Windows 10 taskbar: 'News and Interests' might vanish for some users, at least for now

Microsoft is getting ready to release the new Windows 10 'News and Interests' Taskbar widget to more users ahead of the 21H1 release.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has been giving many of its Windows Insiders a taste of the new 'news and interests' feature in the taskbarand and has been regularly tweaking the widget in Windows 10 previews. But now the company says the Taskbar widget may disappear for some testers who had it. 

For the past two months, Microsoft has been testing the Taskbar widget with Windows 10 users in the Windows Insider Dev channel and its developers reckon they have the right formula for it: the feature will have two columns showcasing news, weather, money and personalized content. But landing on that formula means it will be yanking the feature for Windows 10 fans who've helped Microsoft reach that point. 

"As a result of these changes, we're resetting the roll out of news and interests to Insiders in the Dev Channel. This means that Insiders who previously had news and interests enabled on their taskbars may see it go away," Microsoft noted.

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However, Microsoft says it hopes to make the News and Interests widget available to all Windows 10 users in the Dev Channel soon. 

"It is important to reiterate that by gradually rolling out features to Insiders like this, it really helps us quickly identify issues that may impact performance and reliability," Microsoft's Windows Insiders team says

Microsoft started testing the new feature in January, offering a feed in the Windows 10 Taskbar that emulated the feeds in its Launcher app and Bing. Its latest update to the widget brought more colors to tiles in the flyout.  

The changes are occurring with the release of Windows 10 Build 21332 (RS_PRERELEASE) to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.

Features in Windows 10 preview builds aren't associated with a particular feature release any more. Microsoft will soon release 21H1, which will be a minor feature update, followed by a bigger spring release called 21H2 with major changes to the Windows 10 user interface.   

After last week fixing presentation bugs in the new 'past as plaintext' feature from the Windows 10 cupboard history, Microsoft says it is now ready to roll out the the Win + V accessible feature to all Insiders in the Dev channel.    

Microsoft has also brought back theme-aware splash screens and made two more notable changes. 

"3D Viewer and Paint 3D will no longer be preinstalled on clean installs of the latest Insider Preview builds," Microsoft notes. 

SEE: Windows 10: Microsoft makes more tweaks to the touch keyboard

Instead they can be installed from the Microsoft Store and they'll persist on a Windows 10 devices after an OS update. 

Microsoft is also doing some spring cleaning, getting rid of the Math Input Panel because not many people are using it. However, it will remain as a feature called Math Recognizer in Office apps like OneNote and Excel. 

"Due to increasingly low usage, Math Input Panel is being removed. However, the input control and math recognition engine that powered the app is remaining as an optional feature titled "Math Recognizer" which can be installed via Settings > Apps > Apps & features and clicking "Optional features". So, while the app itself will no longer be there, the features it enabled for math equation input in OneNote, Excel, and elsewhere, will continue to work and developers can continue to utilize the input control," the Windows Insider team notes. 

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