Microsoft Launcher beta adds Start banner in continued revamp of News feed

Microsoft Launcher
Microsoft Launcher (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Launcher (beta) just got updated to version 6.211203.0.1025841.
  • This version update includes a few items, including a promo banner for those without the Start app.
  • Other items in the update are bug fixes, UX improvements, and the Microsoft Rewards widgets now supporting Spain and Italy.

Heads up: A new version of Microsoft Launcher (beta) is live, version 6.211203.0.1025841. It doesn't pack anything in the way of major content, but it contains a few small items worth noting. Chiefly, a promotional banner was added to the News feed page for those who don't have the Start app installed.

Beyond that, general bug fixes were included in the update, as were UX improvements. Also, the Microsoft Rewards widgets now offer support for Spain and Italy. Here's the official changelog:

  • Promotional banner was added on News feed page for users who don't have Start app installed.
  • Microsoft Rewards widgets now support Italy and Spain.
  • Other known bugs were fixed, and UX improvements were made on feed

In case you're not familiar with the circumstances leading up to the inclusion of this new promotional banner, here's the scoop: Earlier in January, a Microsoft Launcher beta update removed the built-in News feed, seemingly in an effort to move people toward Microsoft's Start app's News widget. Now, Microsoft is doubling down on its Start push with a promotional banner to remind people to give the app a shot.

That's it for the Launcher update, though. There were no major features or overhauls this time around, but that could always change in the future, should Microsoft run out of digital promotional banners.

Image (opens in new tab)

Microsoft Launcher (opens in new tab)

This Android launcher plays ball with a number of Microsoft products, such as Microsoft To Do and Microsoft 365. In the latest update, expect a promotional banner as well as useful additions such as UX tweaks, bug fixes, and a little love for Spain and Italy.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • "promotional banner" And ad. It's an ad.
  • You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato
  • We now need a Bing maps on iOS/Andoird now that there is a NearBy feature on Start/Bing apps we need a full fledge amazing beautiful fluent designed navigation app with offline maps!
  • Would be nice to see. If it had voice navigation using Cortana's voice, would be cool. However, the app would have to be point with navigational features. It needs to be on par with Google Maps.
  • Yea, that would be nice! 👍👍👍
  • I would love to see a films and TV app... So I can watch all the content I have purchased... How difficult would it be? Use Amazons services now as I can watch this anywhere...
  • Films and TV app is really needed!!
  • Anyone else's MS Launcher not updating Bing wallpaper anymore?
  • And the resolution of the picture's is all wrong as well.
  • I wish it was more like Launcher 10, which I am still using on my Galaxy 20 Ultra.
  • I've been using Microsoft Launcher for several years now but getting more frustrated with it by the month.
    I had to turn the news feed off due to the incessant pushing of liberal propaganda as news no matter how much I tweaked and customized my feed. I have no idea what the Start App is but if I get a single banner or ad for anything that will be the straw that breaks the camels back.
    I'll just stop using Microsoft anything including their Edge browser.
  • I think you are exaggerating a bit...