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Microsoft's new 'news and interests' Taskbar widget will come to Windows 10 version 21H1, 20H2, and 2004

Windows 10 News Interests Taskbar
Windows 10 News Interests Taskbar (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is bringing new "news and interests" widget to 21H1 and 2004/20H2.
  • The feature is available now for Insiders in Beta and Release Preview channels.

Microsoft has released a new preview build for the next version of Windows 10, known as version 21H1 and expected to ship publicly this spring. Today's preview build introduces Microsoft's new 'news and interests' Taskbar flyout, which puts the weather forecast and news headlines right on the Taskbar.

Interestingly, the widget will also be coming to version 20H2 and version 2004, though Microsoft doesn't say when this will ship publicly.

The company has been testing this news and interests widget in the Insider Dev Channel for some months. Originally, it was believed the feature would ship in the fall with 21H2, but it appears Microsoft will now ship the feature much earlier, spanning all the way back to version 2004 instead.

21H1 overall will be a minor update for Windows 10, being based on the 2004 release that shippped last spring. 21H1 so far includes the ability to choose an external Windows Hello webcam for login, and other minor enteprise-related enhancements.

Here's the full changelog for build 19043.983, which rolled out in the Beta and Release Preview channels today:

  • We fixed an issue that prevents a site from transitioning out of Microsoft Edge IE Mode when expected.
  • We fixed an issue that fails to remove mandatory profiles completely when you sign out when using the "Delete cached copies of roaming profiles" Group Policy.
  • We fixed an issue that causes blank tiles to appear on the Start menu with names such as "ms-resource:AppName" or "ms-resource:appDisplayName". These blank tiles represent the installed applications and appear for approximately 15 minutes after updating to a newer version of Windows 10. Installing this update prevents these blank tiles from appearing on the Start menu.
  • We fixed an issue with the Microsoft Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) that prevents an app's custom candidate window from displaying correctly.
  • We are rolling out news and interests on the Windows taskbar to Beta and Release Preview rings. This has been available in the Dev Channel, with on-going improvements based on Insider feedback. News and interests on the taskbar make it easy to stay up to date with information at a glance, and we look forward to hearing what you think.
  • We fixed an issue that occurs when you install inventory applications.
  • We fixed an issue that includes kernel mode rules for .NET applications in Windows Defender Application Control policies. As a result, the generated policies are significantly larger than necessary.
  • We fixed an issue that causes devices to fail Device Health Attestation.
  • We fixed an issue that turns off S Mode when you enable System Guard Secure Launch on a system running Windows 10 in S Mode.
  • We fixed an issue that causes lsass.exe memory usage to grow until the system becomes unusable. This occurs when Transport Layer Security (TLS) resumes a session.
  • We fixed an issue with a race condition between Task Scheduler and the Workstation Service. As a result, users cannot automatically join a hybrid Azure Active Directory (AAD) domain and error 0x80070490 is generated.
  • We fixed an issue that causes Azure Active Directory authentication to fail after signing in on Windows Virtual Desktop machines.
  • We fixed an issue that causes AAD Work Accounts to unexpectedly disappear from certain apps such Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Office.
  • We fixed an issue with a partial Service Connection Point (SCP) configuration that causes dsregcmd.exe to stop working. This issue occurs because of a case-sensitive domain ID name comparison that occurs when joining a hybrid Azure Active Directory domain using single sign-on (SSO).
  • We fixed an issue that accidently triggers hybrid AAD joining when the Group Policy "Register domain-joined computers as devices" is set to DISABLED. For more information, see Post configuration tasks for Hybrid Azure AD join.
  • We added the ability to adjust the amount of idle time before a headset goes to sleep in the Settings app for Windows Mixed Reality.
  • We fixed an issue that might generate a stop error when Docker containers run with process isolation.
  • We fixed an issue that causes automatic enrollment and certificate retrieval to fail with the error, "The parameter is incorrect."
  • We fixed an issue that might cause Microsoft Defender Application Guard virtual machines to stop responding when Microsoft Defender Application Guard for Office opens a document. This issue might occur on some devices or in drivers that utilize GPU Hardware Accelerated Scheduling.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents some media players from playing content on hybrid devices that are running with dGPU on iGPU displays.
  • We fixed an issue with race conditions that cause high CPU usage. As a result, the system stops working and deadlocks occur.
  • We fixed an issue with a deadlock in the New Technology File System (NTFS).
  • We fixed an issue that causes DWM.exe to stop working in some cases.
  • We fixed an issue that might prevent an application screen from working when using a Remote Desktop ActiveX control that is embedded in an HTML page.

As always, check out the Windows Blog for the complete breakdown from Microsoft.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

8 Comments
  • This update also removes the People app from the start menu.
  • It can still be accessed through Mail/ Calendar app.
    I believe there was a blog post mentioning that it would be removed from the start menu.
  • Yes, I know. I'm just mentioning it because it wasn't listed in this changelog.
  • I guess we now have to pray to the god of software MS and ask them each time we want to pin an app on the start menu. ffs
  • My Surface Go is in the Dev channel and I saw this on the taskbar a while back but then it disappeared. Not sure whether I could have added it back via a setting but I didn't look. My desktop is in the Release Preview channel so I'm interested to see whether it shows up.
  • Looks like something else that will need disabling after a new install.
  • Hey Zac, it seems to be 19043.962 , not 983
  • Windows Update isn't detecting this update, and I have 21H1 in the Release Preview Channel