This has been covered before in the forums but it is worth mentioning again as many users may come across it for the first time when they add the hidden file detector to their startup folder.
Users can set Word to display the new file task pane on startup, but if a file is placed in the startup folder then the new file task pane will not display.
If you want the task pane to display then there are a number of workarounds.
One method is to use VBA as detailed on the Word MVP site

Another method involves editing the registry (make a back up first!!!)
Start regedit
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice10.0Common General
Create a new DWORD (Edit>New>DWORD) and name it DoNotDismissFileNewTaskPane
Modify this key (Edit>Modify) and set the value to 1

This registry hack also solves the same problem with Excel.