From Emerge Desktop Development Team:
Emerge Desktop is a replacement windows shell. In order to replace Windows Explorer as a shell, Emerge Desktop will offer a system tray (the area that collects the icons collected at the lower right corner in Explorer), called emergeTray. Emerge Desktop will also provide access to the users programs (normally accessed with the windows start button) via a right-click on the desktop, via emergeCore. Emerge Desktop has an open API, which allows for applets to be coded with compilers other than MinGW if someone wishes to do so.