Microsoft Has No Plans to Let You Move the Windows 11 Taskbar

Posted on April 9, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 104 Comments

In an online AMA, Windows 11 team members explained that fixing the limitations it built into the Windows 11 taskbar is not a priority.

“When it comes to something like actually being able to move the Taskbar to different locations on the screen, there’s a number of challenges with that,” Microsoft’s Tali Roth responds after a “preamble” when asked about moving the Taskbar. “When you think about having the Taskbar on the right or the left, all of a sudden the reflow and the work that all of the apps have to do to be able to understand the environment is just huge.”

That’s not true: how the Taskbar works is a system function, not something that every app needs to manually adjust for. The previous Taskbars and their behaviors were controlled by Windows, and when users moved them to other screen edges, things just worked as expected. When Microsoft completely rewrote the Taskbar in Windows 11—to be “more performant,” one of the AMA members claims—it broke functionality that has worked for many years. And as expected, it’s gotten a lot of feedback about those missing features.

So how does Microsoft determine which features to fix and/or add back to this new Taskbar? It uses telemetry data, of course.

“When you look at the data, while we know there is a set of people that love it that way and, like, really appreciate it, we also recognize that that set of users is really small compared to the set of other folks that are asking for other features,” Roth continues. “So at the moment we are continuing to focus on things that I hear more pain around.”

To recap. Microsoft broke the Taskbar. It then gathered feedback about the missing features. And it will only bring back some of them based on the volume of the complaints it receives. And the people who want to move the Taskbar to other screen edges are just not a big or important enough audience to worry about.

“It is one of those things that we are still continuing to look at, and we will keep looking to feedback, but at the moment we do not have a plan or a set date for when we would, or if we should, actually build the side taskbar,” she admits.

She also explains how wonderful it is that the new Taskbar contracts when the few people who use Windows as a tablet—an audience Microsoft does care about because of Surface—pop off an attached keyboard. There is no data to suggest that people want this feature. But Microsoft has made it a priority over the feedback they are getting.

In other words, thanks for your feedback, folks. Love getting that. And super-pumped to pay attention to it. Keep it coming.

Unbelievable.

Two final notes.

One, thanks to Neowin for pointing out this AMA and providing a transcript of this part of it, which begins at about the 10-minute mark of the video.

And two, Start11 costs just $5.99 and it lets you move the Taskbar to the top and bottom screen edges in Windows 11, among other features the Windows 11 Taskbar lacks.

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Comments (104)

104 responses to “Microsoft Has No Plans to Let You Move the Windows 11 Taskbar”

  1. jasoncraig

    The fixed Taskbar doesn't bother me nearly as much as not having the volume control available on multiple monitors. There was a 3rd party fix for the clock before Microsoft added it natively... any idea if there's a similar solution for the volume control?

  2. jdawgnoonan

    Is it a surprise that a company that needs three years to redesign and field new icons in Windows may not be able to bring back the features of the task bar that it has lost? The company that can't design an operating system that controls theming centrally and so instead have to roll out Windows 11 themed app support one application at a time over the course of multiple years. The company that lets you use a Windows 11 context menu to access a Windows 10 context menu to access Windows 7 era UIs. Are you really surprised by any of this?

    • jdawgnoonan

      They are putting more effort into the widgets that no one cares about.

      • hrlngrv

        Depends. If ROI means all within MSFT, modest investment in Widgets might raise daily Widget use from 0.01% of Windows 11 users to 0.1%. In one way I'm being intentionally flippant, in another way I'm being entirely serious. If US$500K of developer time and effort on Widgets were expected to increase next-12-months Widgets revenues by US$1 million, it'd be a no-brainer investment. If US5 million of developer time and effort on the Windows 11 taskbar were expected to produce only negligible increase in Windows 11 uptake over the next 12 months, would it really be a surprise it's not a priority?


        I suspect collective pride also matters within MSFT, but ROI is, er, prioritized.

        • jdawgnoonan

          I understand your point. It is hard to imagine that almost all clicks on the widget button aren't accidental, but I am sure that there is some percentage of people who find that UI and then actually use it again and like it. And then, resulting from that, Microsoft scrapes a tad of ad revenue. Most Windows users choose Windows out of convenience, not because they actually care about it, and therefore they aren't likely to care where the Taskbar is.

  3. roundaboutskid

    Two thoughts:


    1. When (if) corporate use revs up, I would assume that the volume of complaints and pains will increase orders of magnitude.
    2. A centered task bar, but the most used - the actual menu/start icon - is randomly placed depending on current apps being opened, and it's not possible to customize the position of that icon. The strain this will have on people working on support will be immense.


    Actually, the decision defies any logic. I can't come with any reason for this behaviour. Actually, the only thing that would make sense would be to keep things as they were.

  4. LT1 Z51

    You see this behavior in all companies.


