…it’s just icons and maybe 2 characters of the title along the bottom of your 1920×1200 screen (this is the Windows XP machine). Even with grouping turned on (so 3 open Microsoft Word documents are all under one button).
My rule: If you can’t read it, you should probably close it.
I have 1 GB of RAM in this machine and I think it’s not enough. I’m swapping out a lot when I switch between apps. Right now I have open and visible on the task bar: Outlook, Trillian, Copernic Desktop Search (rocking’ search application…I dumped X1 recently), FeedDemon, Microsoft ActiveSync, Firefox (I force everything to multiple tabs in one window), Dreamweaver, CuteFTP Pro (doing something that I need a stand alone FTP app), Word and ecto. I should probably get into the habit of closing applications when I’m done with them, but for some reason I only do that with Quicken and QuickBooks. Task Manager shows 89 processes running which is about average for me. PF Usage is 966MB. Is that a lot?