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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, during his keynote at Ignite 2022, appeared to show off a conceptual Windows 11 user interface with a floating taskbar and system tray items at the top of the desktop. Also at the top are search and weather widgets.
The floating taskbar was demonstrated in the context of Surface Studio, so it’s possible that Microsoft is considering this option only for touch screen devices. In fact, such changes are already being practiced. For example, Windows 11 on Surface Studio 2+ can change the size of icons on the taskbar when you change the display position.
Note that back in August, some Windows 11 insiders were able to access the floating taskbar with rounded corners. At the time, the Windows Insider team stated that this was just a bug and no such changes were being tested.
“There are several similar bugs that change the user interface in different ways. It’s not something we do A/B testing for,” said Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager for Windows Insider.
It is possible that this is just one of many concepts that will never be realized. However, it is surprising that we saw it in the official video from Microsoft.