    "Marketing" is the group who makes "Feature" decisions. The issue is that most marketing groups don't know how to properly collect, analyze, and understand data. First they ask the wrong questions, second they get caught up in buzz-words and competitor behavior (more so in the presses perceived pluses and minuses of competitor behavior).


    Conversly the problem is most customers don't know what they want. Some do, but the vast majority don't. Except they don't like change, even when it can be good for them. So it's very easy I'd say to mess this all up.


    Engineers, Developers, and Coders usually don't make design decisions (in terms of UX) they just are "doing what they are told" because, well, that is their job.


    This is why you need someone in charge who has a good handle on UX and provides clear concise direction for how components should look, feel and operate. Complain all you want about Apple's choices but they have at least a mostly cohesive, fluent, atheistic design. Microsoft is stuck in the whole design by committee thing. FYI, this (in automotive) is how you get a Cadillac Cimmaron (Google It)

  5. lewk

    “So at the moment we are continuing to focus on things that I hear more pain around.”


    The top three up-voted complaints in the feedback hub are: moving the taskbar, ungrouping apps on the taskbar and right-click the taskbar for task manager. By a wide margin of ten's of thousands of votes each.


    Can somebody explain how Microsoft consider adding stickers to the desktop, a feature nobody has asked for, let alone conceived as a useful feature; how that is a pain point that they're working on? And how the top three most requested features aren't a pain point? Features, mind you, that were in most previous versions of Windows. Ones that users of all types (Beginner, Normal, advanced/enthusiast) use daily and expect to be there but will need re-training if they were to "upgrade" to Windows 11. This is yet another perfect example of Microsoft being completely tone-deaf to ALL their users, and just doing what-ever the hell they want. Seriosuly, normal users use all these features. Not just enthusiasts.

    • Dan

      Feedback comes from businesses talking to their MS account managers, not via the feedback hub.

      • hrlngrv

        You should qualify that as either effective feedback or feedback to which MSFT pays any attention.


        There is feedback in the Feedback Hub, but MSFT pays it no mind. A bit bucket for the whiners from MSFT's POV.

        • dmitryko

          There are reports that Feedback hub posts are largely ignored by the Windows team, and routinely moved/deleted to 'clean up' long standing issues then see if the same bugs reappear.


          So unless a MS developer explicitly instructs you to file a report, don't waste your time.


          See 'Shenanigans on Microsoft Feedback Hub' and discussion on YCombinator Hacker News.


    • hrlngrv

      You believe MSFT pays attention to the Feedback Hub? How precious!

  6. arjay

    I have monitors that are much wider than they are tall. So one of the first things I do when I fire up a new Mac is to move the taskbar to the left edge. This gives me more usable space, as has been noted above in a comment or two in this comment thread.


    They are just being lazy.

  7. hrlngrv

    | as proved by MS’s telemetry


    Emphasis added.


    Are you familiar with the possibility most large enterprises disable telemetry on their PCs? If most do, then MSFT's telemetry data is at most evidence of how Windows Home and some Windows Pro users use Windows (some Windows Pro users likely know how to disable telemetry; not sure if that can be done in Windows Home).


    | when you need to learn x86 assembly to install your printer


    Nothing like the memes of ignorance. Or should that be OS bigotry, which combines some malice with ignorance?


    With respect to losing work, hang around in Excel user-to-user support forums and notice the frequency of postings about corrupted workbooks Excel refuses to open. Note that the most common response is use LibreOffice Calc to open it, then save with a different filename. Granted the Office team is a different group than the Windows team, but InkScape isn't an OS.

    • sadsteve

      During my install of Linux on my main machine, both printers were found and drivers were installed automatically. These were printers on the WIFI portion of my network. About the only configuration I did after the install was to changes some of the keys to different keys. I like to make the CAPSLOCK into the Ctrl key, the CTRL key into the Alt key and the ALT key into the CAPSLOCK. I do the same for my Windows VM.


      There's actually less after install configuration for me on Linux then there is for Windows.

    • Donte

      Large enterprises may disable telemetry (mine does not) but the chance they lock the desktop down, including the taskbar position is a much greater possibility.

  8. nbplopes

    Hi. I personally don't care less for the positioning of the taskbar. Even though I understand the appeal to to beginners, in my experience the Taskbar and its related ALT-TAB (Task Switcher) are really bad solutions to quickly summon the desired, wether to run or to come up active. Once one passed the beginners given actually proper training here is a video demonstrating what happens when one is released from the shacks of such arching practice for the purpose.


    I'm no YouTuber, just made this video for fun demonstrated the concept that is contrary to the Taskbar and no ALT-TAB ... no I'm not looking for viewers but you mind find the demo interesting:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cep5LwsSiNM


    I tried to do the same with Windows, almost successful. Yes I could as well quickly use the Windows start menu to run apps. But hit a wall here because, every time the system would simply create a new instance of the app instead of switching to the app that is already running. Crazy.


