Some drawbacks to Windows 7’s great new taskbar and IE8

The IE8 team just blogged about how Internet Explorer 8 will be integrated into Windows 7’s new taskbar.

Annoying UX with IE8 an W7
Annoying UX with IE8 and W7

I have been using Windows 7 for a few months and whilst the new taskbar is miles better than Vista’s, it does have one major drawback: users simply cannot easily open new instances of IE if they already have an existing IE window open.

The blog suggests several ways to open a new instance if one is already open:

  • You can right-click on the IE icon and select “Internet Explorer”
  • You can drag up on the IE icon with the mouse and select “Internet Explorer”
  • You can shift+click or middle+click on the IE icon
  • If IE is in the first position (next to the start button as in the diagram above), you can press “Win + 1” and this will launch a new instance (same as Vista).
  • So bottom line, if you were used to simply clicking the IE icon to open a new window – the default experience in XP and Vista – you now need to either use your keyboard, click-move-click or use the center-button (which my laptop lacks) just to open a new instance or center-click. 

     This is quite a miss in user experience.  I bet most users won’t get it.   My suggestion: if all IE8 tabs reside within the same window, how about simply opening that IE window?

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