Fortunately, Microsoft offers the option to bring the Start menu back to its rightful place in the left corner. The taskbar, however, remains cemented in place. Many people thought that this was just a launch limitation, but now it seems that Microsoft can never allow the taskbar to be removed.
Several Microsoft executives recently hosted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on YouTube, which was copied by Newwin. The taskbar issue came to AMA because it was a request for the highest ranking of the company’s feedback hub. Tally Roth, Microsoft’s Head of Products, read the following question, “Will we ever be able to move the taskbar to another part of the screen?” You can hear his answer in the timestamped video below.
Those of you who just want to know what it is, here’s what he said. “When it comes to moving the taskbar across different areas of the screen, there are a number of challenges. When you think of having a taskbar on the right or left, it suddenly reflows and the task that all apps have to do to understand the environment is huge.
And when you look at the data, when we know that there are people who like it and, as such, really appreciate it, we also acknowledge that users ask for this set of features that are really smaller than other people’s sets. So at the moment we keep focusing on things that make me hear more pain around me.
It’s one of the things we’re still seeing, and we’ll keep looking for feedback, but at the moment we don’t have a plan or a specific date for when we’re going to create or have a side taskbar. “
He said earlier in the day that Microsoft had rebuilt the taskbar from scratch for Windows 11. This means choosing which features to include, which to exclude, and which to keep aside for the time being. He says the decision to leave the “side taskbar” was “data driven”. He added that people with small devices do not have a good experience moving the taskbar. His colleague Paul Barr chimed in and said he couldn’t move it on his big monitor. This is a well-known break in the high-performance PC world. Another colleague, Jeff Petty, defended the change, saying he felt “less travel” on his big monitor, which we assumed meant mouse travel. Like a huge burden.
Overall this is quite a disappointing turn of events. This is a big exit from earlier versions of Windows, where the position of the taskbar was user-controlled. Also, PCs have always been about personal preferences and the freedom to customize things. However, according to Microsoft, the number of users requesting this feature is too small to dedicate its resources at this time. In other words, a vocal minority. There are some options for those of you who still want to move the taskbar. Stardock has released Start 11 which lets you resize and relocate the Start menu, but it’s not free.