The Unseen Development History of The Windows 7 Taskbar


I happened to land on this post today and found a surprise of what the Windows 7 Taskbar was looks like during the development.

unseen windows 7 taskbar

Here is a picture taken from the site a screenshot of the 3 different Windows 7 Taskbar development stage.

It looks to me that it is determined that in Windows 7 MS will get rid of the quick launch by default. And want to have a major redesign of the taskbar. Also from this post they have mentioned the origin of the “Superbar”.

Any how, the first on top is what they called Milestone 1 taskbar.

The Milestone 1 Taskbar was switched on with the addition of a Boolean DWORD value named EnableCHS, placed in the HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced key. One could infer CHS is a symbolic reference to the Chinese and their government’s way of shrouding everything in secrecy. Microsoft has come out and said CHS stood for Can Has Superbar, a reference to “lolspeak”. This iteration of the Taskbar featured very basic grouping features, live preview, and early support for “pinning” although not completely functional.

The second is the Milestone 2 taskbar. I personally think its a nicer clean design than what we have right now. Shows you the number of the same application/tab running rather than duplicated shadow in the taskbar icon.

Milestone 2 builds featured an improved Taskbar, primarily focused on improving past pinning and grouping work. It also featured the beginnings of what we now know as Jumplists and Aero Peek. Unlike the previous Taskbar, the Shell performed more vigorous checks on who you were, under the Microsoft corporate umbrella, to determine if you were authorized to use the new Taskbar. One could infer these additions denote the point in time in which “new Taskbar builds” of Windows 7 had to be shared outside the Shell group for further work (e.g. the teams that work on Libraries, Find and Organize).

Obviously the last Milestone 3 is settled prior to the public release of the Windows 7 Beta early in the year. It’s still nice, and we noticed the change in the notification icons in this stage from this screenshot as well. If you still want to get your old Windows Network icon back here is a post I wrote previously shows you how.

Microsoft started work on Milestone 3 builds of Taskbar. It is at this time, pinning and grouping features were smoothed out, attention jerking elements were removed (e.g. the awful white gradient), and the more subtle icon resources installed in preparation for the upcoming technical preview. Unpictured, Jumplists still had the small arrow that appeared upon hover over a Taskbar button.

Let us know what you think of the new taskbar and the new jump list; Which Milestone do you prefer ?



  1. although milestone 3 is by far the nicest taskbar i do like how in milestone 2 you see a number to show how many windows are open for that program. something i wish ms would allow the user to decide how they want but unfortunately they always limit things to a few ways.


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