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Windows 7: Multi-Monitor Taskbar Support

31 Dec 2008   #11


I seem to remember M$ saying that Windows 7 would have multimonitor task bar.

If win7 is feature complete, where the hell is it!!!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2008   #12


I have just checked up and maybe they didn't quite say they would have it

Engineering Windows 7 : Follow-up: Starting, Launching, and Switching

Multi-mon Support

It comes as no surprise that many of you wrote to discuss multi-monitor support for the taskbar. This is a popular request from our enthusiasts (and our own developers) and was called out as an area of investigation in the original post.

@Justausr is very direct with this comment: “The lack of multi-monitor support is just about a crime. We've seen pictures of Bill Gate's office and his use of 3 monitors. Most developers have 2 monitors these days. Why was multi-monitor support for the taskbar missing? Once again, this is an example of the compartmentalization of the Windows team and the lack of a user orientation in defining and implementing features. The fact that this is even a "possible" and not an "of course we're going to..." shows that you folks STILL don't get it.”

At least in this particular case we tend to think we “get it”, but we also tend to think that the design of a multi-mon taskbar is not as simple as it may seem. As with many features, there is more than one way to implement this one. For example, some might suggest a unique taskbar that exists on each display and others suggest a taskbar that spans multiple displays. Let’s look at both of these approaches. While doing so also keep in mind the complexities of having monitors of different sizes, orientations, and alignments.

If one was to implement a taskbar for each display where each bar only contained windows for its respective portion of the desktop, some issues arise. Some customers will cite advantages of less mouse travel since there is always a bar at the bottom on their screen. However, such a design would now put the onus on the customer to track where windows are. Imagine looking for a browser window and instead of going to a single place, you now had to look across multiple taskbars to find the item you want. Worse yet, when you move a window from one display to another, you would have to know to look in a new place to find it. This might seem at odds with the request to rearrange taskbar buttons because customers want muscle memory of their buttons. It would be like having two remotes with dynamically different functionality for your TV. This is one of the reasons that almost every virtual desktop implementation keeps a consistent taskbar despite the desktop you are working on.

Another popular approach is a taskbar that spans multiple desktops. There are a few third-party tools that attempt to emulate this functionality for the Windows taskbar. The most obvious advantage of this approach (as well as the dual taskbar) is that there is more room offered for launching, switching and whispering. It is fairly obvious that those customers with multiple displays have more room to have more windows open simultaneously and hence, require even more room on their taskbar. Some of our advanced customers address this issue by increasing the height of the taskbar to reveal multiple rows. Others ask for a spanning taskbar. The key thing to recognize is that the problem is not necessarily that the taskbar doesn’t span, but that more room is required to show more information about windows. So, it stands to reason that we should come up with the best solution to this problem, independent of how many displays the customer has.

We thought it would be good to just offer a brief discussion on the specifics of solving this design problem as it is one we have spent considerable time on. One of the approaches in general we are working to do more of, is to change things when we know it will be a substantial improvement and not also introduce complexities that outweigh the benefits we are trying to achieve.

Once again, many thanks for your comments. We look forward to talking soon.

- Chaitanya
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2008   #13


I hate to tell them, but DisplayFusion gets it and UltraMon gets it - both very good products that simply work.

Neither of those products have a 50 MB DL or anything horrendous like that, so contrary to his belief that it is not easily done, I offer this:

Multi-Monitor Taskbar Support-df-taskbar-settings.png

It has 3 options, which are the 3 most requested options Jon (developer) has received in terms of reproducing the functionality of the original taskbar in the secondary taskbar.

Perhaps if they were to stop compartmentalizing as Justausr said....

My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Dec 2008   #14


*sigh* Oh Microsoft .. why must your torment us? Just add it in please. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2008   #15

Vista Ult 64 bit Seven Ult RTM x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DiamondNRG View Post
*sigh* Oh Microsoft .. why must your torment us? Just add it in please. Thanks.
pretty please!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2008   #16


As I mentioned in another topic, I *seriously* doubt this build is *feature complete* - I can agree that most of the features incorporated are complete, but I beg to differ re: feature completeness, as I believe more and more features are still waiting to be added as the development continues.

In the meantime, please look at Display Fusion - it really rocks.

The ability to use the wall-paper change *using Flickr images directly fro Flickr* is amazing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2008   #17

Vista Ult 64 bit Seven Ult RTM x64

I hope your right JG.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2008   #18


Er someone deleted my post!

I hope you are right too JG!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2009   #19

Windows Vista Ultimate x86

I miss my UltraMon with matching theme and whatnot from Vista, I'm stuck with this single monitor taskbar. It's so frustrating sometimes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2009   #20


Yeah, up until build 7000, DF was working great in W7 also. Now, the Multi-mon feature has been broken, and Jon is not sure if he can get it working again before the next full release.

Oh well, it still has the other features I want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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