Basically all you have to do is install one of these utilities and a few customizations and you'll have a nice icon dock to quickly access your programs. The programs are called:

objectdock or rocketdock

They are both very similar and both are free.

This is something I use all the time and I absolutely love it, I'm not sure I would be able to use Windows 7 without it now.

I hope that this is helpful someone!