To really bring this all home, let’s take a look at where people are pinning their apps. Figure 4 reveals that 85% of people have three or more items pinned to the taskbar compared to a mere 23% who have the same number pinned to the Start menu. Although the taskbar and Start menu have different pinned defaults, many people do customize both of them when they want to. The message is clear that the majority of people want most of their apps on the taskbar rather than having to dig into Start menu.
We also know that enthusiasts in particular use their Windows 7 taskbar even more than the Start menu. Keyboard shortcuts like Win + <n> (where n corresponds to the sequence of an application icon on the taskbar) make it even faster for the keyboard experts to instantly launch and switch with the taskbar (and those shortcuts continue to work in Windows 8). When we visit IT pros, it’s not uncommon for us to see a taskbar filled with icons for standard corporate desktops. We even see items like Control Panel pinned to the taskbar to save people a trip to Start. Pinning is also increasing in popularly because you can now also pin websites to your taskbar with IE 9. Fortunately, there’s plenty of room on the taskbar—even at 1024x768 the taskbar can hold 22 small icons. Add the power of Jump lists, and theoretically, you can also have access to 220 files, folders, and sites at that same resolution! This means that for those who wish to just use desktop apps, the taskbar provides the room to quickly access the things you need every day without going to the Start menu.