    This approach is far more efficient as you can see. I'm not really a fast typer. What really leading the efficiency has an easy engineering perspective. Probably some of you have studied algorithms and remember a Big O notation. A notation created to express the efficiency of an algorithm ...


    The Windows solution for summoning and switching apps is really an O(n) solution. Meaning, that in order for the user to get to the apps that needs its needs to scan the n apps that are already open or in case of a new apps, the apps in the task bar or in the start menu. Even if this scan is done visually is still a scan.


    No by simply writing the name of the app one needs, with the help of efficient auto complete, it becomes an O(1) problem. Meaning ... no visual scan going over lists of things.


    The tragedy of the Windows culture is that users are denied way more efficient and simple solutions. Simply put, the minds are contrived to reason over a particular paradigm ... so is training. Worst, it gets perpetuated in the mindset of Windows designers. Case in case the Tile based Start Menu of Windows 10. If the O(n) problem was already bad, it became impossible ... people were invited to put even more items on the menu list .... even worst, let make the items dance ... all sparkly like a Christmas tree.


    So the problem gets perpetuated.


    Back to the beginning the issue of given users the liberty of putting the Taskbar anywhere else but the one provided by default, is more of a paradigm issue that actually a solution towards more efficient user interaction. The problem gets worsts that feature priorities move as per user vote ... when users have no experience, no mundi-evidence to actually come up with way more efficient solution.

    Cheers.

  9. Craig Hinners

    I can see how this is ticking off the “customization über alles” set, which is the same group that’s been unable to function because there is no longer a four-level deep context menu that scrolls from here down to China when you right-click the taskbar. But let’s face it, no “normie” makes these excruciating, pedantic tweaks or even knows that these undiscoverable features even exist to begin with, as proved by MS’s telemetry. Also, each GUI customization tweak increases support costs by creating myriad non-standard configurations. (“The gray bar thingie with the clock on it jumped to the right side of my monitor, how do I get it back, help!!!!!”)


    So I say to MS: good for you for attacking this cruft in the code, with the caveat that you take the time that otherwise would have gone into this esoteric crap and use it to make the system more stable, secure, and performant. Don’t get me wrong, I have my doubts about that. We shall see.


    Otherwise, Linux will welcome you with open arms if you want to revel in your ability to make Android-like tweaks to your desktop OS and, say, set your system font to 24 point blinking Comic Sans. I don’t disparage you for this, but MS is all but telling you to your face that they don’t care about you anymore. I just don’t want to hear anything when you need to learn x86 assembly to install your printer.


    All this reminds me of my recent experience with the “Inkscape” open source SVG editor. It lets you customize the GUI six ways to Sunday but still has fundamental failures doing things like, say, making an SVG without crashing. So I have half a dozen different icon sets to choose from the next time I’m restarting the program after it’s lost all my work. Terrific. Every second they spend on the GUI customization nonsense and changing the “splash screen artwork” for each release is a second not spent on real functionality, and it shows. There is no free lunch. The same applies to Win 11.

  10. waethorn

    Only argument I can see is that their new code positions things as absolute positioning of the entire screen resolution, which would break their own window manager rules for applications wanting to pop up on the sides.-

    • hrlngrv

      So MSFT's stance vis-a-vis window management best practices is like local police believing traffic laws don't apply to them. Gotcha.

  11. wp7mango

    Someone has probably suggested this before, but...


    Microsoft should just buy Stardock and include Start11 with PowerToys

    • navarac

      No way, MSFT would kill it.

      • hrlngrv

        One's perspective about this does rather depend on whether one believes MSFT views Windows users as valued customers or as sheep to be fleeced as often as practicable.

  12. pecosbob04

    I rarely if ever agree with Microsoft, but as I tell my wife every time I look at her computer only an unwashed heathen would place the dock anywhere but on the bottom set to hide and show as necessary (on mouseover).


    • tony_ansley

      <rant>

      It makes no sense in a 16x9 world, to remove pixels from the (excessively) short-length of the screen when you could use that area to support - at least in the majority of the world) - conventions to read/edit documents from top to bottom. When a standard A4/8.5x11 page gets cut off on the bottom when I have overkill on the left/right of a wide-screend display is rediculous.


      </rant>

      :D

      • hrlngrv

        Believe me that argument was made over & over again during the preview period for Office 2007, which introduced the ribbon. There's no business on earth which could be deafer than MSFT to unwelcome criticism.


        I should add that MSFT has stuffed so much unwanted crap into the Office application title bars that it's become necessary to place the QAT below the ribbon if it contains more than 15-odd items, thus using even more vertical screen space. Some of my Excel QAT items call macros which do just one thing. As someone who REALLY CAN'T STAND seeing page break dashed lines at any time other than when intentionally viewing page break preview, I'm not going to be without a quick way to suppress those @#$%&*! dashed lines. (Yes, I also have a keyboard combination to run that macro.)

