What is the Windows XP task switcher?

A. Microsoft is releasing XP with a host of new PowerToys (extra utilities that are great add-ons, although Microsoft doesn't support them). One PowerToy is an improved task switcher (i.e., the screen that's displayed when you press Alt-Tab to cycle through open programs).

The new task switcher shows an image of the application window so that you can see what each application is doing before you switch to a different application.

Click here to view image

To install the task switcher, you will need to download taskinstall.exe from Microsoft's Web site (the URL is currently in beta). Run the downloaded taskInstall.exe. After you complete the installation, you must log off and log on again for the change to take effect.

Be warned--When using this utility, I have seen severe performance degradation on certain types of machines. If you encounter problems, simply uninstall task switcher using the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel applet.

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