Microsoft has started testing a news and interests widget on the taskbar for Windows 10 users. The widget can be customised, based on user preference, and is currently being rolled out to Windows Insiders members with build 21286 in the dev channel. The new widget will show up on the left side of the notification area on the taskbar and clicking on it will expand a dialogue box that displays news headlines, detailed weather updates, stock market information, and more.
On its blog post, the company announced the rollout of the news and interests widget on Windows 10's taskbar. As mentioned, it is rolling out for Insider members for now, and these users will need to reboot after installing build 21286 to enable this feature.
The widget will display the weather for users to see at all times. Clicking on it will expand the widget to show news and other content from over 4,500 global brands such as The New York Times, BBC, and The Verge. The expanded widget will also have a live weather map. When you select an article to open, a streamlined reading view with fewer distractions will pop up on the screen. If this news and weather widget doesn't appeal to users, they can easily turn it off by right-clicking on the taskbar.
The new widget on the taskbar is customisable, and users can tell Microsoft what content they like to see or don't. Users can select More options and choose More stories like this or Fewer stories like this. Users will also be given the option to use emojis to react to stories, too. The tech giant adds, “Through news and interests, there is quick access to the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. Through the Microsoft Edge browser, there are built-in controls to limit tracking from advertisers and third parties.”
Microsoft says that this new widget on the taskbar is currently only available to Windows Insiders members in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, and the US. Users will also require the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser installed on their PC for the best experience with the new widget. Furthermore, Microsoft is testing different variations of this experience so some Insiders may see a different experience than others.