Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build (21286) this week that allows users to bolster the operating system’s tried-and-true taskbar with an integrated feed that can be customized with a range of dynamic content, such as news, weather, stocks, and more. While this isn’t something that will encourage Windows critics to switch over from an alternative OS any time soon, it does seem useful for users who have regularly relied on the Start Menu’s Live Tiles to get popular information at a glance.
“You can personalize your feed with relevant content tailored for you,” Microsoft explained. “Instead of switching between apps or your PC and phone to stay up to date with the news and interests you care about – seamlessly peek into your feed directly from the taskbar anytime you want throughout your day.”
According to Microsoft’s overview, which we’ve copied below, users who don’t like the new integrated feed and consider it clutter are free to turn it off by right-clicking on the taskbar.
- Staying up to date: Quickly glance at your news and interests directly from the taskbar. Get caught up on the latest headlines, weather, sports, and more, then go back to whatever you were doing without disrupting your workflow. You have convenient access to news and interesting content from over 4,500 global brands such as The New York Times, BBC or The Verge, and gorgeous live weather maps. Select an article to open a streamlined reading view with fewer distractions, so you can save time and stay focused.
- Personalize your feed: You can tell us which content you like seeing or don’t like seeing (select More options … and choose “More stories like this” or “Fewer stories like this”) and over time, more stories about the things you care about will show up in your feed, including ones you might otherwise miss. You can also use emoji to react to stories, too.
- You’re in control: At Microsoft, we believe privacy starts with putting you in control and giving you the tools and information, you need to make informed choices. Through news and interests, there is quick access to the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. Through the Microsoft Edge browser, there are built-in controls to limit tracking from advertisers and third parties. And if news and interests doesn’t appeal to you, you can easily turn it off by right-clicking on the taskbar.
The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build also brings Windows 10’s Storage Spaces to the Settings app, which means that users can create storage pools and storage spaces in a modernized format. This feature can be accessed by going to Settings > System > Storage and then clicking Manage Storage Spaces under “More storage settings.”