Today, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would soon be getting a news and weather widget integrated into the taskbar, giving you at-a-glance weather and news information with a flyout interface that provides a more detailed overview. The new feature is part of Microsoft’s Sun Valley effort, which aims to reinvigorate the Windows UX with new features and designs.
The feature is officially called “news and interests” and can be found to the left of the system tray on the taskbar. When minimized, the widget will show you the current weather and any news alerts. Clicking on it will open a flyout with an ad-free experience showcasing the latest news, detailed weather information, and more.
Today, the feature is available in the Windows Insider Dev Channel (Build 21286) and will roll out to the public later in the year.
Microsoft highlights the following features as part of the news and interests widget:
- Staying up to date: Quickly glance at your news and interests directly from the taskbar. Get caught up on the latest headlines, weather, sports, and more, then go back to whatever you were doing without disrupting your workflow. You have convenient access to news and interesting content from over 4,500 global brands such as The New York Times, BBC or The Verge, and gorgeous live weather maps. Select an article to open a streamlined reading view with fewer distractions, so you can save time and stay focused.
- Personalize your feed: You can tell us which content you like seeing or don’t like seeing (select More options … and choose “More stories like this” or “Fewer stories like this”) and over time, more stories about the things you care about will show up in your feed, including ones you might otherwise miss. You can also use emoji to react to stories, too.
- You’re in control: At Microsoft, we believe privacy starts with putting you in control and giving you the tools and information, you need to make informed choices. 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. And if news and interests doesn’t appeal to you, you can easily turn it off by right-clicking on the taskbar.
Users can choose to hide the feature if they prefer not to have an information ticker in the taskbar by right-clicking it. Interestingly, the feature requires the new Microsoft Edge to be installed to function. Without it, the new feature doesn’t work. We’re expecting many more features to show up for Windows 10 in the coming weeks, including a refreshed design with rounded corners and more.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the news and interests widget coming to Windows 10? Let us know in the comments.