Microsoft has been tweaking the Windows 10 taskbar experience across previews for some time. Most of that tweaking will come to fruition in Windows 10X, which gets a slightly different taskbar to regular Win10. However, it seems Microsoft is now making some changes to the normal Windows 10 taskbar.
If you’re out of the loop on Windows 10X, it is Microsoft’s upcoming SKU which has been pushed back to a fall 2021 release. It’s taskbar will place icons centrally.
While Microsoft is not so far planning a similar look for Windows 10, the company is making some changes. Specifically, Microsoft watcher Albacore has found the company is moving the taskbar code from Explorer.exe to its own bespoke DLL known as Taskbar.dll.
This can be observed in the latest Windows 10 21H2 preview on the Inside. The new Taskbar.dll component is a working code replacement but is not in use just yet. However, reports suggest the search bar is not functioning properly.
The taskbar is being moved from Explorer.exe into Taskbar.dll. Surreal to see this get relocated after decades. Right now Explorer still contains the code, but it's possible to switch to the DLL implementation. There's still some odd bugs such as semi-broken search box UI. pic.twitter.com/2gNqcDNTzp
— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) March 25, 2021
What’s important about this switch is it will give Microsoft more development fluidity. In its own dll, the company can update the taskbar independently of the rest of the platform. This could mean tweaks and updates between major Windows 10 updates.
As this change is part of a 21H2 preview, we won’t see the full version until Windows 10 21H2 launches in the fall.
Windows 10X Taskbar
It’s unclear if Microsoft plans to bring elements of the Windows 10X taskbar to Windows 10 proper. Earlier this month, we reported on Microsoft seemingly extending the release windows for Windows 10X again.
Microsoft is holding back to ensure the launch of the new Windows 10 experience is more secure and without issues. Late spring is now looking likely for a final production build in preview, and then a fall launch for the SKU on new devices.
Tip of the day:
Thanks to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) you can run complete Linux distributions within Windows 10. In our tutorial, we show you how to install Ubuntu or other Linux packages and how to activate the bash shell.