Microsoft will soon roll out its ‘news and interests’ widget to Windows 10 users, which adds a small ‘weather’ element to the taskbar. If you click on it, it’ll expand to show a Windows News feed, which collates content from thousands of sources (which can be customised). If you hover over it, it’ll give you more detailed weather information, too.
Don’t worry: if you like your taskbar pristine, you can turn it off. But if you don’t, it seems like a fairly unobtrusive and, dare I say, useful feature. Knowing the weather is always nice, but you can teach the widget to show you content that you want to see. Don’t care about the royal family? Use the ‘manage interests’ tab to get rid of that stuff. Love to see news about bright blue car mounts in Valheim? Smash that like button. The widget will learn what you want to see and what you don’t based on how you interact with it, in addition to your own tailoring.
Aside from general topics of interest, you can also optimise your echo chamber by picking and choosing your news sources, but they’ll need to be among the sources available in Windows News. You can even customise how the information appears—want just text with no images? That’s possible—and you can add and remove elements within the widget like stocks, live traffic feeds and more.
As for when it’s coming: that'll happen over the next few weeks. “We are taking a phased and measured approach and broad availability will occur in the coming months,” writes Microsoft. To get it, you’ll need Windows 10 version 1909 or later and the May 2021 Windows monthly update.