Microsoft is working on important Windows 11 Stability improvements
Windows users who run Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system for the first time will notice the visual changes right away. The centered Windows 11 taskbar and the revamped Start Menu (which is still barely usable) are just two of the changes that most users will notice immediately after firing up the system for the first time.
While most users are aware of the visual changes, only a few may be aware of the under-the-hood work of Microsoft. One of Microsoft's development goals is to improve stability of the Windows 11 operating system.
The Explorer process is a prime target for these optimizations. Most Windows users may associate Explorer.exe with File Explorer, the system's default file browser. Termination of the process using the Task Manager or other process managers reveals that other components, for example the desktop, are somehow linked to the Explorer process. When an administrator terminates explorer.exe on a Windows machine, it is taking the entire taskbar and desktop with it into Nirvana.
This is a major source for reliability issues on Windows. If the explorer.exe process hangs or crashes, it is causing other core elements of the operating system to crash as well. Even though it is usually possible to restart the Explorer process to bring everything back to life, it is a huge nuisance and instability issue.
In recent Windows 11 Insider Preview builds, Microsoft has started to unlink Immersive Shell from the Explorer process. First spotted by the makers of Start is All Back, a third-party Start Menu replacement for Windows, the change attempts to split Immersive Shell from Explorer. This step moves some core components into their own process, which in turn means that they won't go down with Explorer anymore or hang when Explorer hangs.
The change is in active development at this point in time and not working properly right now in the latest Insider builds. It is too early to tell when it will land in stable versions of Windows 11. A potential candidate is the next feature update for Windows 11, which is expected to be released at the end of 2023.
Microsoft plans to release several Moments update, feature drops, in the meantime, but it seems unlikely that such a major change is introduced as part of one of those updates.
In any event, the change could improve the stability and also performance of the Windows 11 operating system significantly.
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