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Application Status Notification by Change in Title Bar Icon

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011526D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Feb-26
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Feb-26
Document File: 1 page(s) / 48K

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Described herein is a method enabling the user to know what the status of open applications without having to bring them to the forefront. In this way, it can still be ascertained what an application is specifically doing even if that application's window is not visible (either due to minimization or from being obscured by another window).

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Application Status Notification by Change in Title Bar Icon

Via this method, the user will be able to know what every application is doing by looking for changes in the iconic representation of each application in an easily accessible summary menu (such as the Start Bar which shows the application icon to the left of the first section of the window title, or also in the menu revealed by pressing ALT-TAB, for example). In this way, if an application is loading, the icon displayed to the left of its window title can be an hourglass. If the application is finished doing something, it can be a check mark. If an error occurred, it can be a red X, etc. In the following picture, there are six programs open on a taskbar. From left to right, each application is performing a different task that is indicated by its icon.

Application 1 is opening a large file. Application 2 is saving a download to disk. Application 3 is searching the hard drive for viruses. Application 4 is scanning a photograph. Application 5 is printing a document. Application 6 has a blank document open. All of this information is quickly determined by viewing the taskbar rather than by looking at each application individually. Utilizing a method such as this is advantageous as often times, status can only be seen by bringing the application to the forefront. Windows currently attempts to provide some indication as to what is going on by changing the mouse pointer to an hourglass, etc., however this only...