With the release of Minecraft 1.6, the Mojang team also released another version of the Minecraft launcher. It might not look as good as the old launcher, but keeps all its old functionality and adds some more features. For instance, when hosting a server using your Minecraft client, the launcher now acts as a (read-only) console, enabling you to view the chat and player logins from the launcher. You can also create different profiles to use different versions of Minecraft in, and a basic service status tool is available on the sidebar. Here are some screenshots from the Mac version of the launcher. It’s relatively the same across all platforms.
You can click each of the screenshots for a larger version.