A+: Windows and the Common Tasks View

When you start My Computer in Windows XP, the Common Tasks view is displayed by default. The Common Tasks view displays the properties of the selected object and displays a preview when available. However, the most significant feature is the changeable task pane in the upper-left side of the display. In Windows Vista, this has been replaced by “Favorite Links” and Windows 7 adds the "Libraries" option.
The contents and name of the task pane change according to the characteristics of the selected or displayed object. For example, display My Computer, and the task pane is titled System Tasks, with a choice of options such as View System Information, Add or Remove Programs, or Change a Setting. The contents of Other Places also changes to display related objects. To switch between Common Tasks and Classic view, click the Folders icon on the toolbar.