Windows 10's taskbar is getting another feature that you may not need
It is 2021, and Microsoft released a first new build of the upcoming version of Windows 10 to the Insider channel. Build 21286 introduces a new feature that Microsoft calls "news and interests on the taskbar".
As the name suggests, it is a new addition to the Windows Taskbar that displays news and weather information when activated. The content that is displayed is updated throughout the day according to Microsoft.
Users may personalize the feed to get information and news displayed that cater to the interest of users according to Microsoft.
Microsoft displayed sample screenshots of the feature on its Windows Experience blog. The first screenshot shows news headlines, sports, weather, and finance information. A button to "see more news" is provided, as are buttons to reload the data and open the menu.
The taskbar button displays weather information that are visible while the taskbar is visible.
Microsoft highlights the key features of "news and interests" on its blog:
- Stay up to date with access to more than 4500 news sources and live weather maps. Selecting an article opens a streamlined reading view of it.
- Personalize the feed by "telling" Microsoft about stories that you like or don't like. Microsoft promises that its algorithm will get better at providing stories of interest if the feature is used regularly.
- Users are in control, it is possible to turn off the feature with two clicks.
The feature is being rolled out gradually to Insider devices. It is regionally-limited to systems in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and India at the time. Microsoft notes that it does require the Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge installed on the PC as well.
Windows 10 users can hide the new icon with a right-click on it and the selection of the remove option that is displayed in the context menu that opens.
Who is it for?
Microsoft continues to add new items to the taskbar, including the Meet Now icon as a Skype shortcut, the People icon, and others. News and weather information is available in Start as well, but it is possible that Microsoft is going to remove these from Start to make them appear on the taskbar instead. The information that is provided appears to be identical to the news and weather information that users of the new Edge get on the browser's New Tab page, at least the sources are. The page displays advertisement.
Weather information on the taskbar may be useful to some users who like to have the data visible all the time. The news part may be of interest to some as well, but it restricts news access to global news brands only with no option to add news sources to the mix that are not in Microsoft's curated list of sources.
Most Windows 10 users may have reservations regarding the feature because of potential privacy implications. The feed in its initial form is not very useful; this means that users need to train it, and that is providing Microsoft with lots of data on user interests.
Now You: Weather information on the taskbar, and a news widget as well, useful addition or not?Advertisement