Microsoft is testing out a update to Windows 10, with a select group of testers, wherein the taskbar will have an option named ‘News and Interests’ that will show news stories, sports scores, and weather information.
The feed of news, weather and other information can, of course, be personalized.
This feature is part of the Windows Shell Experience and hence can’t be disabled or uninstalled manually. But the news feed will be in the taskbar as an option, which means users, if they want, can hide it with a right-click on the icon.
“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,” Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc said in a blogpost.
Microsoft will use its search engine Bing’s AI and ML expertise to offer stories relevant to users’ interests.
The newsfeed in the Windows 10 taskbar will present the latest headlines, sports, and more from over 4,500 global news brands, which include the BBC, CNN, NYT. Basically, it will show news articles from publishers accepted in Microsoft’s Bing News Pub Hub service
This feature is said to be live in Windows 10 Build 21286 and it might ship with the update in October. If users want to test it now, they have to download the preview build and switch the device region to the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, or India.
The news feed requires Chromium-based Microsoft Edge and it’s currently in the early stage of development, so it’s unclear if it will be included in the next version of Windows 10.
“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,” Microsoft added.
Old Edge open as proof pic.twitter.com/CHngWIIq37January 6, 2021
However, a software analysts, with the Twitter handle @thebookisclosed, says that the feature works even without Microsoft Edge.
Aside from taskbar tweaks, Microsoft is said to be working on a Windows 10 feature update with a new user interface and dark mode improvements.