Microsoft fights back iPad, Windows 11 to finally get tablet-friendly taskbar

    Microsoft is looking to bring back its tablet-friendly taskbar to give more flexibility to Windows 11 users and compete with iPads in a better way. Here's what we know.
    By: SHAURYA TOMER
    | Updated on: Sep 09 2022, 15:06 IST
    Windows 11 widgets: Look what is coming to your computer
    Windows 11
    1/5 Microsoft made the announcement at the Build 2022 developer conference. According to Windows Latest, Microsoft’s Adaptive Cards platform will power the third-party apps. (HT_PRINT)
    image caption
    2/5 Panos Panay, head of devices and Windows at Microsoft said “We’re energized by the customer feedback on Widgets to date, people are enjoying the quick access to content most important to them in a way that is seamless without breaking their flow,” (HT_PRINT)
    Windows 11 Widget
    3/5 He further added that, “Beginning later this year you’ll be able to start building Widgets as companion experiences for your Win32 and PWA apps on Windows 11, powered by the Adaptive Cards platform.” (Microsoft)
    Windows 11
    4/5 The third-party widget support will let the apps display their widgets even when closed. This is a welcome move for people who regularly customize their desktops and have to choose from the limited To Do and Outlook widgets. The feature will arrive soon via an update. (HT Tech)
    Windows 11
    5/5 According to Windows Latest, Microsoft has also announced the pending arrival of apps restore feature which will allow users to restore apps when moving onto a new PC instead of manually installing them. (Microsoft)
    Windows 11
    View all Images
    Want to use your tablet-PC better? Check out this new task bar introduced in Windows 11. (HT_PRINT)

    For years Microsoft has been trying to bridge the gap between desktops and tablets with its operating systems. Windows 8 was launched with tablet-friendly features which made it seem like Windows had finally achieved its target. Although good on paper, it eventually failed to make a mark in the world of tablets giving the likes of Apple iPads a free run in the markets. However, it looks like Microsoft hasn't given up.

    The tech giant is testing a tablet-friendly taskbar to take on the Apple iPad. Microsoft had even introduced a mini taskbar in February and it even scheduled its rollout. However, Microsoft pulled it back for further refinement.

    It is a collapsible task bar for tablets which gets hidden at the edge of the display when not in use, showing just the battery percentage and time.

    According to Windows Central, the feature was discovered in the Windows 11 build 25197 rolled out to the users in the Windows Insider Program. The Windows changelog mentioned, “We're re-introducing the touch-optimized taskbar that's designed to make you feel more confident and comfortable using your device as a tablet. Your taskbar will automatically transition to this optimized version when you disconnect or fold back the keyboard on your 2-in-1 device. This feature only works on devices that can be used as tablets. It does not work on laptops or desktop PCs.”

    The option to enable tablet mode can be found in Settings listed as ‘'optimize taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used as a tablet'.

    Microsoft is also beginning to roll out several subtle changes and improvements even for non-touch PC users. The changes include new animations in the Settings app as well as bug fixes for various apps such as Widgets, Task Manager, Settings, File Explorer and more.

    Although the tablet feature has only been introduced in the preview build of Windows 11 as of now, you can expect the public rollout as soon as the testing phase ends, which can be expected soon.

    Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    First Published Date: 09 Sep, 15:06 IST
    NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS
    keep up with tech