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Windows 7 beta help files are still a work in progress

Windows 7 taskbar help
One of the most noticeable new features in Windows 7 is the shiny new taskbar. While it bears a passing resemblance to the taskbar that we've grown to love/hate over the past decade or so, the new taskbar represents a new paradigm in window management for Microsoft.

There's no text, and there's no quick launch bar. When you open a program, an icon will show up in the taskbar. Open multiple windows and by default they'll b grouped together under a single icon, but by scrolling your mouse over that icon you can get live previews of what's going on in each window.

You can "pin" items to the taskbar, which gives you easy to access shortcuts in a manner that's similar to the old quick launch area. But when you launch an item from its shortcut Windows won't add a new icon to the taskbar. Instead, you can access any running instances of that program by clicking on the taskbar shortcut.

But you know what? You won't find any of this information in the Windows 7 help files. In fact, when you search for taskbar in the help and support area, nothing shows up at all. If you right click on the taskbar and select properties, there's a link that asks "How do I customize the taskbar," but it takes you to a help file that was clearly written for Windows Vista users. It shows the Vista taskbar and doesn't offer any information about the Windows 7 version of the taskbar.

To be fair, Windows 7 is currently beta software, and a lot of code has been borrowed from Windows Vista, not just the help documents. But I kind of expected that Microsoft would update the help files before releasing a public beta to help users navigate some of the major changes in the new operating system.

Tags: help, osupdates, taskbar, windows-7