A tale as old as time: you’re trying to dig into a heft of content from a developer that perhaps isn’t as well-versed in PC-facing development as they would like, and something, somewhere, stops working.
Or perhaps you’re fifteen minutes into trying to load into Grand Theft Auto Online and wondering if the application is showing you a screensaver for the greatest practical joke of all time.
Regardless, the Windows Task Manager is consistently there to offer a helping hand to bring unruly applications into contention. Now, the Xbox Game Bar includes a full widget for the Task Manager which is in the Xbox Insider Hub for Windows 10.
Note that it hasn’t been released for full use, but it’s in testing and it works more than well; the days of alt+tabbing out of applications to find and open the Task Manager to close erroneous (or resource-intensive) applications.
In its current state, it offers a bit too much power for many: the ability to absent-mindedly close system-necessary processes can bring you to a quick CTD or even necessitating a full reboot, although this is generally in-line with the Task Managers and PC’s in general.
The Xbox Game Bar keeps getting better and better, team there is doing a great job.
I wish other Windows 10 system apps received this kinda love and attention. :/ https://t.co/nohkTNWHmF
— Jez (@JezCorden) September 28, 2020
There’s a lot of power to alter things, and that can cause processes and applications to break as the system attempts to offer functionality to users. On the other extreme comes processes being locked out of users being able to touch them, causing PC hobbyists to wonder who really owns the administrator power if not them.
While we’ve fawned a bit over the Xbox Game Bar arriving on the PC in the past, this opens up another layer of functionality within the application that allows you to maintain application-focus during one-off tasks: recording a video is simple, as is taking a quick screenshot in titles that aren’t on the Steam platform.
Similarly, shifting audio sources has gone from a frustrating endeavor as the Windows developers appear to be interested in making it the most painful process possible with their consistent iterative development.
With the ability to customize the overlay to a layout of your liking (keeping watch of your rig’s various performance-metrics while recording is obnoxiously simple) and an app store that lets you add new items into the browser with little fuss, it brings notice to what the Steam overlay could be if they were willing to give users a bit more control over the functionality and presentation.
For meanwhile, however, the Xbox Game Bar will more than suffice for the vast majority of use-cases.