One of Insiders running the latest Dev channel build of Windows 11 has spotted a change to the taskbar. It doesn't fill the whole screen space, and has padding at edges. The corners are rounded, having the same shape that app windows have on Windows 11.
Here's how it looks.
The author has posted this change on Reddit, and also claims that it is the second time his Windows 11 device displays the taskbar in this way. According to him, the taskbar has got the new look after installing the most recent drivers. However, after restarting the
explorer.exe process the new taskbar has disappeared.
Finally, the post author noted that this is the second time when he is seeing the new taskbar in his Insider Preview releases. For the first time it appeared in build 25131, and the same happened in build 25174.
The author doesn't use the RoundedTB app or any other app that modifies the taskbar appearance. So, there is a chance that it is something that Windows 11 may render natively.
It is worth noting that there are no reports from other Insiders who could get the same look of the taskbar. If the new look could be a controlled roll-out, it would be found by others with tools like ViveTool.
So, it is more like a software-specific bug on author's device, where the OS renders the taskbar the same way it displays regular windows. Finally, Microsoft didn't announce such a drastic change in any of the Insider builds, or plans like that.
Update 08/05: Microsoft has officially confirmed that it is a bug that makes the taskbar have rounder corners. They aren't performing any A/B test among insiders and not going to change the taskbar the way it looks in the screenshot.
This looks like a bug. There are a few bugs like this that change the UI in various ways. It's not something we're doing any A/B testing on.
— Brandon LeBlanc (@brandonleblanc) August 5, 2022
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Windows 11 has more bugs a lot than Windows 10