Microsoft admits it won’t be fixing Windows 11’s taskbar for a while

When it launched, Windows 11 came with some major changes – and it looks like one of the most unpopular tweaks is here to stay, with Microsoft admitting that adding missing features to the taskbar simply isn’t a priority.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft has revealed that some of the biggest requests from users won’t be appearing any time soon.

The taskbar, which usually runs along the bottom of your screen, has been an important part of Windows since Windows 95, and with Windows 11, Microsoft decided to radically redesign it, including rebuilding it from scratch.

This left the Windows 11 taskbar missing some big, useful, features that people have been using for decades. One of the most noticeable features missing in action was the ability to drag and drop files or applications to the taskbar, either to pin them there for easy access, or to open them in an app already pinned to the taskbar.

This seemingly little feature was actually really useful, so many people were upset to find it missing in Windows 11. Microsoft has stated that drag and drop is coming to Windows 11 with the 22H2 major update later this year.

However, in a Windows Insider video, which you can view below, the Windows 11 development team revealed that other features won’t be coming any time soon.

Restricted movement

Another big complaint about Windows 11’s taskbar is the fact that you can’t reposition it. Many people liked to move the taskbar in previous versions of Windows to the side of the screen, or even to the top. With Windows 11, it’s stuck at the bottom, and that’s not going to change for a while, at least.

This is because, according to the Windows 11 development team, the animation flow of the Start menu in Windows 11, can’t handle a different taskbar position just yet. “Think about having the taskbar on the right, all of a sudden the reflow and the work all of the apps or Start menu have to do,” the team admitted.

Because the taskbar has been rebuilt from scratch, Microsoft is prioritizing adding features such as drag and drop, which involves extensive testing from volunteers. Sadly, it seems like the company doesn’t think moving the taskbar is as important.


Analysis: unfinished business

Man upset using a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it’s understandable that Microsoft has more important features to add to Windows 11, the fact that it launched with a taskbar missing so many features is pretty remarkable. Being able to move the taskbar gives people a greater level of freedom when configuring Windows to behave the way they prefer.

So, by not including this feature, there will be a large number of people who are annoyed and frustrated by Windows 11, and it gives the feeling that the operating system launched in an unfinished state, which is something our Windows 11 review pointed out.

It’s no surprise, then, that Windows 11 is struggling to get people to upgrade as fast as Windows 10 had managed.

If Windows 11 had been open source, like Linux, then we’d wager someone would have already added the ability – one of the benefits of being open source. Thankfully, there are also tools such as Start11 from Stardock which adds extra functionality to both the Start menu and taskbar – including the ability to change the taskbar’s position – which Microsoft is seemingly struggling with.

This isn’t the first time teams like Stardock have stepped in to fix unpopular changes to Windows – we saw a plethora of third-party apps that brought the Start menu back to Windows 8 after Microsoft unwisely dropped it.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft admits it won’t be fixing Windows 11’s taskbar for a while

When it launched, Windows 11 came with some major changes – and it looks like one of the most unpopular tweaks is here to stay, with Microsoft admitting that adding missing features to the taskbar simply isn’t a priority.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft has revealed that some of the biggest requests from users won’t be appearing any time soon.

The taskbar, which usually runs along the bottom of your screen, has been an important part of Windows since Windows 95, and with Windows 11, Microsoft decided to radically redesign it, including rebuilding it from scratch.

This left the Windows 11 taskbar missing some big, useful, features that people have been using for decades. One of the most noticeable features missing in action was the ability to drag and drop files or applications to the taskbar, either to pin them there for easy access, or to open them in an app already pinned to the taskbar.

This seemingly little feature was actually really useful, so many people were upset to find it missing in Windows 11. Microsoft has stated that drag and drop is coming to Windows 11 with the 22H2 major update later this year.

However, in a Windows Insider video, which you can view below, the Windows 11 development team revealed that other features won’t be coming any time soon.

Restricted movement

Another big complaint about Windows 11’s taskbar is the fact that you can’t reposition it. Many people liked to move the taskbar in previous versions of Windows to the side of the screen, or even to the top. With Windows 11, it’s stuck at the bottom, and that’s not going to change for a while, at least.

This is because, according to the Windows 11 development team, the animation flow of the Start menu in Windows 11, can’t handle a different taskbar position just yet. “Think about having the taskbar on the right, all of a sudden the reflow and the work all of the apps or Start menu have to do,” the team admitted.

Because the taskbar has been rebuilt from scratch, Microsoft is prioritizing adding features such as drag and drop, which involves extensive testing from volunteers. Sadly, it seems like the company doesn’t think moving the taskbar is as important.


Analysis: unfinished business

Man upset using a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it’s understandable that Microsoft has more important features to add to Windows 11, the fact that it launched with a taskbar missing so many features is pretty remarkable. Being able to move the taskbar gives people a greater level of freedom when configuring Windows to behave the way they prefer.

So, by not including this feature, there will be a large number of people who are annoyed and frustrated by Windows 11, and it gives the feeling that the operating system launched in an unfinished state, which is something our Windows 11 review pointed out.

It’s no surprise, then, that Windows 11 is struggling to get people to upgrade as fast as Windows 10 had managed.

If Windows 11 had been open source, like Linux, then we’d wager someone would have already added the ability – one of the benefits of being open source. Thankfully, there are also tools such as Start11 from Stardock which adds extra functionality to both the Start menu and taskbar – including the ability to change the taskbar’s position – which Microsoft is seemingly struggling with.

