Windows 10's taskbar is getting a weather and news widget very soon

Polycount

Posts: 2,849   +575
Staff member
In brief: Windows 10's taskbar hasn't changed much over the years, but Microsoft began experimenting with some fresh feature additions a couple of months ago. In January, insiders were allowed to test out a new weather and news widget, aptly called "News and Interests." It seems Microsoft has worked out most of the bugs because that feature is arriving for all Windows users soon.

Since more people are working from home than ever thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft wants to find a way to make their workday a bit more comfortable and convenient. The News and Interests bar is just one way the company hopes to achieve that vision -- when the feature rolls out, Windows 10 customers will start to notice a new weather widget on their taskbar.

It'll show the temperature, the sky conditions (cloudy, sunny, etc.), and a small round sun icon, which will change in accordance with those conditions.

If all you need is an at-a-glance view of the weather, you can leave the widget as is and never interact with it. However, if you do choose to dig a bit deeper, clicking on it will pull up the Interests interface.

Here, you'll find a list of content personalized for you: traffic conditions, stock tickers, sports rankings, news headlines, and more. You can disable any of the categories that don't interest you (I'd turn off traffic, stock info, and sports details, for example), and leave only what you do care about.

If category management is too broad for you, feel free to get a bit more specific. You can select the types of News stories you want to see and even the publishers you want to see them from. This will help fine-tune the suggestion algorithm to your tastes.

If you don't want to see any of it, you can (like all other Taskbar widgets) turn the News and Interests feature off entirely. With that in mind, this looks like the ideal Windows 10 update -- helpful, customizable, and most importantly for many users, entirely optional.

News and Interests will roll out to the Windows 10 userbase over the "next several weeks," but we have no specific ETA for now.

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brucek

Posts: 802   +1,104
TechSpot Elite
How about a real time counter for how many pieces of information about me, my activities, and my files that Windows is sending back home to Microsoft or its advertisers or other partners?

Other than that widget, I feel like I've read this new story before - as in Windows 95 before...
 

Geralt

Posts: 276   +323
TechSpot Elite
I miss the old W7 widgets. I had a CPU/Memory/Temp one, Weather one, news feed - and I love that I could drag them anywhere I wanted to.

Never made sense to me why they got rid of them. They did have some utility.
Yes, but they posed a threat to security. That's why they removed them.
 

ikesmasher

Posts: 3,108   +1,500
I miss the old W7 widgets. I had a CPU/Memory/Temp one, Weather one, news feed - and I love that I could drag them anywhere I wanted to.

Never made sense to me why they got rid of them. They did have some utility.
Rainmeter can do all that though (albeit the CPU usage stuff usually needs another piece of software running). Rainmeter itself is super lightweight though. Its also open source.

Personally, I wish windows would spend their time sandboxing software in a way similar to most other OSes. Its exhausting how much data third parties can collect from Windows with zero intervention.
 

seeprime

Posts: 542   +614
I miss the old W7 widgets. I had a CPU/Memory/Temp one, Weather one, news feed - and I love that I could drag them anywhere I wanted to.

Never made sense to me why they got rid of them. They did have some utility.
As I understand things the Windows 7 widgets/gadgets were directly fed by various web servers that Microsoft later realized were not secure enough, and could lead to a users system being compromised. They recommended removing them nine years ago. https://www.techspot.com/news/49351...vista-7-users-to-disable-desktop-gadgets.html
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,739   +6,106
Looks like I need to start looking for a third party taskbar. I'm not interested in anything other than the ability to pin a few application icons. Currently I only have three and one toolbar.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 348   +270
Why can't Microsoft create a stylish taskbar like that of the Macs? The design in Windows 10 is too minimalistic and rustic.
In a way I agree. Perhaps not with the way Mac shows the opened programs, because its quite disorienting if you're Windows main, but Windows 10 theme is just like primitive website from 1990s. No depth to it. While its very basic and rudimentary the design itself still requires decent amount of computer horsepower to drive smoothly. That in itself defeats the purpose of it being so super basic.

If Windows 10 devs already copied BigSur rounded corners perhaps they will copy more from Mac. Just please don't copy Finder. I beg you.
 

