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Microsoft begins experimenting with Windows 11 taskbar upgrade

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Windows 11 was launched last year with many controversial and radical changes, including a new Start menu and more. If you recently upgraded to Windows 11 and were amazed at how different the taskbar was, you’re not alone. The latest version of the taskbar has divided its users.

The new taskbar has been rebuilt from scratch and does not include features available in Windows 10. The taskbar has some confusing design features. For example, it doesn’t come with a full-fledged right-click menu. While you can still right-click on the taskbar, you cannot make a significant change to the taskbar without opening the Settings app.

Microsoft has acknowledged and continues to admit that the taskbar is still being worked on, but development has been slow and the company isn’t really doing anything about missing features.

Microsoft has responded to the feedback and fixed some features such as drag and drop in the latest update, but users still expect faster progress. Fortunately, it seems that important changes are coming. According to references spotted in a new preview build, Microsoft is testing two variants of the taskbar:

  • MicrosoftWindows.Client.Core_cw5n1h2txyewy
  • MicrosoftWindows.Client.39072097_cw5n1h2txyewy

While one variant includes the new search bar design styles, another explores major improvements to the overflow UI.

Windows 11 taskbar overflow user interface

As you can see in the screenshot above, Microsoft is working on improving the taskbar overflow interface. The new app list overflow on the taskbar can make it easier to select an active app if you have too many apps open at once or if the device’s resolution is very low.

The goal is to reduce clutter and provide a modern flyout experience. We don’t know when this new production device overflow feature should come out, but we expect some improvements to come later this year. That’s because Microsoft has been planning updates to some features much earlier and beyond the primary features.

Don’t expect radical changes to the taskbar

The company will release the first major Windows 11 update codenamed “Sun Valley 2” later in October. In addition to this major feature update, Windows 11 is also getting changes via monthly cumulative updates with additional polishing for the taskbar likely to ship this fall.

However, there are a few things that won’t change for a while. According to Microsoft officials, you can’t move the taskbar because the Start menu “animation flow” isn’t designed to handle a different taskbar position.

In fact, Microsoft believes that moving the taskbar isn’t important for most users and wants to focus on adding more important features to Windows 11.

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