As I said this palette changes depending on what you are doing. The most significant change is when you use the Type Tool, but I will go over that when we will talk about how to handle type. Some of the things that you see in the Control Palette you will see on other palettes as well. That's just a way to give you more options to do the same thing.
On a side line, if you right click on an object or anything on your page (or Control+click for Mac users) another menu will appear. That is a contextual menu, that is, a menu that changes depending on what you are clicking on, a bit like the Control Palette. The options you will get in that menu will be different from the ones of the Control Palette.