RobertEmma

Posts: 14   +2
Nice to hear that windows 10 is getting an UI update. Windows 10 have very simple theme from last 20 years. It's time they bring more customization to the OS. The recent update of windows 10 20H2 is not so good, many apps lag and FPS in game also drop down. Hope new update will have a fix.
 

bazz2004

Posts: 1,736   +290
Just so so long as they keep changes minimal. Apart from W8.0 which confused and infuriated me to the extent that I had to install a program to modify the interface Microsoft are doing a great job. Why not drop the 10 and call it Windows?
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,743   +5,476
This is "alpha Coders Wallpaper Abyss: https://wall.alphacoders.com
They list over 800,000 wallpapers on any topic that might strike your fancy.

Windows 7 "Aero" interface offers a slide show function eith intervals down to 10 seconds per change.

Given the foregoing why on earth would anyone want to look at this crap:
maxresdefault.jpg

all day, much less argue about whether or not the corners are rounded or square?

Although, I suppose you could move those ugly a** start tiles over to the right and use something like this

thumb-1920-19130.jpg


No good? Well, there's still another 800,000+ to choose from.
Here's something for the Skyrim brood:
thumb-1920-122320.jpg
 

envirovore

Posts: 186   +437
TechSpot Elite
Why can't Microsoft create a stylish taskbar like that of the Macs? The design in Windows 10 is too minimalistic and rustic.

I get this is objective.
The minimalistic design works better imo.
All it has to do is display the contents of your computer, making it all sorts of shiny or '3D' looking or whatever is a distraction.

Then again, I set mine to dark mode with a solid black background and task bar.

Black boxes on a black background with a task bar that appears as part of of the background, with grey window outlines.. that's rather aesthetically pleasing, and easy on the eyes.
 

envirovore

Posts: 186   +437
TechSpot Elite
This is "alpha Coders Wallpaper Abyss: https://wall.alphacoders.com
They list over 800,000 wallpapers on any topic that might strike your fancy.

Windows 7 "Aero" interface offers a slide show function eith intervals down to 10 seconds per change.

Given the foregoing why on earth would anyone want to look at this crap:
maxresdefault.jpg

all day, much less argue about whether or not the corners are rounded or square?

Although, I suppose you could move those ugly a** start tiles over to the right and use something like this

thumb-1920-19130.jpg


No good? Well, there's still another 800,000+ to choose from.
Here's something for the Skyrim brood:
thumb-1920-122320.jpg

Does anyone actually use the tiles section?

First thing I do after installing Win10 is remove everything there. Returns it to more of the traditional start menu feel.

Then again, I also run a bunch of scripts to remove stuff like the quick access folder and such from appearing in file explorer as well.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,743   +5,476
Does anyone actually use the tiles section?
I certainly don't. I'm one of those Luddites stuck on Windows 7.

It is sort of amusing how so many people sack all the junk that is Windows 10, and wind up making it look and work like Windows 7 anyway.

In fact, I had automatic updates turned off in all my Win 7 machines years before Windows 10 was even a gleam in Satya Nadella's eye, So, I never got any of the bullsh!t, high pressure, screen blaring, "free Windows 10 update", notices whatsoever.

"Ignorance was, (and still is), bliss".
 

envirovore

Posts: 186   +437
TechSpot Elite
I certainly don't. I'm one of those Luddites stuck on Windows 7.

It is sort of amusing how so many people sack all the junk that is Windows 10, and wind up making it look and work like Windows 7 anyway.

In fact, I had automatic updates turned off in all my Win 7 machines years before Windows 10 was even a gleam in Satya Nadella's eye, So, I never got any of the bullsh!t, high pressure, screen blaring, "free Windows 10 update", notices whatsoever.

"Ignorance was, (and still is), bliss".

I held off on the Win10 switch until about a year and half ago when I got a 20 series GPU.

Over all I don't really have many complaints with it, I'm one that hasn't had any sort of problems with it after updates though.
 

Geralt

Posts: 276   +323
TechSpot Elite
Does anyone actually use the tiles section?

First thing I do after installing Win10 is remove everything there. Returns it to more of the traditional start menu feel.

Then again, I also run a bunch of scripts to remove stuff like the quick access folder and such from appearing in file explorer as well.
Me too.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,743   +5,476
I held off on the Win10 switch until about a year and half ago when I got a 20 series GPU.
I know, DX-12 was the "gamer's bribe", for installing 10.

Over the years, good Windows editions seem to follow the pattern of alcoholism, whereas it's claimed, "it skips a generation"..
XP (y) (Y) , Vista (n) (N), Windows 7 (y) (Y), Windows 8 (n) (N), Windows 8.1(y) (Y)(maybe), Windows 10, now available as a suppository.