Big change! Microsoft is working on tweaking pretty much all nooks and corners of the Windows operating system, and the good old Taskbar is one of the areas that is getting refreshed.
All of these changes promise to improve the platform in the long term, and most folks expect the fall update landing this year to be the one to introduce them all. That said, there is always a chance that we may have to wait a bit longer to get our hands on everything the company is experimenting with.
We already have a bit of an idea of what Redmond is cooking, and it’s something good.
But one of the more interesting of changes that the Windows maker is working on relates to under the hood improvements. The software titan is giving the Windows 10 Taskbar a DLL of its own — essentially separating it from explorer.exe.
The change was first spotted by a Twitter user:
The taskbar is being moved from Explorer.exe into Taskbar.dll. Surreal to see this get relocated after decades. Right now Explorer still contains the code, but it's possible to switch to the DLL implementation. There's still some odd bugs such as semi-broken search box UI. pic.twitter.com/2gNqcDNTzp
— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) March 25, 2021
It is already live in the latest preview builds of Windows 10, though at this point the feature does not seem to be complete.
Obviously, this is quite a big change for several reasons.
With the Taskbar now coming with its own DLL, Microsoft should be able improve it at a much faster pace without having to worry about any problems caused to explorer.exe. The decoupling means that we could get Taskbar overhauls much sooner.
Secondly, separating the Taskbar and the explorer.exe process should improve the stability and reliability of Windows 10 as a whole.
Right now, when explorer.exe crashes, the Taskbar is automatically taken down too. When the abovementioned changes happen, users should be able to restart any of them without one affecting the other.