Microsoft is making a big change to the Windows 10 taskbar soon, with the addition of a news and weather widget. The new feature is available for testers today, and it will allow Windows 10 users to access news feed, stocks, and weather information directly from the taskbar. You will be able to take a quick look at the weather without having to open the Start menu, install a third-party app, or check online.
The taskbar feature will appear in a small feed of content that can be customized with the latest sports news, headlines, and weather information. Microsoft uses the Microsoft News Network to display news and content from more than 4,500 sources. The company has been sponsoring this with AI in recent months, and this special feature will also recognize relevant news for you when you reject or like stories in the feed.
Microsoft began testing this new feature with Windows Insiders on the Windows 10 developer channel today, and it will likely be available to all users later this year. It will initially be available only to testers in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and India.
This new taskbar feature will also require Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge to be installed on a computer. This means that any link you click inside the feature will force you to enter Edge to read it, and Microsoft delivers the content in Reading View by default.
You can of course disable this new taskbar feature, and Microsoft says it will be an ad-free experience. It seems to be more useful than The People Bar created by Microsoft in Windows 10 Several years ago. The People bar works as a quick way to access your contacts, but it only supports apps like Mail and Skype and not the large third-party messaging services.