The new icon in Windows 7 represents a decent step forward from what went before. It encourages users to keep program shortcuts stored on the easily accessible taskbar, and rewards those who do so by giving them access to extra features like roll-over thumbnail previews of any open windows, and access to jump lists.

The only thing you can’t easily do is group them all together according to type. Sure, you can drag and drop them into some kind of order, but wouldn’t it be great if you could easily combine similar programs into a single entry on the Taskbar?

Bins is designed to give you that simple functionality: drag one icon over another, and you can combine them into a single group. The program icons are replaced by a folder-like view showing up to four program icons on it for easy identification. Running programs are displayed normally, closed programs are shown greyed out. Roll the mouse over the group and a popup balloon appears with all of the program shortcuts contained within that group displayed, and above this is the familiar Aero Peek window, except this one shows all open windows within that group, not just a single program.

Right-click a program group and a jump list for the first – or primary – program in the list will appear. At the present time, jump lists don’t work for any other programs in a group – when you right-click another program’s icon you’ll get the basic options, plus two options for unpinning the item from the group and for making it the primary program in the list.

While Bins does make it possible to group icons together for clarity and tidiness, there is a price to pay. If you're used to regularly switching between two open programs with a single click, for example, you'll find that if one or both are in bins you'll need to roll the mouse over the group and wait for the bin to open up to reveal the shortcuts inside. This wait actually extends the time it takes to switch windows, and takes some getting used to.

Note you can’t simply close the application from its Taskbar notification area icon; instead, right-click the icon and choose Settings > Extras to disable it.

Bins is currently in beta, and this current version will expire on 1st June. Until then, however, it’s fully functional when either a new beta will be issued or the program will get a final release, at which point it’ll become a trial version.
 

Verdict

Bins is potentially interesting, but it may not necessarily achieve its goal of making you more productive. We also think $25 is a high price to pay for a program with such limited functionality.