The quick launch bar might have been the way most Windows XP users accessed all their data, be it folders they often needed or programs - everything could be put in there. This bar however was abandoned in further Windows versions but can be restored by very simple means.
To do so, right-click on some free space on the task bar and unlock it by removing the check next to Lock the taskbar. Then right-click again and choose Toolbars > New toolbar.... Use the Folder line and enter following:
%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Click Select Folder to confirm. A toolbar named Quick Launch will have appeared in your task bar. Right-click it and uncheck the options Show Text and Show title, this will give you back the original layout. Move it to the position you want to have it and lock the taskbar again afterwards.