News and Interests Flyout Comes to Beta and Release Preview Rings

Posted on April 20, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 22 Comments

Originally expected to debut in Windows 10 version 21H2, the new News and Interests flyout is now being tested in more recent versions. And that means this feature could be coming to Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1 too.

“We are rolling out news and interests on the Windows taskbar to Beta and Release Preview rings,” a Microsoft blog post explains. “This [feature] has been available in the Dev Channel, with on-going [sic] 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.”

The Windows 10 Insider Preview has undergone some big changes over the past few years, and it’s getting harder to understand which version each channel in the program is currently testing. The Dev channel is the strangest of them all since it doesn’t target any specific version, so new features that appear there could land in Windows 10 versions 21H1 or 21H2 if they’re not canceled first. The Beta and Release Preview channels are currently testing Windows 10 version 21H1.

So that explains why we believe that News and Interests is coming to Windows version 21H1. But what about 2004 and 20H2? Windows Central reports that it’s happening, and I assume that’s based on the fact that 21H2, like 2004 and 20H2, is delivered via an “enablement package” as they are not “full” feature updates, and each shares the same core OS and system files. But Microsoft has not confirmed that the feature is heading that far downstream.

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Comments (22)

22 responses to “News and Interests Flyout Comes to Beta and Release Preview Rings”

  1. bart

    Begs the question, if Microsoft is back porting features, will they do the same with Sun Valley once that is available for 21H2?

    Can't imagine Microsoft wants different UX across Windows versions...

  2. Daekar

    Would be interesting if you could customize it to be a combination of the sources you want to see rather than an algorithm driven version. I want to see Paul and Brad's articles on, MJ's stuff on ZDNet, the recent articles on RevolverGuy, the 10 most recent posts on the single-shot section of the Cast Boolits forum, Ben Thompson's latest article on Stratechery, the trending posts on r/3Dprinting, and a few RSS feeds, for instance.

    I feel like without that degree of control, this really won't do much for me... It's just another feed where somebody wants to shove their version of what's important in front of my eyes.

    EDIT: And it needs to have a parallel version in the Microsoft Launcher.

  3. justme

    One more thing to immediately disable. I hope there is a Group Policy setting for this as well so it can be turned off from there.

  4. SaintKaze

    Not sure i care been used to using pop out on phone I don't mind on my desktop.

  5. mdlynam

    I can't help but be reminded of Castanet & Marimba (circa 1996).

  6. hrlngrv

    More places to disable/hide it.

    Why couldn't this appear in Programs & Features so that one could DISABLE the @#$%&*! thing?

  7. dxtremebob

    I've always wanted to see the temperature at a glance in the taskbar! N&I provides it!

    I can turn off the hover activation, and click it if I want to see something.

    Works for me. I like it.

  8. winner

    ...because we all need a little bit of flyout in our OS!

  9. navarac

    More unwanted crap - Microsoft, please file away with Paint 3D.

    Edited: Although I've got the build, fortunately I haven't got this rubbish - perhaps they are still Z/Z testing !!

  10. rm

    Nothing wrong with having this as an option for people that want it. But, for those that do not, it needs to have a way to turn it off easily.

  11. petteri

    I don't think I'll be making much use of this, it doesn't really fit into my use patterns. Also, it annoyingly ignores the default browser settings, always opening up Edge. I have the DEV edition of Edge set as my default and it just merrily ignores that and opens up regular Edge.

  12. prjman

    This useless addon will be abandoned shortly after it is implemented. Users will disable it immediately.

  13. JH_Radio

    Do people who are working really wanna see all of this?

  14. ggolcher

    Tried it out and disabled it. It's too dense and doesn't fit with my workflow.

  15. Jeff Fodiak

    Isn't this redundant with the tiles in the start menu? This looks horrible off the task bar. Microsoft really is clueless.

  16. jchampeau

    I hope they allow users to filter out certain news sources in the "Headlines" section. There are a couple "news" sites whose headlines are routinely so bad and clickbait-ish that I'd really rather just never see anything they put out.

  17. whistlerpro

    Love the Microsoft promo image, everything is in the UK except the maps or weather!

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