Microsoft adds widgets to the Windows 10 taskbar

The latest edition of Windows 10 Insider Preview (Build 21286) brings a significant number of improvements to the Microsoft platform, such as new settings for storage devices and support for widgets in the taskbar.

Still in the testing phase, new widgets will display useful information such as weather or breaking news from your favorite news feed. If the Weather widget is rather rudimentary in its current form, the News and Interests alternative seems much better finished and able to make a positive contribution to the Windows 10 experience.

Although Microsoft does not explicitly confirm this, the new widget system may be part of the revision prepared for the Windows interface. Known as the “Sun Valley” code, the new UI should have its official debut in the second half of this year.

Microsoft already offers two Windows 10 applications with up-to-date news and weather information – News and Weather. Microsoft does not confirm whether these applications will disappear, but states that the two will be combined into an “integrated dynamic content stream” that will be available from the Windows 10 taskbar.



Based on a screenshot distributed by Microsoft itself, it looks like the taskbar will display the current weather, and clicking on it will open a window containing a “dynamic content feed”. According to Microsoft, this feed can be customized to your liking and can feature title cards, scholarship information and even sports scores. Microsoft says the goal is to eliminate the need for users to switch between multiple applications for access to news and information on topics that suit their interests. Users will have the option to adjust the privacy settings in connection with the news and interest flow – as it is officially called – or turn it off completely if they do not want to use it at all.

As a first step, widget support is only available to users enrolled in Windows Insider who live in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India. Also, the functionality is related to the presence of the Microsoft Edge browser based on Chromium (it will be installed automatically with Build 21286 if you do not do this).

The new Windows 10 build adds support for creating and managing storage groups directly from the Settings menu. In its current form, most of these settings can be found in the menus of the old Control Panel.

Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He's also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.