Microsoft is Launching News and Interests in Windows 10

Posted on April 22, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 63 Comments

After testing this new feature for the past few months, Microsoft said today that it is bringing the News and Interests flyout to all supported Windows 10 versions.

“As people spend more time on their Windows PCs, working, learning, connecting, and creating, we’re making it easier to access personalized content that is available at a glance and updated throughout the day,” Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman announced. “News and interests on the Windows 10 taskbar will begin rolling out to customers over the next several weeks.”

For those unfamiliar, News and Interests is a pop-up news feed that will sit on the Windows 10 taskbar by default, though users can disable it if desired. Why Microsoft would bother with such a feature is unclear, and I feel like this will simply be yet another feature that most Windows 10 users disable until Microsoft finally kills it off.

But I’m sure some will love it. Indeed, Microsoft claims that “many” have asked for this feature.

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Comments (69)

69 responses to “Microsoft is Launching News and Interests in Windows 10”

  1. T182

    Welp, going to need another PowerShell script to disable that too.

  2. winner

    Windows 10, Flyout Edition.

  3. wunderbar

    Honestly I'll leave this enabled just for the weather information in the taskbar. I won't ever click it for anything, but I like the weather information.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to wunderbar:

      FWIW, many Linux desktop environments provide a weather widget for their panels. Hover you mouse over them, and they show weather details in at most a 200x125 pixel box. Odd that there are more options for Linux than Windows in this area.

  4. ghostrider

    ..and that's another prime location for ads. Just sayin'.

    The amount of things you now need to turn off of or disable in Win10 is growing by the day!

  5. samp

    If this can be configure to show news and interests I like (maybe using some cool AI to get articles from any website you enter, and perhaps show social media as well), I think it would become very popular.

    On a phone, many repeatedly pull down to see new notifications in the notification centre. Although it also shows system notifications (what's now in the action centre on Windows), what many are looking for is updates from social media, websites and news and that kind of thing.

    If this Windows feature competes with that (rather than just showing news from certain outlets), It will likely be a success.

    It will be deviating more from what the hardcore base wants (which is nothing - literally), but will be competing in the public sector more, where now connivance rules.

  6. ebraiter

    To many places to get the new and whatever. Disabling time!

    Should be out of Windows 10 by v23H2.

  7. Michael_Miller

    I know it is fashionable to be negative about most things Microsoft on this website, but I will like it when it becomes available.

    • Paul Thurrott

      What a weird and unfair criticism. Unless you mean the commenters, lol, then yes. I think of this website as being clear-headed and fair when it comes to assessing what Microsoft does. And not some extreme of cheerleading on one side and blind disgust or even rage on the other. But I guess I would think that.
  8. spewak

    I had the feature in an earlier build on my main computer but had to roll the OS back due to some program loading issues.

    On my other computer, it is enabled and I rather fancy it.

  9. nbplopes

    Another feature for the do more slow people that will soon be moved out of place if not removed. MS suffers from the fact that it does not have a smartphone OS. People today consume these flash news from their smartphones.

    Wasn’t the so called tiles the place? I guess its moving out of fashion gradually. Soon we’ll be back to Windows Vista/7, just a different theme.

  10. mike2k

    The problem investing in any new “feature” MS puts out there, is the fact they’ll kill it off if you love it and leave you no way to disable it if it’s trash. Lose lose

  11. Username

    > “many” have asked for this feature.

    who asked for this? Honestly, was it some intern’s project?


    I use Newsflow to pin RSS feeds as live tiles to my start menu, making it incredibly useful.

    If they enable that new Windows feature to present the RSS feeds from the news sites of my choice then it would be used and if they decide what is news and force media thereby then I would likely disable it and just stick with the Newsflow app from the app store.

  13. justme

    This has to be about ads and gathering telemetry metrics - i.e. developing or enhancing profiles of users based on what "news and interests" they watch or have. If I had to guess, even when disabled, there will be a service running in the background collecting that data.

    No, I'm not cynical at all.

    Understand you can hide it. Hoping there will be a way via Group Policy to avoid it completely.

    EDIT: Per Neowin, there will be Group Policy control available:

    "Microsoft will also allow organizations to control the News and Interest feature. Organization admins can open Group Policy and navigate to "Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > News and interests > Enable news and interests on the taskbar" in order to enable or disable the News and Interest widget."

    Original article:

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to JustMe:

      Organization admins can open Group Policy and . . .

      MSFT knows better than to annoy its most important customers with worthless new features.

      MSFT only inflicts this stuff on the hoi poloi who buy one Windows license at a time.

  14. tfinch

    Glad it can be hidden (and hopefully disabled) for the sake of the comments section, but this is something I'll probably use every day. Looking forward to trying it out.

  15. codymesh

    eh, I guess if Google can put a feed on basically every phone then this gets a pass too. IMO, we really should thank dormant antitrust action for this.

    Even though this is small, despite all the recent improvements in removing inbox apps, this will make people feel like Microsoft is yo-yo-ing the amount of bloat in windows

  16. bettyblue

    When will the learn? They finally get rid of the 3D stuff no one used, and half a dozen built in apps that no one ever used since the launch of Windows 10 only to add this?

    Also please stop updating Edge so much. I feel like I am getting twice a week updates and stuff is starting to break. FireFox I might be coming back.

    • codymesh

      In reply to bettyblue:

      Edge's update schedule follows the chromium project

      • bettyblue

        In reply to codymesh:

        I get it but recently, say the last 8 weeks its kind of crazy. Plus they have made some changes for change sake, like the download pop out at the top right, history was totally changed and we have had some page rendering issues of late. A few days ago I could not download a needed update from VMware because the drop down would not render properly. I had to open the page in Safari on my Mac, which tradtionally is the issue. Had the same issue on Windows and FireFox worked.