    • anoldamigauser

      Clearly, you do not work with CADD or graphics software, because as soon as one uses autohide, there is an immediate need to edit somewhere near the taskbar which then pops up and moves everything you wanted to snap to and then disappears and moves it back when you go to the new location...lather, rinse, repeat.

      • pecosbob04

        Firstly I am speaking Dock (Mac) not Taskbar (windows) above.

        Secondly I do a lot of Graphics editing sometimes at the bottom of the screen (Dock hidden) without issue. (may require some getting used to. < day)

        I have no idea how a hidden taskbar behaves as I have never used one. So YMMV.

  13. jwpear

    Eh, maybe the real problem is that 16:9 is a shitty aspect ratio for productivity? Yes, Microsoft's explanation for not adding it back is lame, but what drives people to want to move it in the first place?

  14. whistlerpro

    The same company that has 'vertical tabs' as a key feature of their browser doesn't think that anyone wants a vertical taskbar? Give me a break.

    • dmitryko

      It's the same company, but probably a different division. It's quite hard to tell right now if Edge and Windows groups are currently aligned under the same lead, as there have been multiple reorganizations of divisions / 'segments' in the last few years.


      People from Developer Tools (i.e. Visual Studio and programming frameworks) typically work in the open and take end-user feedback on GitHub, including microsoft / WindowsAppSDK (formely ProjectReunion), microsoft-ui-xaml (WinUI), STL (Visual C++ Standard Template Library), cppwinrt (C++/WinRT), CsWinRT (C#/WinRT), Win2D, etc.


      OTOH Windows and Devices are absolutely closed. They don't seem to care about end-user feedback or 'Insider' feedback (besides telemetry), they don't seem to coordinate with Developer Tools in any significant way, and don't even use Microsoft's latest frameworks to design 'modern' applications and OS components - for example Microsoft Teams was programmed in Electron (a 3rd-party JavaScript framework), though they are currently moving to Edge WebView2.

  15. dustinsherrill

    Dustin Has No Plans to Let Microsoft Move Him to Windows 11

  16. WaltC

    I think the current bottom-only taskbar is the ugliest thing I've ever seen...;) Microsoft really screwed the pooch on this one. On the Insider's hub, a moveable taskbar is the #1 feature requested by literally thousands of beta testers for the last eight months or so--the moveable taskbar such as the Win10 development team was able to accomplish. And since July, Microsoft has steadfastly ignored those requests. I find it remarkable, and fortunate, that I can pay a guy $4.99 to fix what Microsoft is obviously unable to fix so that I can move the taskbar to the top of the screen--I can also thin it down beyond the ugliness that is the current, bottom-feeding taskbar. StartAllBack beats 'em all so far in that it works great with the latest Win11 beta builds, as in 22593.1000. It's simple, it's non-invasive, and it works. It takes all of two seconds to remove it or to disable it, if you need to. I don't think the Win11 developers are capable of something like that--which is why they didn't do it in the first place. Amazing and Dumb. The stuff they are doing with Win11 looks like crap you'd see on a cell phone or a rinky-dink tablet, etc. Just little, niggling, UI junk--totally arbitrary. Nothing "under the hood" so to speak. AutoHDR, even, was robbed from Win10--where it was developed. I like Win11 OK, aside from that major point, of course, which I have overcome. Had I not been able to overcome it I proobably would have reverted to Win10. I think the development team should be ashamed of itself, frankly--and I predict adoption of Win11 will be a good deal slower than that for Win10, and this will be a major reason why. Microsoft is always screwing with things just to screw with them arbitrarily. Placing the favorites bar on the right side of the screen for Edge with no options--dumb. Even IE was smarter than that. Windows 8 tried to murder the start menu--that didn't go over, and now, Win11 is trying to murder the friggin' taskbar! The stupid doesn't get much stronger than this, imo.

  17. dallasnorth40

    Fine by me. I absolutely love the location of the icons in the bottom middle of my screen. Sucks if you don't. But life is full of these little disappointments... and then you die.

  18. Rob_Wade

    That's okay. I've always been fine with it on the bottom..it makes more sense there. Plus, I don't do anything with it. I only pin things to the Start menu, which is now replaced by Start11 because I hate Win11 Start menu with a blinding passion.

  19. John Craig

    Maybe the thinking over at Microsoft HQ is to get Windows users used to a centralised task bar, because that layout makes sense on smaller screen and duel screen/folding screen devices.

  20. Vitor Canova Weingaertner

    They are focused in making Windows send something to a printer and really works for everyone everytime. Pretty much like an USB mouse. ?

