Microsoft’s Windows 10 system tray update, which adds a customizable “Messages and Interests” widget, is finally on its way to regular users.
The widget, which opens a series of tiles with personalized news, weather, traffic, stocks, and sports information, was first unveiled in January as part of the Windows 10 Insider Program. It will be rolled out to Windows 10 “in the next few weeks” Windows Blog.
While previous versions of Windows cluttered the Start menu with various news and weather tiles, which could also be personalized if you agreed to share certain personal information, messages and interests are more subtly hidden in the form of a weather icon on the right side of the Windows 10 Taskbar. If you click on this icon, an expanded window with all the tiles will be opened.
These tiles contain news from across MSN, including sources like USA Today, Quartz, Business Insider, Politico, and NBC Sports. Clicking on a story opens a “streamlined reading experience” instead of opening the story in a full browser window. However, you must have the Microsoft Edge browser installed for the feature to work.
At the center of news and interests is the ability to tweak your content settings so that you only get stories and updates on topics that interest you. For example, you can filter out sports or stock content, or pick specific topics that you want to read more about.
You can even personalize the above weather icon and choose whether to display it with or without additional text detailing the current conditions in your area. Hovering the mouse pointer over the icon also gives you additional weather information without opening the entire News and Interests window.
While some users may prefer not to share their personal information with Microsoft anymore, this taskbar update seems like a handy little upgrade over the much bigger one Windows 10 Sun Valley Update for later this year. Hopefully Microsoft has found a way to reduce this RAM usage of News and Interestthat supposedly could use up to 150MB of memory.