Quick launch bar which lets you quickly access apps on Windows is disabled by default in Windows 7 same the case in Windows 8 developer preview, (you can pin the apps shortcuts to the taskbar hence it is disabled), here is how to add Quick launch bar to Windows 8 taskbar.
1 .Right-click on the taskbar and select “New toolbar” from Toolbars
2. For Folder dialog box type or paste below path
%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch and click “Ok”
3. Right-click on the taskbar and uncheck for Lock the Taskbar
4. Right-click on the Separator and uncheck for “Show Text” and “Show Title” and make sure “small icons” is not selected under View menu and lock the taskbar.
By adding Quick launch bar, you’ll also get show desktop icon on Windows 8 and Switch between Windows along with other app icons. You can drag and drop app shortcuts to the Quick Launch bar for quick access, Quick Launch bar for Windows 8 is ready.