  21. Whazdat

    WTF. One of the first things I do with a new installation of Windows is move the task bar to the right-hand side to get back vertical screen real estate. They should have spent time getting the task bar items to be in multiple columns, and not to completely break it.


    I mean- WTF.

    • hrlngrv

      | spent time getting the task bar items to be in multiple columns


      Meaning you use a 2D grid of icons in your taskbar? If so, thanks for providing evidence for one of my hypotheses about usual configuration of left/right taskbars.


      That said, I suspect multiple rows/columns of icons in the taskbar may be as dead as Live Tiles.

  22. blue77star

    Something on side note. I recently found out that all Windows 10/11 drivers work on Windows 7 fine which is rather interesting. My system is x570 AMD 5950x with Nvidia 3080 ti. When I say drivers I really mean latest. I slipstreamed Windows 11 drivers extracted from driver store into bootable updated Windows 7 (latest security / other updates) image. I formatted drive and installed Windows 7 x64 from it and everything was installed with no problems including latest Nvidia 512.xx drivers. The last official drivers were 4xx.xx. It also means all chipset, usb and other drivers for x570 AM4 platform. if you try to install all this with fresh Windows 7, it won't be allowed but point is there is nothing in it not to work with Windows 7. It really made me think of BS these big companies and industry force upon people.

  23. SvenJ

    Would great if some of the features they are proud of actually worked consistently. First off the taskbar optimizations for tablet are in Insider previews, not mainstream. Second, my Surface does a poor job of recognizing 'tablet use'. It gets it right if I yank off the keyboard, which I rarely do. If I just fold the keyboard under, it is dependent on how far under, or how flat, I make the Surface. There is some variable angle at which the system thinks, 'oh, I'm a tablet now', which enlarges/hides the taskbar, and invokes the on screen keyboard when an entry field is chosen. My typical use, the screen about the angle about like a laptop, but the keyboard folded under, is horribly inconsistent in recognizing that is a tablet mode. The tablet mode functionality is getting better, but recognizing when it should be invoked needs work. Guess I need to spend some time at the feedback hub on my second job, MS QC.


  24. justme

    This telemetry Microsoft is relying on - is this the same telemetry that told them no one used the Start menu in the Windows 8 days?


    I think that as long as Windows has hooks that companies like Stardock can use to add or bring back removed/regressed functionality, people will complain but largely just get on with it. The issue is going to come when Microsoft removes those hooks and breaks third party apps so you really are forced to do things "Microsoft's Way".

    • hrlngrv

      | is this the same telemetry that told them no one used the Start menu in the Windows 8 days?


      Let's just say it's the telemetry which tells MSFT whatever MSFT wants to hear. A trove of design confirmation bias.

  25. thurrotcommentator

    This is just a ridiculous regression and is what is stopping me moving to windows 11 on my development machine.


    I was a windows superfan, I even developed winpho and UWP apps but like most of us here have given up on MS as a lost cause of late ( winpho cancelled, windows 10X cancelled, Neo cancelled, windows 11 released unfinished with horrible regressions).


    Like most devs I have multiple horizontal monitors, three in my case that I also use for gaming. I have it set up on windows 10 such that usually the taskbar is in the central monitor on the bottom BUT if im doing development with say Visual Studio I have this usually over two monitors with onenote open on the remaining one for notes as I work.


    Now if I leave the taskbar in the bottom the second Visual Studio monitor also loses the bottom taskbar bit of the screen. The solution is easy, I just drag it to the far left monitor and dock it to the left side. I now have the entirety of the two other monitors to use for Visual Studio. It works great!


    To actually remove such a useful, some would say fundamental feature, is absolute nonsense! :( :( :(

  26. Jakebreaks86

    I literally went back to windows 10 because of the task bar ..who actually thought a pinned taskbar on the right or left was more convenient than say THE TASK BAR BEING ON THE DAMN TASKBAR?? When I upgraded to windows 10 The thing I loved the most was the task bar. I hope Microsoft fixes it soon

  27. ubelhorj

    This is literally the only thing preventing me from upgrading. I've put the taskbar on the top since Windows 98.

    I can ignore other weird things they've left out, but I interact with the taskbar constantly. I can't just change back after over 20 years of it being there.

  28. winner

    Seems to me that W11 is the sucker's upgrade.

    My Windows 10 runs fine, sends less telemetry, and I can move my taskbar (and I use the left side of the screen for it).

    But Windows 7 IMHO was still a better interface.

  29. javial

    There is an option to recover 100% the Windows 10 taskbar in Windows 11 with the free utility WinAero and move it to any position.

    • darkgrayknight

      Does that include docking the taskbar to the left or right of the screen? I have not seen any utilities that can do this in Windows 11.

