Microsoft has started testing a message and interests widget in the system tray for Windows 10 users. The widget can be customized based on user preferences and is currently being made available for Windows Insider members with build 21286 in the development channel. The new widget will appear on the left side of the notification area in the system tray. Clicking it expands a dialog box showing headlines, detailed weather updates, stock market information, and more.
In its blog post, the company announced the introduction of the News and Interests widget in the Windows 10 system tray. As mentioned, it is currently being rolled out for Insider members. These users will need to restart after installing build 21286 to enable this feature.
The widget displays the weather that users can see at any time. When clicked, the widget expands to show news and other content from over 4,500 global brands including The New York Times, BBC, and The Verge. The advanced widget also has a live weather map. When you select an article to open, you’ll see a streamlined reading view with fewer onscreen distractions. If this news and weather widget doesn’t appeal to users, they can simply turn it off by right-clicking on the system tray.
The new widget in the system tray is customizable and users can tell Microsoft what content they want to see or not. Users can select more options and select more stories like this or fewer stories like this. Users also have the option to use emojis to respond to stories as well. The tech giant adds, “Messages and interests give you quick access to the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. Controls are built in through the Microsoft Edge browser to limit tracking by advertisers and third parties. “
According to Microsoft, this new widget in the system tray is currently only available to Windows Insider members in Australia, Canada, the UK, India and the US. Users also need the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser installed on their PC in order to get the best possible experience with the new widget. In addition, Microsoft is testing different variations of this experience, so some Insiders may see a different experience than others.