Latest Microsoft Launcher beta update on Android removes built-in News feed

Microsoft Launcher
Microsoft Launcher (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Latest Microsoft Launcher Beta build has removed the News feed.
  • It appears Microsoft is prioritizing the Start app's News widget instead.

A new build of Microsoft Launcher has begun rolling out on Android, and it features the removal of a feature that's been part of the launcher since the very beginning. Starting with this build (6.211203.0.1025721,) it appears the built-in Microsoft News feed has been taken out, likely because Microsoft wants to prioritize the Microsoft Start widget instead.

Microsoft Start has offered its own News and Weather widgets since the app first launched, which has made the News feed built into the Microsoft Launcher somewhat redundant. It was located in a separate tab, whereas the new News widget from Start is available front and center in the Launcher's activity feed. Unfortunately, the widget only shows headlines, and tapping on a story opens the dedicated Start app.

Either way, the built-in Microsoft News feed appears to be going away. It's been quite a long time since Microsoft Launcher got any new features, so it's a little disheartening to see features being removed. Hopefully 2022 will see new life blown into the Launcher, especially on Microsoft's own Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2, which has even less features than the normal Microsoft Launcher experience on other Android phones.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads