7+ Taskbar Tweaker: experimental version with partial Windows 8.1 Preview support

Here is an experimental version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker which mostly works on Windows 8.1 Preview:

Removed. 7+ Taskbar Tweaker now officially supports Windows 8.1.

Options that currently do not work:

  • Thumbnails: Left click on the active thumbnail minimizes the window.
  • Combining: Combine grouped buttons.
  • Other: Don’t show jump list when dragging a taskbar item towards the desktop.

Technical information

So, why did the options above stop working? Not much was changed about the taskbar in Windows 8.1, after all.

Short answer
Because Microsoft uses better code optimization, it became more difficult to control the code functionality.

Long answer
The tweaker heavily uses a technique of replacing function pointers in the vtable (virtual function table) of the taskbar’s classes.

Until now, all virtual calls were made using late binding (i.e. the function pointer was read from the vtable before every function call is made), which allowed easy hooking of virtual functions by replacing the corresponding pointer in the vtable.
But in Windows 8.1 Preview, some of the virtual functions are called directly, making them unaffected by the vtable.

Possible solution
One possible solution is to use a different hooking method.
While replacing the function pointer in the vtable might have no effect, it’s still possible to read the original pointer, and use a Detours-style hook.
One possible issue that comes to mind is inlining. If the compiler is smart enough to get rid of the late binding in some situations, it might as well inline the function. I’m not sure whether it happens in practice. Let’s hope it doesn’t.

Anyway, I do not plan to fix that until a more stable version of Windows 8.1 is out, preferably RTM, because things might change in the final version.

Posted in Software, Updates by RaMMicHaeL at July 10th, 2013.
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24 Responses to “7+ Taskbar Tweaker: experimental version with partial Windows 8.1 Preview support”

  1. A says:

    Thank-you!!!

  2. khvtrnc says:

    Thanks a lot for your hard work.

    Unfortunately volume control with media buttons (Cherry G85 Keyboard) is broken when 7+TT is running. Volume indicator is showing up on the top left but nothing happens. After disabling 7+TT everything is back to normal.

    Windows 8.1 x64

  3. LafinJack says:

    Thanks, you’re the bestest!

  4. xpclient says:

    Wow thanks. 457,233 downloads of 7+TTT when I last checked. :D If only MS gave more options.

  5. Brandon says:

    Awesome job keeping on top of the Windows updates.

    Microsoft really should have consulted you before making changes. ;)

  6. Jamill says:

    When you change an item’s application id, is it possible to make these effects permanent so that when i close and reopen the application it’ll appear on the same application id i set it to rather than its original one? If not, could you make that possible?

  7. David says:

    I think one more feature is gone.
    Middle click on taskbar item and scroll down/up -> hide/show labels.

  8. xpclient says:

    In Taskbar Inspector, can you please make Ctrl+C copy the AppID to the clipboard?

  9. wtt says:

    Would be great have such option: open list preview when clicking on grouped item.

  10. John L says:

    Thank you so much for providing windows 8.1 support–now I can upgrade :D

  11. Chris says:

    thanks man. it works on server 2012 R2 too!

  12. Pablo says:

    Using it with no problems on Windows 8.1 RTM.

    Thank you for this awesome software.

  13. Gray says:

    Is it possible to make this a portable install (like the standard non-experimental version)? Or if not, then will this be updated once you release an updated one with full support for 8.1 once its done?

  14. Frenz says:

    Great job with 7+

    One feature I would very much like to see for Win 8.1 is the option to disable that useless start button that just takes up space on the taskbar – will this be possible to include – or is it already included?

    Thanks

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