This is what happens when you let kernel geeks design the UI


Stumbled across “Tiny Footprint” mode of the Task Manager today while I’m tracking down a nasty hijacker Smitfraud-C malware bot on my Jenn’s machine.

Thought for a minute I was in a different program or OS or something wrong was going on. Turns out if you double-click on the area outside the tabs on Task Manager it throws a hissy fit and jumps into what Microsoft dubs “Tiny Footprint” mode.

I don’t know what disturbs me more, the fact that this “mode” exists and is not very known, or that they have a KB article on it in case users “accidentally” get themselves into it.


  • Call yourself a geek? A real geek would already know about tiny footprint mode.

  • That is a pretty cool feature actually :)

  • I actually like this feature. It can be useful to have an always on top window that displays cpu usage.

    I guess your point is that this window shouldn't replace the normal task manager without giving any hints on getting your task manager back. I agree with that. Microsoft seems to be working on windows usability but some parts of it are still lacking.

  • Not sure what the issue is here. This is a great feature (as I am reminded by attendees every time I show it at events, which is why I blogged it 3 weeks ago)

  • @Nick: I still stand with the geek nomenclature. I consider it to be a nerd to know this level of stuff.

    @Daniel: No issue, just one of those things that pops up and you have to fill your blog quota out with useless trivia.

    @Matt: Thanks for the link. Basically any of the sysinternals tools kick the llamas butt.

  • Actually, accessing this mode, and reversing out of it is intuitive, once you understand that it's actually a feature. As long as developers apply the technique correctly and coherently between applications, this method of reducing the clutter and leaving you with the meat of the application window could prove to be popular. Think of all those laptops that don't have an F11 key running Firefox as an example where it would prove advantageous.

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