Microsoft adds a Google Discover-like news and weather feed to the Windows 10 taskbar
Microsoft is working on a big change for the Windows 10 taskbar, and it’s available for testers beginning today. The new feature, which will be ad-free, will add a Google Discover-like news and weather feed, making it easier for users to access important information.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Microsoft detailed the latest feature. “With news and interests on the Windows taskbar, you get quick access to an integrated feed of dynamic content such as news and weather that updates throughout the day,” said Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc.
According to Microsoft, users will be able to personalize their feed with relevant content. Having everything right there in the taskbar is a lot more convenient than jumping between different apps or checking multiple devices.
The newsfeed in the Windows 10 taskbar will show the latest headlines, sports, and more from over 4,500 global brands, including The New York Times, BBC, and The Verge. When you open an article from the newsfeed, you’ll get a streamlined reading view that offers fewer distractions.
“As more of us are spending time on our PCs to work, learn, connect, and play, news and interests on the taskbar is a nice companion for those who want to stay connected with information on the latest current events,” LeBlanc said. “Over time, we hope to bring your feed of news and interests to other places, such as in Microsoft Edge, so no matter where you are you’ll be able to stay up to date.”
The news and weather features are available in the taskbar for Windows Insiders today starting with Build 21286 in the Dev Channel. The feature can be accessed by Windows Insiders in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and India.
The new features arrive amidst a flurry of additions for Windows Insiders, including more modernized storage space settings, an improved experience when transitioning between time zones, and the ability to run Linux commands on start up in WSL. If you don’t have Windows 10, there are ways to upgrade for free for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users.
Update 1: “News and Interests” feed rolling out
Earlier this year, Microsoft began testing a new “News and Interests” feed on the Windows 10 taskbar that reminded us a lot of the Google Discover feed on mobile. Microsoft’s feed shows you the latest news, weather, and other personalized topics like your stock list performance, upcoming schedule, match details, and more. The feed’s theme matches your current Windows 10 theme, and the rest of the UI can be customized to only display the information cards you’re interested in. By default, the weather appears in the status bar as an icon plus text, but you can also make it only display as an icon or turn it off entirely if you prefer a more minimalist look. Using the interest manager, you can customize what news publishers the feed will pull from and what kind of stories you want to appear.
Microsoft says the News and Interests feed on the Windows 10 taskbar will begin rolling out to customers in the next few weeks. It’s rolling out to PCs running Windows 10 version 1909 and later. The feature is also available to any user who has installed the latest May 2021 Windows 10 update.