Microsoft is bringing its weather widget back to the Windows 11 system tray. It’s a feature that originally debuted in Windows 10, which has live weather conditions and quick access to the fuller widget and news feed. Windows 11 has removed this system tray integration in favor of a separate widgets panel.

“We’re trying to show the widgets entry point on the left side of your taskbar with live weather content.” explains Amanda Langowski, Microsoft’s Windows Insider Boss. “You can also open the widgets board by simply moving the mouse over the entry point.”

The weather widget is displayed as an icon in the left-aligned taskbar.
Image: Microsoft

The weather widget is displayed by default on the left side of the taskbar or as an additional icon if you have left-aligned your Windows 11 taskbar. This latest taskbar change, available on the Windows 11 Dev Channel, follows the opportunity for testers to View time and date on multiple monitors. Both changes are expected to be introduced in a Windows 11 update in 2022.

In addition to the changes in the taskbar, Microsoft is also announcing a new Voice Access function for Windows 11. “Voice access is a new experience that enables everyone, including people with limited mobility, to control their PC and write texts with their voice,” says Langowski.

Voice Access lets you control Windows with your voice.
Image: Microsoft

Voice Access supports opening apps, switching between them, and activities such as surfing the Internet or reading and composing emails. Once activated, you can use commands like “Open Word” to open Microsoft’s word processing app, or even say “click” to select items.

Voice Access appears to be a combination of Microsoft’s various speech recognition tools in Windows over the years. It’s not yet clear when Voice Access will be available to all Windows 11 users, and Microsoft says new features will appear in future annual Windows releases or as part of monthly maintenance releases.

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