      • javial

        Yes. The same as Windows. You need a Start menu like Start11 or Classic Shell/Open Shell because lost accede to the original Start menu. Also lost the gadgets icon. But runs like the Windows 10 taskbar.

  30. cmdrkeene

    Not that I'm aware of on that front. And on a new update that hasn't hit the public yet, the taskbar stray tray falls back to Vista era where you can no longer drag the tray icons around. Want to hide or show an icon, you now have to dig 5 or 6 clicks deep into settings. And rearranging the icons, not possible at all. It's asinine.

  31. sherlockholmes

    Does anybody else has the feeling Microsoft makes the mistakes they made with Windows 8 all over again?

    • thretosix

      Absolutely, just look at that start menu... What were they thinking... WHY???? Windows 11 feels like 8.5 to me.

    • dmitryko

      Yes, it's Windows Vista and Windows 8 all over again, with elements of Windows RT and Windows S.


      Makes you wonder about corporate culture at Microsoft. Did you know that 'less than 5% of customers will use' a reason for dropping some useful feature actually comes from Bill Gates? It's in Stiven Sinofsky's Hardcore Software blog, post '066. Killing a Killer Feature (In Outlook, Again)'


      When an entirely new generation of management is repeating the same mistakes all over again, it tells you that fundamentally nothing has really changed.




    • Bart

      No, I don't think so. Windows 8 was such a radical departure from what it's customers knew, that Microsoft could never win.

      Windows 11 is fundamentally sound. But it shipped in a horrible unfinished state. Microsoft is now trying to fix that. Clearly they have to prioritise.

  32. Bart

    So to recap:


    • The Taskbar can't be put to the side or top
    • Microsoft looked at the data and sees very few people actually use this
    • Microsoft doesn't say 'no', but it is not a priority now
    • An option for consumers is Start11
    • Microsoft's biggest customer base, the enterprise, is not affected


    All in all seems like a sensible business decision to me. Microsoft has bigger fish to fry.

    • timo47

      How is the enterprise not affected? I see plenty of users at my company putting their taskbar to the side.


      I would say any regressions in Windows are a potential blocker for enterprises to upgrade since it will be up to them to educate their users about the changes.

      • Donte

        We have many thousands of Windows 10 PC', 7K+ if not more. Not only can no one change their task bar position, they all get the same wallpaper.


        No one complains. Why? Because they use apps and not the OS and at the end of they day they go home.

      • Bart

        Telemetry shows very few people use this AND Windows 10 is mostly used in the Enterprise.

    • darkgrayknight

      Moving the taskbar to the side is not available in any of the 3rd party fixes for taskbar, so using a 3rd party tool/fix isn't available either.

    • Bart

      OK, so I just learned that moving the Taskbar is one of the top requested features on the Feedback hub. Guess that moves the needle a bit....

    • hrlngrv

      | Microsoft has bigger fish to fry.


      Indeed. Icons are yet to be displayed with rounded corners all the time.


      Aside from Snap Groups, the major development effort in Windows 11 went into eyewash (aesthetics for the cynicism-averse) and removing Windows 10 functionality.

  33. polloloco51

    Windows 11 is the most uninspiring and lackluster Windows, in Windows history!


    A version skip entirely and hang onto Windows 10, until EOL.


  34. mattbg

    How does Start11 do it? Have they rewritten the entire taskbar to look the same but behave better, or is the new Windows 11 taskbar extensible in some way?

    • Brad Sams

      Paul has it correct


      We were able to re-enable moving the taskbar to the top of the screen using some existing components in Windows but we also had to do a bit of work to make it actually function as expected (start menu animation opening downward instead of upward) as an example.


      With our latest release, the taskbar was re-built by us in-house so that we had more control over it to bring back ungrouping...effectively what Microsoft is now claiming that they are doing with Windows 11.



    • Paul Thurrott

      There is a registry key that lets you move it to the top but not the sides. Suspect it's related to that, or that they rewrote the Taskbar from scratch as well.

  35. Jogy

    > Windows 11 team members explained that fixing the limitations it built into the Windows 11 taskbar is not a priority.


    In an unrelated news, users explained that upgrading to Windows 11 is not a priority.

    • dmitryko

      I'm looking for a new laptop and thankfully I don't have to pay for Windows license anymore. All my 'creative' applications are free/open source and have Linux builds. This was impossible ten years ago. Also major Linux distributions dedktop embraced user interfaces built on the Windows 7 paradigm. And 'No OS' (FreeDOS) options are typically specced higher for same money, if you consider at street prices.


      Yet Microsoft think they really have to compete with ChromeOS for school kids who 'consumer' on their 'devices', so it's OK to drop the 'old folks' who do actual work on their desktop PCs. Whatever.

  36. jcbeckman

    It's wayyyyyyy too difficult to...look at the code we already wrote that does this and has for a long time. Do they think users are morons? Sheesh. Just another reason I won't be using this "user surely" OS. Win 10 is working just fine, thank you.

