Do you need a squatting taskbar?

All that precious space wasted on my screen!

Was it Inspired by anterior OS’es like Acorn Computer, AmigaOS and NextStep or by the very first release of Windows Microsoft copied the Windows 7 Taskbar from... Microsoft?? We won’t settle the issue, but there is no doubt that the taskbar became widely used when introduced by Microsoft in Windows 95 in the year 1995. This widget has the capability to disappear when the mouse pointer is not hovering the taskbar’s reserved area, but not to be removed altogether

The taskbar was eventually adopted by several Linux desktops. It can be easily removed by the user on some Linux desktops like IceWM.

On other, more bloated Linux desktops, task bar removal can be problematic, if only feasible. On Windows 7, the task bar, as far as I know, still cannot be removed.

Now do we need a permanent task bar? Do we need so badly to spare a click or hot key hit at the price of losing quite a large area of visualization? What happens, when the screen is blanked due to power management or a screensaver is running? Doesn't the most novice user figure out by himself that he should hit a key or move the mouse? Is it a problem whatsoever?

With the advent of wide screens, the horizontal task bar is getting really cumbersome, especially on small screens, like those of mobile computers. One way to alleviate this problem on such screens is to display the taskbar vertically, when the mouse is held over its location. However, this brings up other issues. For instance, selecting some widget or scrollbar in an application may become a challenge.

So why isn't generally possible to configure your desktop, be Windows, GNU/Linux or other, with just a hot key to show the taskbar (or any OS wide control device) only when you need it?

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