Microsoft recently held a “CasualLy Ask” (AMA) conference on YouTube, where the engineering and product teams answered questions about the latest features and capabilities of Windows 11. One of the topics discussed is the option to move the taskbar to the top or sides of the screen. If you’ve been waiting for this feature, the bad news is that Microsoft doesn’t think the feature is important enough to move the taskbar to other places, and it’s likely that it won’t be available anytime soon.
The Start menu and taskbar are among the most controversial changes in Windows 11. Microsoft threw away the old taskbar during development and started making a new one from scratch. As a result, developers have to decide which features need to be ready when they are initially rolled out, which can be postponed, and which aren’t worth the effort. The option to move the taskbar falls into the last category.
Also, Microsoft believes that restoring the removable taskbar is too much of a workload for too few users. Here’s how Microsoft Product Director Tully Rose explains the situation:
This has many challenges when it comes to things like actually being able to move the taskbar to different locations on the screen. When you think about putting the taskbar on the right or left, all of a sudden, all of a sudden, all the applications have to do the reflow and adaptation to be able to understand the new desktop environment.
While we know there’s a group of people who like this way of being able to adjust the position of the taskbar themselves and appreciate it, when we look at the data we also realize that this group of users is really small compared to other people who ask for other features. So for now we’re continuing to focus on the things that I hear more about the pain I feel when using Windows. While this is one of the things we’re still focusing on and will continue to focus on feedback, at the moment we don’t have a plan or a fixed date to determine when, or if we should actually build the side taskbar.
The logic behind this explanation is easy to understand. With a Windows installation base of over 1.3 billion devices, Windows enthusiasts are a fairly vocal but relatively small community. Microsoft needs to constantly balance satisfying its die-hard fans and maintaining priorities for its entire audience. Many times, decisions made by Microsoft in favor of a larger user base hurt hardcore enthusiasts.
But the interesting thing about the taskbar is that the performance of the Microsoft Feedback Hub is in direct conflict with what Tully Rose said, and the ability to get the mobile taskbar is the most supported feedback, with more than 17,600 likes and 1,200 comments. Unless Microsoft has other tools to get more feedback from “average” users, it can be seen that quite a few Windows 11 customers want Microsoft to bring back this missing feature. People don’t want stickers on the table. They just want the taskbar they’ve lost.
Fortunately, third-party developers thrive where Microsoft doesn’t do a good job. With the help of Start11 and similar tools, you can regain some of the most popular taskbar features that were removed by Windows 11. Start11 recently introduced the option to ungroup icons on the taskbar, plus it allows you to move the taskbar to the top.