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The most significant desktop improvement is the taller taskbar, which combines the functionality of the taskbar and the Quick Launch bar from previous Windows versions. Gadgets no longer live in a sidebar that steals valuable screen space; instead, they can be placed anywhere on the desktop.
See Ed Bott's Microsoft Report blog for more on Windows 7.
Hover the mouse pointer over a taskbar button to display dynamic thumbnail-sized preview images of all tasks under that button. Hover over one of these thumbnails to display a full-sized preview image—without actually switching to the application. Hovering over an Internet Explorer taskbar button shows each open tab.