether the app is already running or not.  Perhaps Microsoft is banking on the non-techies not really running multiple instances of the same app and power users figuring out that they can use either shift+click or middle mouse button click to always fire up a new instance.  I hope that is the case.  Still, I can’t help but feel that there are going to be folks resistant to change and not giving them the option of the classic taskbar is a mistake.  That said, if you don’t mind a bit of change and learning a few new tricks, I think you will find the new taskbar to be quite fun to use, maybe even somewhat addictive.  There are a number of really nice little touches like when you hover the mouse over the thumbnail of a window, all the other windows go transparent so you can more easily that window.  The ability of an taskbar icon to display progress is also very nice. 

There are also a number of new Windows key keyboard shortcuts in Windows 7 like Win+T, Win+<number> and Win+<arrow key>.  Brandon Paddock has a listing of them here, be sure to check them out – if you are a keyboard shortcut kind of person.

Updated 01-29-09: GPDuck on Twitter pointed me to these beta drivers for UPEK and AuthenTec fingerprint readers.  I’m using it on my x64 HP Laptop and it is working fine so far.

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