Wasted Taskbar Space

A UI discussion broke out at work and I couldn't resist documenting these complaints.

In XP, I put my taskbar on the side because that's the only way I can read any of the descriptive text for running tasks. Without a decent task switcher in XP, I rely on what little text I can see. The problem is that the Start button doesn't change size, even though it has plenty of room to expand with the width I give to the Taskbar. I have a blank area, nearly as big as the Start button, that is worthless, wasted space. Seems to me that Microsoft should just extrude the Start button to fill the space. This saves me time as I don't have to go as deep into the corner to hit the button. It's also easier to hit because it is bigger which allows quick, sloppy mousing.

A similar issue exists in the notification area. I like having the date available on a quick look, but I don't need the day of the week, and I don't need huge empty areas around the information because the column is wider than the info. Compress that down and give me space for one more task entry to show before it switches to a two column display (which again makes the descriptive text worthless).

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