Microsoft Experiments with New Taskbar Search Buttons in Latest Windows 11 Dev Channel

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What do you want to know

  • Microsoft is rolling out Windows 11 build 25158 to Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • Today’s release includes notification badges for the Widgets button.
  • It also offers new experimental search buttons on the taskbar for some testers.

It’s time for another preview build of Windows 11 to grace Microsoft’s Insider dev channel. Today’s build is 25158 and features a handful of notable changes and experiences that Microsoft is rolling out for some Insiders. The first notable change is to the Widgets panel, which will now feature notification badges on the taskbar when news alerts go live.

The other notable change in this release is a new experimental UI on how the search button looks on the taskbar. Microsoft is testing three new designs, the first being a traditional search icon, the second a short search bar, and the third a slightly longer search bar.

Windows 11 taskbar experiences

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft says these are just experiments, and if they’re poorly accepted by testers, Microsoft will roll them back to the current design. Finally, Microsoft is removing the desktop search bar widget, as it says it has concluded this experiment. It does not say if said feature will return in the future.

Build changelog 25158:

  • Thanks to all the insiders who gave us feedback on our first exploration of lightweight interactive content on the Windows desktop! Starting with this week’s flight, we’re concluding this initial exploration, so if you received this experience, it will be removed on your next reboot.
  • As described in our blog post here, Windows Insiders using the Dev Channel can try out new ideas, long-term features, and experiments intended to help validate concepts. Starting with this release, some devices will receive different visual treatments for taskbar search. We’re excited to hear your feedback on this, so please use the feedback hub to give us feedback if you receive this experience.
  • We’re starting to roll out even more dynamic Widgets content to your taskbar with notification badges for Widgets. When you open the Widgets table, a banner appears at the top of the table providing more information about what triggered the notification badge.
  • DNS over TLS test is now available for Windows DNS client query protection. DoT is another protocol in addition to DNS over HTTPS (DoH) that is already supported in Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022. For setup instructions, see this Windows Networking blog post (opens in a new tab). Setup requires using the command line and is recommended for advanced network users.
  • The Nyala font has been updated to support syllables from the Gurage language spelling of the Unicode Ethiopic Extended-B range. Also revised and replaced Ethiopian kerning to correct shortcomings and errors in earlier implementation improving overall text texture in Ethiopian languages.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some Insiders to experience bugchecks with the KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED error message in NetAdapterCx.sys on recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some PCs to hang on a black screen when resuming from a low power state during recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue that would have generally impacted the performance of Windows shell experiences in recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue where the Mica material (opens in a new tab) and Acrylic (opens in a new tab) the blur effect was rendered incorrectly in OS surfaces like the start menu, notification center, and other areas sometimes on recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue where closing command bar flyouts could in rare cases crash explorer.exe.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause explorer.exe to crash when browsing File Explorer with OneDrive enabled.
  • CTRL+F4 should work to close the current tab now.
  • Opening a compressed folder in a new tab should no longer have an empty tab name.
  • If the focus is on the row of tabs, CTRL+W will no longer unexpectedly close two tabs instead of just the focused tab.
  • Fixed an issue where CTRL+Tab would rotate in the wrong order after rearranging tabs.
  • We made some adjustments so that when using “Show full path in title”, the folder name is always visible in the tab at the top of File Explorer.
  • Fixed an underlying issue that could cause pinned app icons to get stuck in the taskbar after uninstalling the app on recent flights.
  • Fixed a very impactful explorer.exe crash on last flights related to loading widgets.
  • Start should no longer crash when using CTRL+Shift+Right Arrow to move a pinned app into a folder that is the last item in Start.
  • Fixed a crash some Insiders were experiencing when opening Start.
  • Narrator will now correctly read the prompt that opens when trying to uninstall an app from Start.
  • Fixed an issue when using IRowsetPriorititization (opens in a new tab) where to set scope priority (opens in a new tab) for a query rowset did not correctly change the indexing speed of the rowset, resulting in slower indexing overall.
  • Searching for “power mode” should now return an entry for power modes in settings.
  • Updated the “System” entry under Network & Internet > Advanced Network Settings > Data Usage, which is now called “System & Windows Update” to help make it clearer.
  • Another fix was made to address an issue where the “Listen to this device” option for audio devices would stop working after a restart.
  • Fixed a crash some Insiders were seeing when navigating to Bluetooth & Devices > Printers & Scanners.
  • Fixed an issue where the “Allow Bluetooth devices to find this PC” checkbox under Bluetooth & Devices > Devices > More Bluetooth Settings would sometimes not display the correct status.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Quick Settings to crash for ARM64 PCs when trying to use the Cast section to cast on certain devices.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the eye icon next to the Wi-Fi password box in quick settings to disappear after its first use.
  • Fixed a crash in textinputhost.exe initialization that occurred in some cases on recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue where the “Sync across your devices” option under Settings > System > Clipboard would not remain enabled.
  • Updated Times New Roman font family to include U+061D / ARABIC END OF TEXT MARK.
  • We have made some improvements to improve the performance of opening the task view.
  • Fix for the two-finger triple touch gesture to skip context menus with Narrator to work properly again.
  • Fixed an issue where some services were unexpectedly grouped under Microsoft Edge when they weren’t actually child processes.
  • Fixed an issue that caused network connectivity to be lost after enabling mobile hotspot.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the mobile hotspot button to unexpectedly get stuck in a grayed out state in some cases.
  • Fixed an underlying issue that was causing your phone to crash in some cases.
  • Fixed an underlying issue where Microsoft Defender Application Guard (opens in a new tab) the windows were not visible during the last flights.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when using suggested actions.
  • Fixed an underlying issue when recording gameplay clips using the Xbox Game Bar, which could cause the resulting recorded video to not display properly when later viewed on a device iOS.
  • Made improvements to help resolve an issue causing Microsoft Store apps to fail to download with error 0x80080204.
  • Addressed an underlying issue causing Microsoft Store apps to fix fails with error 0x803FB004.
  • Did some work to fix an issue where the print dialog was not launching in the center of the application (e.g. in Notepad).
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