This isn’t the first time teams like Stardock have stepped in to fix unpopular changes to Windows – we saw a plethora of third-party apps that brought the Start menu back to Windows 8 after Microsoft unwisely dropped it.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft is fixing this unloved Windows 11 feature

If you’re using Windows 11, you may have briefly checked out the Widgets panel – before promptly forgetting all about it – but it looks like Microsoft is finally going to make it more useful.

The Widgets panel is a new feature introduced in Windows 11 that can give you details about the weather, news, traffic and more via ‘widgets’ – essentially small apps that give you at-a-glance information. You can bring up the Widgets panel by either swiping from the left-hand side of the screen, or pressing Windows + W on your keyboard.

While this might sound useful, the problem is that there aren’t many widgets available, and most of them are tied to Microsoft services (such as Outlook or OneDrive), making them pretty much useless if you don’t use those services. The fact that the Widgets panel is hidden away doesn’t help either, and it’s led to the feature being all to easy to ignore and forget about.

Microsoft needs to act to make sure the Widgets panel doesn’t go the way of other unloved Windows features, such as the notorious ‘Metro’ Start screen of Windows 8. The good news is that Microsoft appears to be looking at ways to improve Widgets.

Third party support

As Windows Central reports, a developer has posted on Twitter claiming that Microsoft will soon announce that it will allow third party Widgets in Windows 11. This should allow for a much more diverse, and potentially useful, selection of Widgets.

According to the developer, FireCube, Microsoft is talking to third parties, explaining that they will soon be able to submit widgets through the Microsoft Store – in the same way Windows apps are submitted.

See more

Hopefully this means we should see an influx of new, more useful Widgets coming to Windows 11. With the documentation apparently being shared with developers, it looks like Microsoft could be getting ready to officially announce third party widgets soon.

Will it be too late for Windows 11 widgets? Perhaps – some people will have already made their minds up about the feature. However, if Microsoft can convince some big names to make widgets for Windows 11, then perhaps users can be convinced to give them another chance.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft Teams is finally fixing this super annoying flaw

Being plagued by annoying notifications pings whilst on a call may soon finally be at an end for users of Microsoft Teams.

The company has confirmed that it will soon allow users to mute notifications whilst they are in a video conferencing meeting or don't want to be disturbed.

This should mean an end to distracting notifications or alerts when you’re in the middle of an important meeting, particularly as more and more businesses embrace hybrid working.

No more notifications

“The current experience of receiving notifications during meetings is highly distracting and there is no easy way to turn off these notifications making it highly painful for users,” Microsoft's Joao Ferreira wrote in an M365 admin post announcing the news.

“This feature will introduce a setting to help the user turn OFF notifications during meetings.”

In order to activate the setting, users need to click on the ellipsis next to their Microsoft Teams profile picture, then select global settings -> Notifications -> Meetings. Doing so will turn off notifications for all meetings.

Microsoft Teams mute notifications

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If users want to allow certain notifications to come through, say if they are expecting an important email or alert, users can turn notifications on or off for a per meeting basis through the setting provided in the meeting tray.

By allowing users to specify which types of alerts they receive, the latest Teams update should help address common remote working issues that have been increasingly facing workers across the world. 

Ferreira noted that the feature is set to begin rolling out in early February, with most users set to have it ready by mid-March 2022. It will be available worldwide to all Microsoft Teams users across desktop and web.

News of the feature first emerged back in November 2021, with Microsoft Teams enjoying a raft of useful updates since then. This includes the addition of chat bubbles so that users wouldn't miss private messages sent during a video call, both 1:1 or as part of a group call.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Instagram could finally be fixing its biggest annoyance

After five years, Instagram is looking at bringing back the chronological feed, instead of one that sorts images by your interests in random order.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri was talking to the American Senate committee about child abuse on social media, mainly due to the whistleblower papers that were leaked by Frances Haugen.

Since 2016, users have had to scroll through their feed on Instagram, which shows posts in an order that’s been calculated by an algorithm. This generates a feed based on the content you’ve been looking at, what you’ve been commenting on, and who you’ve been following.

It’s why you will occasionally see a ‘Suggested feed’ of photos and profiles you don’t follow. However, many just want a feed of who they’re following and nothing more.

When will it arrive?

Mosseri’s confirmation of the chronological feed returning will be of big relief to some users. Many are still annoyed by not having control over what they see when they launch Instagram, instead of being brought to a feed that will show photos and videos from a few days ago.

It’s a feature that’s been long-requested, so now that there’s confirmation, many users wanted to find out when it would be arriving. But it looks as though it won’t be anytime soon.

See more

With no more news about the feature until early next year, we’ll have to make do with the algorithmic feed for now, as we have done for five years.


Analysis: Was there any need for it to go in the first place?

Instagram has been working on several features requested by its users. Recent examples have been the ability to post from a web browser or switching to a dark mode theme, which have been well-received.

However, not being able to control what you see on your feed has been frustrating for years, ever since it changed in 2016. Many users want to scroll through a feed from newest to oldest, and social media rivals like Twitter gives users the option for this, as does Facebook.

It can be argued that a chronological feed is more important for Instagram users, as photos and videos capture a moment in time. With the run-up to Christmas, you want to see the latest content from who you’re following, not a random photo from Halloween in your feed when you open the app.

It’s a welcome change of mind regardless, but there should have been an option for both in the beginning. However, let’s hope it appears sooner rather than later in 2022.

Via The Verge

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More