Holy cow, I wrote a book!
We discussed a few months ago the issue of where windows minimized
to before the taskbar was invented.
In the modern taskbar world, why do minimized windows have an apparent
size of 160x31?
The size isn't just apparent. That's really their size.
You can see them, for example, if you fire up a program that
uses the Multiple Document Interface.
Observe the appearance of the window "Book1".
This is a minimized window (though minimized to its MDI host
rather than to the desktop).
With the introduction of Windows Explorer,
which put files on the desktop in the form of icons,
it became necessary to change
the appearance of minimized windows in order to
avoid confusing a minimized program icon from a desktop icon.
A minimized program, therefore, took the form of a miniature
The programming interface to minimized windows remained the same,
for compatibility reasons.
(And please let's just agree to disagree on whether
backwards compatibility is a good thing or not.)
That's why the function to tell
whether a window is minimized continues to be called
the message you receive when someone tries to restore a minimized
program is still called
the OpenIcon function
can still be used to "open" a minimized "icon".
All even though minimized windows haven't looked like icons for nearly
The OpenIcon function is just an
old-fashioned way of saying ShowWindow(hwnd, SW_NORMAL),
in the same way that
the CloseWindow function
(dating back to Windows 1.0)
is an extremely old-fashioned way of saying