    • hrlngrv

      | Do they think users are morons?


      Absolutely not, well, most of them.


      OTOH, MSFT believes, probably with lots of evidence to support that belief, that damn near all users are too lazy and too in thrall to inertia to do the hard work of using an OS other than Windows. IOW, MSFT can do far less for users in Windows 11 and subsequent than it did from Windows 98 to Windows 10, and all but an acceptable few will keep on using Windows.


      For the overwhelming majority of Windows users there is no substitute [microeconomic definition] OS for Windows 11 other than Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 while they remain in support. After 2026, adapt or pound sand.

      • smartin

        In other words, Microsoft relies on having a firm Monopoly, and a government to fracked up to do anything about it.

  37. colin79666

    I’m fine with it not being a priority. Moving to Windows 11 is not a priority for me.

  38. blue77star

    And I have no plans to install Windows 11 ever.

    • hrlngrv

      After Windows 10 reaches EOS, you're going to rely on thoughts & prayers PC security?

      • blue77star

        By the time Windows 10 reaches EOL, Windows 11 will be replaced by Windows 12. I am on Windows 10 LTSC 2021 (21H2) and it has been the best Windows 10/11 flavor. No bloatware, desktop centric like Windows 7 used to be.

        • Donte

          What makes you think Windows 12 is going to come out by 2025? Or are you talking the end of you LTCS version? Not many people have access to LTCS versions.

          • hrlngrv

            The last time there was only one version of Windows in support was Windows 1 before Windows 2/286/386 appeared. There's NEVER been fewer than 2 Windows versions in support at a time since. If Windows 12 weren't out before Windows 10 reached EOS, that'd be a major departure from the past.


            It remains to be seen whether enterprises will tolerate Windows 11 as it is today in the latest Insider build. If enterprises decide to shun it like they did Windows 8.x, then MSFT will be forced either to extend Windows 10 support, as it had to do with XP, or get Windows 12 out with a desktop UI which would serve as a tacit admission that it @#$%ed up with Windows 11. My money is on the former, or to be more precise, MSFT will do whatever is necessary to extend Windows 10 support until Windows 12 appears because I do believe MSFT's enterprise customers will not tolerate Windows 11 and nothing else.

          • blue77star

            I am talking about LTSC version. It is easy to get access to it. Windows 11 has no future, it is a total flop. I would not be surprised if Microsoft comes up with some BS to distant Windows 11 from Windows 10 just to keep it relevant. Windows platform is on life support called gaming. I am not worried about EOL for Windows 10, there are plenty of years for it.

      • navarac

        How about a different OS :-)

        • wp7mango

          I tried the different OS route and it didn't work out very well.


          I would prefer to have Windows 11 and pay for Stardock Start 11 than move to a different OS.

  39. hrlngrv

    Re the underlying mechanics, I used LiteStep enough to have an idea how it worked, so presumably most other 3rd party desktop shells. The system knows the pixel dimensions of a give monitor based on the resolution selected. If one places a taskbar or other immovable, always visible UI component on one screen edge, then the remaining screen area, the 'workspace' (the area maximized application windows would fill) would be based on subtracting those components widths from monitor X and Y pixel dimensions. Simple arithmetic. Not rocket science.


    There's a system call to set the 'workspace' in terms of top-left coordinates, height and width. As far as applications go, they need to know the size of the 'workspace' when they're maximized, but they could get that from another system call.


    The one thing that might be tricky is Windows needing to redefine Snap Group templates if the taskbar moved to different screen sides OR were resized (thicker/thinner taskbar than default). That would be a bit more complicated, but it hardly seems an overly complicated computer science problem since Tk has had automatic geometry management for decades.


    Since I tend to be cynical about ALL MSFT communications, I figure MSFT just doesn't want to spend anything on features used by less then 5% of Windows users. MSFT figures, almost certainly correctly, that damn few of them will leave Windows for alternative OSes just due to Windows 11's lobotomized taskbar. MSFT seems not to care whether some of those Windows users adopt 3rd party UI replacements, so great news for Stardock, StartAllBack, Nexus Dock, etc.

    • dmitryko

      A habit of dropping a feature that 'less than 5% of customers will use' actually comes from Bill Gates. Found in Stiven Sinofsky's Hardcore Software blog, post '066. Killing a Killer Feature (In Outlook, Again)'.


      It is quite troublesome when this mindset persists to this day.


      • hrlngrv

        As long as MSFT leaves it relatively straightforward for interested 3rd parties to make desktop UI replacements, NBD in theory. If it were easier to use those everywhere, INCLUDING at work, it really wouldn't matter what MSFT shoveled into Windows.

  40. alsorun

    It is their business to run really. You are not their boss. So calm down.

