I've been doing that for some time (started in WinXP, I think) with the built in capabilities of Windows. It's called custom toolbars - Just create folders of shortcuts and name the folders for the shortcuts inside, i.e., Photography, WordPerfect Office, Mapping & Astronomy, etc. It works best if you move your taskbar to the left or right side of the screen, widen it, and turn on auto-hide. When you add the custom toolbar to the taskbar, you need to turn off "Show Text" and turn on "Show Title". I also have "Small Icons" selected under view.
Primary: Canon EOS-5D Mark II; Secondary: Canon EOS-1D Mark III; Back Ups: Canon PowerShot G7 and Canon EOS-1N