Microsoft tends to test several different animations and designs at once, and it seems the company is secretly working on a new ‘animation’ for the taskbar. In Windows 11 version 22H2 and newer, Microsoft seems to be testing several new loading animations for the taskbar.
The new animations all differ in design, but they are identical. The animations appear on the desktop while you wait for icons to load. The new animation, as shown in the GIF below, has a new “zoom in” effect.
The zoom in effect is used to increase the size of icons in the taskbar. This new animation replaces the existing fly-up animation where taskbar icons fly from the bottom. It’s worth noting that this is a subtle change, but it’s noticeable when you carefully compare the old and new variants.
We don’t know which animation Microsoft will settle for, or whether any of these experiments will succeed. Microsoft is currently testing the new animations in both Dev and Beta Channels, and there’s also a possibility that the company will just keep trying different animations at random, ie A/B testing with select users.
Taskbar won’t get new features soon
According to Microsoft officials, one of Windows 11’s most important and unpopular tweaks isn’t getting any better. The company has confirmed that adding features like the ability to change the taskbar location is simply not a priority as it wants to focus on animations, design and other functionality.
Unlike any version of Windows, the taskbar on Windows 11 doesn’t have some really important features that people have been using for decades. This includes the ability to change the location of the taskbar, the grouping of icons, a good right-click menu, and more.
Microsoft’s development team has previously confirmed that many missing taskbar features will not return anytime soon.
The company wants to ensure that the ‘animation flow’ of the taskbar and the Start menu remains smooth. At this point, the taskbar and start menu animation are not designed to handle any other taskbar position.
“Remember to have the taskbar on the right, all of a sudden the reflow and the work that all apps or the Start menu are supposed to do,” Microsoft notedwhich justifies the downgraded taskbar experience.
The taskbar has been rebuilt from scratch, and Microsoft is currently working on features they care about, such as an overflow UI, drag and drop, animations, and deeper integration with other Windows features.