Microsoft knows what Windows 10’s taskbar really needs: News and Weather. That My People icon didn’t pan out, but surely all Windows users want one-click access to the latest news—right?
Update: Microsoft began rolling out the News and Interests widget to Windows 10 in June 2021. Its initial build, unfortunately, hasn’t been the smoothest.
Microsoft is already testing this change in Insider builds of Windows 10. Starting January 6, 2021, with Insider build 21286, people testing unstable versions of Windows 10 will begin seeing the widget.
It will appear to the left of your notification area (often, but incorrectly, called the “system tray.”) It will show the current weather in your area—right on the taskbar. If you click it, you’ll see news headlines, more information about the weather, stock market movements, and sports scores. Microsoft calls it “an integrated feed of dynamic content such as news and weather that updates throughout the day.”
Of course, you can customize what you want to see in the feed, and you can hide this Weather and News widget, just like you can hide the My People widget today. All you have to do is right-click your taskbar and uncheck it.
Microsoft is testing variations on this feature, so it may not look identical when it reaches your PC. Based on Microsoft’s development schedule, we’d expect to see this feature hit stable Windows 10 PCs with a big update scheduled for Fall 2021—or, if Microsoft is really rushing, Spring 2021.
Once you see the widget on your Windows 10 computer, if you don’t like it, you can remove it from the taskbar.