    • pecosbob04

      " So calm down." New to the internet?

      • alsorun

        I am just a modest person who can see from the perspective of a Microsoft developer. I am sure they do not want to be condemned for choosing their priority.

  41. nsemrau

    Ah, one of those hard computer science problems again - those that were squared away in other operating systems years and years ago.

    • hrlngrv

      Dunno about macOS, but many Linux desktop environments look and work just fine with panels docked to bottom OR TOP of the screen but look like crap on right and left sides, MATE arguably topmost among them.

      • davidjhupp

        The Dock looks and works great on the left and right of the screen on macOS.


        One trick I’d like to see the Windows taskbar adopt from the macOS Dock would be dynamically scaling the icons to fit all of them on screen at once; i.e., fewer icons = larger icons, more icons = smaller icons. Then the icons zoom in when you mouse over them.


        It’s kind of a “weird” way of handling overflow, but it does a great job of giving a “big picture view” while also allowing the user to home in on an individual item. I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, but at the very least it would be nice as an optional feature that can be turned off.

  42. navarac

    “When you think about having the Taskbar on the right or the left, all of a sudden the reflow and the work that all of the apps have to do to be able to understand the environment is just huge.”


    Tali Roth - - Rubbish! How do you think the Engineers building Windows before 11 got the taskbar moving to top, bottom, left and right then? And with functions that 11's taskbar can only dream of. It isn't impossible. This sort of statement coming out of Microsoft only convinces me that Tali Roth has never used Windows before today. Sheesh!

    • hrlngrv

      just huge impossible


      Windows 10 and prior could use multiple rows of icons in the taskbar, and I have to wonder whether that was more common in taskbars on left and right sides because they'd only have 1080 pixels rather than 1920 pixels of taskbar length. If a substantial % of left/right taskbars had 2 or more rows of icons, that may be quite awkward for Windows 11's new & improved taskbar to incorporate.


      Just to be clear, I find the Windows 11 taskbar to be far & away the worst thing to come out of MSFT since the Windows 8[.0] desktop. However, one could at least understand why MSFT wanted to inure Windows 8 PC users to a phone UI. Hard to figure out why MSFT is trying to impose the Chrome OS UI on Windows 11 users. Well, unless MSFT believes all those US school children using Chromebooks will DEMAND the same UI when grown up and working.

      • dmitryko

        They seem to believe their core customer wouldn't tell ChromeOS from Windows 11 when it's time to shop for a new laptop :)


        That's your typical 'corporate bean counter' approach to GUI design, an extreme form of 'design by committee': if you see 'some OS' usage numbers grow and eat into Windows share, make Windows resemble 'some OS'. Problem solved.


        This culture is described in detail in "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business" by Bob Lutz. See book review in Fortune magazine, "GM's Bob Lutz tells all" by Alex Taylor III.



        • dmitryko

          If course a proper solution would be to improve on your own strong points and avoid the risk of alienate your existing user base. But somehow Windows UI design never follows the path of slow gradual improvement vs. bold and disruptive changes.


          I for one still hate the 'Modern' UI with a passion. Why continue to push the use black&white, touch-oriented design language from Windows 8/Phone/RT which was dead on arrival almost 10 years ago?


          If you have to copy ChromeOS, at least take your time to discover the world of color icons - it's not freaking year 1987, no-one uses monochrome CRTs anymore...





  43. Sykeward

    These Microsoft folks keep vaguely gesturing towards “the data” when defending their design choices in Windows. Fine, okay. But for it’s really causing me to wonder…has MS they ever said what the volume of this telemetry data they’re harvesting from the typical user is? Privacy issues aside, if they have enough telemetry to supposedly know how people are *intending* to interact with elements like the taskbar, it seems like they must be gathering a lot of it. How much of a system load does this place on a user’s machine? The more I think about this the less comfortable I am—Microsoft really, badly needs more transparency here

    • hrlngrv

      I am absolutely CERTAIN MSFT will volunteer every bit as much telemetry data inconsistent with their design decisions ad any politician would admit to anything their voters wouldn't tolerate.

  44. obarthelemy

    my 16:9 monitor has just about 2x more horizontal space as vertical space.

    Most content (web sites, Word, Excel) needs more vertical space than horizontal.

    Why MS wants to eat up scarce vertical space instead of plentiful horizontal space for the task bar is unfathomable, especially since it's a regressions, and the loss of a major advantage vs MacOS and Linux.


    Right as I'm typing this, guess which dimension of my screen is 100% used, which one is 50% used, and which one MS wants a slice of ?

    • lvthunder

      Turn the monitor 90 degrees. Obviously you can't do that on a laptop, but most desktop screens allow this.

    • cnc123

      Exactly this. I have a short, narrow laptop screen, and what makes the most sense is putting it in the spot with the most room (left to right) that I use the least.