In response to longstanding user criticisms, Microsoft has announced several much-anticipated changes to the Windows 11 taskbar. The alterations, unveiled at Build 2023, come as a welcome acknowledgement of customer feedback and the tech giant’s willingness to rectify a series of unpopular features.
Many Windows 11 users have previously voiced their dissatisfaction with the taskbar’s automatic app icon merging. Labelled by users as a serious misstep, Microsoft has finally recognized the issue and pledged to roll out an update, reintroducing the never-merge function for taskbar apps. This move sees Microsoft once again offering native support for a feature that users previously had to rely on third-party software to access.
Alongside these changes, Microsoft will also roll out improvements to the taskbar’s notification area. Users will soon have the option to hide the time and date module, a feature Microsoft claims will help maintain focus and limit potential distractions. The ability to discreetly monitor work or leisure time without feeling tied to the clock could offer users a more streamlined and efficient experience.
This optional time-and-date hiding feature also offers benefits to those recording videos. Users will have the chance to keep their screens uncluttered during recordings, subtly hiding the time if desired. While some audiences may find the real-time recording timestamps useful, the new feature gives creators more control over their content’s aesthetics.
Another tweak to the time and date module comes in response to user demand: the option to display seconds. Microsoft had previously argued that displaying seconds could lead to unnecessary system resources being used, potentially reducing battery life. Despite this, the company has relented and will introduce the feature, allowing users to activate it through the system settings.
These updates reflect Microsoft’s growing attention to user feedback and the company’s aim to make Windows 11 as user-friendly as possible. Time will tell how users respond to these changes, but it is clear that Microsoft is dedicated to refining its platform to meet its customers’ evolving needs.