  17. cnc123

    I think they're moving informational live tiles here as the kill them on the Start menu.

  18. hrlngrv

    I just activated it to see what it provides. I clicked through all its news/interests providers until it wrapped back to the beginning, and it doesn't show my own top news sites. [I don't give a rat's ass about interests.] No Economist, no Los Angeles Times (indeed, no West Coast newspaper, not even the Seattle Post-Intelligencer), no Reuters, no AP, no UPI.

    It does have Politico, The Hill, Washington Post, New York Times, The Week, and US News & World Report, so there is something, just not my preferred sources.

    IOW, I consider this rubbish because I can't ENTER my own sources, I can only use what MSFT provides (which appears to be SQUAT ALL for outside the US, quelle surpise!), so my speculation that MSFT gets paid to be included as a source seems more likely.

    ADDED: if I go into Edge, there are more sources, including LA Times, Reuters, AP and some other West Coast papers. Also some UK papers, but not the Economist. And customization appears limited to opting out rather than opting in.

  19. j5

    Is this supposed to compete with Mac's Big Sur widgets? They also pop out on the right side of the screen.

  20. kjb434

    I just means there are more tiles i can eliminate from the start screen. At this point I don't really need the start screen.

  21. jupast

    Or, they could have done something with Live Tiles like letting us pin the ones we want to the desktop, now that might actually be useful. But then, this is a company that has a Sticky Notes app that does't allow you to pin those to the desktop, which makes total sense for 'sticky notes', or even minimize it to the sys tray.

    May as well write the article about this new feature being taken out of Windows in a year or two.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to jupast:

      I think something more like the sidebar in Vista and 7 would be better. The desktop is immediately covered once I start using the PC, so having them there would make them equally as useful as them being on Start. Still a click away, and since I’ve trained myself not to hit that button on the bottom right for years, I’d rather just leave them on Start.

      If you use the desktop as a launcher, I guess it’s different. For some reason, I never did that. I have nothing on the desktop. Not even Recycle Bin.

  22. hrlngrv

    I believe it can only be hidden, not disabled.

    I'd love to see the telemetry on the % of Insider build users who've hidden it.

    ADDED: terminology: right-click on the taskbar, click on the news entry in the popup menu, and the item is labeled Turn off, but I listed running processes and services before and after 'disabling'. No difference. Nothing running while News & Interests appears on the taskbar ceases running when it's 'disabled'. Maybe it just hooks into the Edge background process which always seems to be running whether Edge is open or not, whether one uses a different browser as the default browser.

  23. navarac

    Got it in 21H1, Hate it, Disabled it. MS News is the pits. News and Interests is neither newsworthy or interesting in the least, but pure rubbish and belongs with 3D Paint etc. In the Rubbish Bin..

  24. glenn8878

    News is already in the Edge browser. There's multiple ways to get news. It's not like there's a lack of news except you can't get conservative news anymore due to bans (okay, I said it).

    • drew neilson

      In reply to glenn8878:

      There shouldn't be conservative news nor liberal news nor centrist news. There should simply be news, with facts. People shouldn't confuse news with opinion-editorial (op-ed). They also shouldn't put themselves into filter bubbles, where they only hear opinion-editorial from people whom they agree with.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to Drew Neilson:

        Reporters, biographers, and documentarians all have agendas now. I don’t know if it’s coming from the journalism schools or growing naturally, but few seem to able to just tell the story as it happened.

        I remember more than a decade ago when print reporter Johnny Apple passed, the esteemed David Broder said Apple was one of the few journalists he knew who just wanted tell people what happened, not why it happened. Broder laughed as if this was old fashioned.

        as a former nature documentary lover I’m amazed at how many ‘nature’ documentaries are now more about the cameraman or ‘scientist’ than the environment they’re filming,, as well as how many now have staged scenes or different events spliced together to convey the agenda. The documentaries often have disclaimers at the end of the show saying some muddled thing.

      • glenn8878

        In reply to Drew Neilson:

        All the current mainstream news is not unbiased. It's a bubble. There's no unbiased news today.

  25. will

    Maybe they could bring back Active Desktop, or the personalized Today view in Outlook.

    I think having a way to see my day at a glance, with weather and tasks/calendar would be better IMO. This is ok but it can become a time suck as well. Edge does all this now when you open the browser.

  26. mebby

    I see this will be turned "on" for default Win10 installations per "...will sit on the Windows 10 taskbar by default, though users can disable it if desired." I guess they need to turn it on otherwise most people will never use it. Because they don't know it exists. Most of the people I know that use Windows will never use a feature that you have to turn on.

    For my part I am looking forward to trying this out.

  27. bart

    I would much rather see a more interactive desktop. It's a wasteland at the moment. Opening up the desktop and seeing my news and interests immediately would make more sense to me.

  28. sherlockholmes

    They never learn. Sad.

  29. psi

    I'm sure we won't end up with Ads in the feed.... That's not what this is about is it...

  30. bluvg

    Windows Sidebar reborn

  31. ames

    So this is 21H1 and going forward?

  32. jmeiii75

    I was almost expecting to see "...for some reason" in the headline. I always appreciate that.

  33. reesecupsftw

    I kind of like this feature. The weather function is useful. I think I would love it if I could customize it like an RSS feed.

  34. JimP

    Is there a way to turn this on manually?

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