The Windows 8 Concept Desktop

Reader Saad Baig's desktop shows what a Windows desktop could look like if you made the Windows 7 Superbar really "super", by adding desktop widgets directly into the taskbar, easily accessible even with maximised applications.

The entire taskbar concept is available in the 8Bar Rainmeter skin, but Saad Baig explains the new concept further:

Start Menu/Area

As you can notice in the taskbar, it retains a start button (which actually works, to my surprise some useful computer specs that flow with the design of the start orb., followed by a weather readout. After that is the start of the extra information that is available for customisation. Basically customising the Superbar to make it truly super. Instead of having desktop widgets, why not put them in the toolbar? Reasons for that would be that first we have more than enough on the taskbar on Windows 7 to add widgets, and second that the desktop is almost usually 100% of the time covered by either a web browser or other programs, but most people still have their taskbar visible, so its almost perfect.


Since the tray is a smaller version of the superbar, that means that you can put more stuff their in the same amount of room. So why not put a media monitor their. Today's latest media players like Winamp have tray icons that work, but you can only access the controls by right clicking. With my concept, hovering over the tray icon would bring up basic controls.

This desktop not your style? Why waste time complaining? Instead, get started creating your own killer desktop with the easy-install Rainmeter 1.1 package and show the world what you can do. Of course, using Rainmeter isn't a requirement — you are more than welcome to use any of the best desktop customisation tools to turn your desktop into a productive work of art.

The Windows 8 Concept Desktop [Flickr]


    "Instead of having desktop widgets, why not put them in the toolbar?"

    Because there's not enough space to view information that you want to be persist on screen all the time.

    Putting everything in the toolbar is like asking that all the stuff you keep out on your physical desktop should be kept in a little row along the edge of your desk and opened every time you want to refer to it.

    The real problem is that Microsoft took away the Vista Sidebar experience that allowed you to easily keep calendar, weather widgets etc open on the desktop and have them always viewable.

    I know some people will jump in with some incorrect arguments, so I'll counter them in advance
    1. You can now put widgets directly on the desktop. Actually Vista already allowed that - they didn't have to be restricted to Sidebar zone
    2. The memory overhead of Sidebar. Actually the same Sidebar process still runs to manage the desktop widgets in Windows 7.
    3. Use always on top. That works fitfully at best, and obscures other content and gets in the way of the vertical scrollbars on full screen apps.

      I was very sad to see the sidebar gone from Windows 7 and hope it one day gets patched back in properly.

      I have a couple of answers to this one.

      1: You can make your gadgets appear "Always on Top" and reduce the opacity to make the semi transparent, this allows you to type/work under them.
      2: You can restore the sidebar with this hack:
      Please note you attempt this at your own risk.
      3: You can put your gadgets on the desktop and use the "Aero Peek" feature. Simply mouse over your "Show Desktop" button on the bottom right, and it will make everything transparent bar your widgets. This means when you need them, you simply mouse over the button and there you have them.

      For most users, the removal of the sidebar is a good thing. As best I know, a small minority of users chose to use their sidebar as always visible.

      As much as it sucks (and I am not looking to antagonise you with this) Microsoft will always try and better things for the users in general, which sometimes comes at the cost of the few. :)

      GL with the above.

        James: You just steam-rolled past the points I made.

        As I said, the Sidebar was not removed in Windows 7. If you've got desktop widgets then the Sidebar process is running - check your task manager. All that Microsoft did was remove one feature of it.

        Have you tried scrolling or using a mouse around always-on-top gadgets? Disastrous!

        Sadly as widescreen monitors become more common, the benefits of a special area of the screen increase.

    I've always used the taskbar as a sidebar with auto-hide, (I don't know why it's at the bottom by default and why anyone leaves it there, but that's another discussion).

    This meant that I was able to run Samurize in the taskbar and display everything I wanted in the one place. It was a true Superbar. Unfortunately the taskbar client of Samurize doesn't work in 64bit so at the moment I have it set up as a separate auto-hiding bar.

    I look forward to the day when Windows catches up and lets you put everything in the taskbar. It will then truly be worthy of the name Superbar.

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