Microsoft is making an important change to the implementation of the taskbar in Windows 10
Whatever you use your computer for, the taskbar is something you interact with to some extent every day. It's a component that lies at the heart of Windows 10, and Microsoft is finally making a key change that will be welcomed by many users.
With the release of Windows 10 build 21343 the other day, we have already seen some of the visual changes Microsoft is bringing to Explorer. But in Windows 10 21H2, the company is also freeing the taskbar from the explorer.exe process into its own library. It's a move that means the Sun Valley update for Windows 10 should help to improve stability and eliminate problems with Explorer resulting in taskbar crashes, as is so often the case currently.
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The change was noticed by Twitter user Albacore -- who describes themselves as "looking at software upside down when I find the time". They highlight the fact that Microsoft has now implemented the taskbar in its own library (taskbar.dll), although the change is not yet complete.
When fully implemented, the separation of the taskbar from Explorer would help to prevent crashes or hangs in either File Explorer or the taskbar affecting the other.
In a follow-up tweet, Albacore goes on to say:
Parts of Explorer being moved into a separate *library* != them getting their own *process*
Changes like this help with internal code organization and the ability to iterate fast, they don't have any sort of implied stability benefit
As WindowsArea.de suggests in its reporting of the news, the change may not only be related to stability. The fact that Explorer is getting a visual refresh based on a different framework could well necessitate the change.