In the future Windows 11 will offer users the ability to ditch the Microsoft News feed from the widgets panel.
Currently, the widgets panel – accessed via the taskbar in Windows 11 – contains a mix of widgets (as you might expect) alongside MSN news stories highlighted by Microsoft.
Windows Central reports that Microsoft has made the decision to give users the choice to drop said news feed. You’ll be able to choose from different layouts for the widgets panel, in fact, some of which will have the MSN news feed in them – and one will be widgets-only.
This is yet another step forward Microsoft has taken with Windows 11’s widgets board in recent times.
Notably, the software giant is currently experimenting with a larger widgets panel, one that’s an extra column wide (three instead of two), giving you plenty of real-estate to view your widget-related stuff. And that’ll be even truer when you can get rid of MSN, and have a large panel entirely dedicated to all your widgets – if you have a lot of them.
Widget fans will also be pleased at rumors – quite strong ones – Microsoft is going to allow them to be dragged onto and pinned to the desktop. Plus we’re also seeing some extra touches like animated icons for widgets coming in, and new widgets from the likes of major players like Facebook. Microsoft is driving hard with this area of the OS, for sure.
Analysis: On the right track
For us, this is another change to Windows 11 which isn’t that hard to implement, and just makes the OS better. More choice is always good, and Microsoft appears to have taken that message to heart with some of its most recent changes from the Build conference this week.
You’ll now be able to choose whether you want to see MSN news in the widgets panel (some regard it as unnecessary bloat, but if you don’t, you can still have those news headline highlights). You’ll also be able to choose whether you want to ‘never combine’ apps on the taskbar (finally). Those right there are two key choices – at least for us – that can tailor the OS to work the way you want.
Now, Microsoft, how about giving us a big old hefty, really important, choice: to turn off any prompts or help – the stuff like badging in the Windows 11 interface, or suggestions that pop up under the Ribbon when you’re using Office, prompts to take a tour of features (that seasoned users really don’t need), anything like that – in one fell swoop, system-wide. A no nag switch, if you will, that also ditches things like messaging to tell you to upgrade to the next incarnation of Windows. Quiet mode, we could call it…
That won’t happen, of course, but hey, we can always hope for something along those lines. Whatever the case, Microsoft is clearly heading in the right direction by giving users more options to turn off stuff they don’t want, or reinstate settings from Windows 10 that were sorely missed by some users. In short, keep up the good work, Microsoft, and give us more of this sort of thing – choice.