Windows 10 could soon get its own version of Apple’s controversial Touch Bar with the Wonder Bar, which will use a second screen to offer users quick shortcuts for apps, media controls and more.
Originally planned for Windows 10X, a version of Windows 10 specially designed for dual-screen devices, Wonder Bar appears to be one of the latest features to make a move to regular Windows 10 after Microsoft announced the Surface Neo's delay, which was supposed to be a flagship device that showed off Windows 10X.
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As Windows Latest reports (opens in new tab), several well-known Microsoft leakers have hinted that the Wonder Bar could be coming soon to Windows 10 – for compatible devices, at least. This means you’ll need a touchscreen to use it.
That's actually the wunderbar key, same icon you can see on 10X and the new upcoming touch keyboard in build 20185 and higher, behind a velocity flag. I don't think it's purely emoji, it will probably launch the wunderbarAugust 18, 2020
A touch of Touch Bar
The Wonder Bar is set to sit above a virtual keyboard and offer context-sensitive buttons and shortcuts depending on what you’re doing. If that sounds a lot like the Touch Bar found on modern MacBooks to you, we agree.
Apple’s Touch Bar sits above the MacBook keyboard, and also offers contextual buttons and shortcuts.
We already knew the the Wonder Bar would be coming to Windows 10X devices, but this is the first we’ve heard of it appearing in regular Windows 10.
Not everyone will be too enthused about this, however. The Touch Bar has been a rather controversial addition to MacBooks, and while some people have found it useful, many others have found it a pointless gimmick that adds to the overall cost of the device, and can sometimes slow down workflow rather than speed it up.
We can picture the Wonder Bar being similarly divisive with people. However, while Apple has now dropped non-Touch Bar versions of the MacBook Pro (the MacBook Air still doesn't feature it, however), because so many different companies build Windows 10 devices, we can’t see the Wonder Bar being widely adopted.
Some people may accuse Apple of forcing the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro customers, but at least it has got people using the feature – and many third party apps now support it.
The Wonder Bar, on the other hand, may simply be ignored by most people until it’s better integrated in Windows 10X, when that finally launches. Still, including it in regular Windows 10 will at least give people the chance to try it out for themselves, and as it’s a virtual implementation, rather than a physical addition like the Touch Bar, which requires its own custom touchscreen, there'll be no extra cost to users.
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