A new toolbar- MSN Toolbar, based on Silverlight has been released. It was under beta test since couple of months, and I was one of the beta testers. And I can say during this period, it kept improving and is different from regular toolbars. First of all its Silverlight based written in XAML and actually is a fully programmable platform whose SDK will be released later this year. So this makes it to add snap-ins in the form of panes coded by 3rd party developers, this will make it customisable. But this can be expected later.
Now coming to the present features :
You can see headlines from various MSN channels without leaving the page, has Windows Live Button to stay connected. Also has Live Search Box to find whatever you are searching. Get Live Search results even when you use another search engine. Also it has a sort of 'Flip' toolbar whenever doing the search. And it again 'Flips' over for he regular toolbars. So these flips are termed as 'Panes' and these can be coded on the availability of SDK. So within one toolbar you can have many by just flipping them in the form of panes.
Also there's a cool effect when any Breaking News happens, the news button gleams. Check it out , its really nice.
You also have settings option to customise where you can have toolbar color change.
I know there are many who does not like toolbars, but this is different and you should give it a try. At present it works on Silverlight 1.0 and does not support 2.0 beta. You can download it from http://toolbar.msn.com/
If you want to see all the features in action then check this video where Stefan Weitz gives a demo.
UPDATE(8June'08) : There were some XAML rendering issues that made for a poor experience with the toolbar with SilverLight2 Beta1, so it was blocked by MS.
Now with the release of SL2 Beta2 MSN Toolbar works with it. Check it out.