Microsoft is working on widgets for Windows 10 which are supported through its Chromium-based Edge browser, according to a report from WindowsLatest.
The company is currently testing a combined news and weather widget which can be pinned to the desktop.
The information presented in the widget is provided by Microsoft Bing through the Edge browser. However, the widget will keep running with the application closed.
The widget provides a feed of news stories and weather information relevant to the user’s interests and/or location, as well as real-time stock market prices.
Users also get a Bing search bar for quickly searching the web or loading a specific URL.
According to a screenshot provided by WindowsLatest, it appears that the widget can minimised, and a settings option is available which will likely mean further customisation is possible.
The report stated that it’s likely more widgets would be introduced later in 2021.
Microsoft Edge Community Manager Alexandra Rowell said that the feature is currently being tested with a limited number of users.
“The web widget is part of a Controlled Feature Roll-out (CFR) so only a subset of Insiders have it available at this time,” Rowell stated.
The image below from WindowsLatest shows what the news and weather widget looks like.
Taking cues from mobile
As with previous updates, Microsoft appears to be optimising the desktop experience by borrowing features that are popular on mobile operating systems.
Widgets have been a staple of the Android mobile OS since its inception in 2008, while Apple first added widgets as an option on the iPhone home screen with the launch of iOS 14.
Widgets provide a quick way to view information from an app on your home screen or adjacent pages without having to open the app itself.
This can be ideal for easily checking details contained in your calendar, reminders, alarms, weather, music, and notes apps, among others.
Windows 10 users can currently add widgets through a range of third-party applications and extensions such as the Widget Launcher and Win10 Widgets.