In a recent Microsoft press release, the company patted itself on the back for their latest commitment of “empowering” developers with support for third party application pinning and Taskbar pinning.
According to last week’s press release, Microsoft is committing itself to the following:
- We will ensure people who use Windows are in control of changes to their pins and their defaults.
- We will provide a common supported way for application developers to offer the ability to make their app the default or pin their app to the taskbar. This will provide users a consistent experience across all apps.
- Microsoft apps will use the same common supported methods for pinning and defaults.
As a matter of practicality, the above proclamations amount to new publicly available APIs for developers that will allow their apps to be pinned as either primary or secondary tiles to the Taskbar.
While the end result of the new support will fundamentally look the same, Windows 11 users will now be notified in the Action Center about a pending request from the app, to be pinned to the Taskbar in similar fashion as the Edge browser employes when pinning websites as apps to the Start Menu, Taskbar or both.
As for defaults, Microsoft says it will offer “a new Settings deep link URI for applications to take their users directly to the appropriate location in Settings for the user to change their defaults.”
Microsoft may not have publicly acknowledged a backtracking on its own recent bullish default practices with Edge, it is retrenching in its belief that offering specificity will help the end users. It is debatable whether or not users understand protocols or file extensions, but they dropping them into the exact place to set their favorite app as the default interaction could be beneficial.
Not as beneficial as automatically applying the default to the correct extensions and protocols as the OS had once done, but more beneficial than Microsoft simply replacing a third-party apps interaction with its own.
Windows Insiders on the Devi Channel flight release cycle should start seeing these features pop up in the coming months.