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Microsoft to roll out new ‘News and Interests’ Taskbar feature for Windows 10

Microsoft on Thursday announced that it would soon begin rolling out its new “News and Interests” Taskbar feature that has been in the works for a while now, allowing users to look at news and weather without opening any apps.

The ‘News and Interests’ feature will roll out in the coming weeks.
The ‘News and Interests’ feature will roll out in the coming weeks. (Microsoft)

Microsoft on Thursday announced that it would soon begin rolling out its new “News and Interests” Taskbar feature that has been in the works for a while now, allowing users to look at news and weather without opening any apps, via a feed powered by Microsoft’s news service.

Back in January, we reported that Microsoft was working on a feed-like feature to be worked into the Taskbar, a change that could probably be termed the most significant since the arrival of the Cortana button. At the time, Microsoft said that the biggest advantage was being able to ‘peek’ at a feed to get information quickly without needing to open or switch to another app.

Also read: Microsoft is testing News and Interests feed integration into the Windows 10 taskbar

Microsoft said in a blog post on Thursday that the News and Interests Taskbar will show up as an icon and text for local weather, and hovering over that area will show more weather-related details, along with what Microsoft is calling “snackable” information on news, stocks, traffic and sports. Users should also be able to quickly read and share news stories and articles, or save them to read later which will likely require you to use your Microsoft account.

Microsoft's new “News and Interests” Taskbar in action.
Microsoft's new “News and Interests” Taskbar in action. (Microsoft)

There are a couple of caveats here, however. For starters, you will need to have the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge installed on your desktop or laptop computer and then make sure that your Windows 10 installation itself is completely up to date. While the feature was previously being tested on the Insider builds of the Windows 10 20H2 (October 2020) update, it looks like the company is finally ready to roll out the feature to everyone.

Also read: Microsoft Edge will soon gain a ‘performance mode’ on Windows 10

After reports that Microsoft’s upcoming 21H1 update that is expected in May would not be a major update, it was thought that Microsoft would release this feature with the rumoured Sun Valley update coming later this year. Instead, Microsoft said on Thursday that the Taskbar feature was rolling out to existing installations of Windows 10 version 2004 and later, as well as the upcoming 21H1 release.

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