One of my pet peeves is minimizing an application to tray. As you know there are three buttons in a standard Windows toolbar: Minimize, Maximize, Close. Minimize usually minimizes to the task bar. So there is no official button to minimize to tray. That leaves three usual options:
Have the minimize button minimize to tray
That seems to make most sense to me. If your application can minimize to tray, why would you want to alternatively minimize it to the taskbar as well? The downside of this is that for novice users it may be confusing (“Where did my app go?”).
Have a separate button to minimize to tray
Some applications have a new button for minimizing to tray:
That seems to be a good balance between “do not confuse new users” and “offer a way to minimize to tray”. It’s just not consistent as different applications use different buttons, and some programmers do not seem to be able to do this properly, causing weird behavior (i.e. Classic Windows-Style Buttons in a Windows XP Screen).
Use the X Button
Minimize minimizes to taskbar, and the X minimizes to tray. To Exit, right click the tray icon and select “Exit”. That is braindead, sorry. The X Button is meant to close, and nothing else. Also, as the Systray (or Taskbar Notification Area) is usually set to auto-hide icons, closing an app is now a 4-Click Action: Click X, Click to expand Tray, Search Icon (and hope you find it before the Tray collapses again), Right Click Icon, Click Exit.
The reason why I am posting this is because TweetDeck just implemented that behavior, and I think it sucks. Really. If I click the X, i want it to close, and not find out later that it’s happily still taking my API Requests (Bad when working on a second PC) and using 126 Megabytes RAM.
X marks the spot to close, not to minimize.