Hot off the heels of relaunching its Office 365 suite into Microsoft 365 – replete with the addition of several new AI tools – Microsoft has additionally added a new feature to Windows 10 with the presence of a scrolling news bar that will deliver news directly to one’s desktop from a curated collection of more than 4500 curated titles.
The feature, which debuts as part of Microsoft’s (similarly) rebranded News team (formerly MSN) will deliver news content in a scrollable ticker format which will additionally benefit from up-to-date stock prices. The bar, which is user-configurable, can be set to show once in an interval – such as two or eight hours – and can further be disabled. However, users will be unable to manually filter their news feeds, and will instead have to rely on regional coverage – giving Microsoft a greater choice in selecting its news sources.
The app, which is available now as a beta, is open to testing in US markets – and Microsoft hasn’t yet announced whether it plans to expand the feature into other territories around the world, though a wider release could be likely thanks to piggybacking off MSN’s existing news infrastructure.
The development is an interesting one, and also marks the firm’s continued wind-down of Cortana – its digital assistant that it planned to tackle the likes of Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri. While Cortana enjoyed a huge user base aboard Windows 10 devices, the digital assistant never truly took off. Despite multiple leases on life across the Xbox, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 itself, Microsoft chose to gradually sunset its assistant in favour of more popular choices from Google and Amazon – leaving itself without a means to deliver news to home screens.
What are your thoughts? Would you actively use Windows 10’s News bar, or would you leave it disabled? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!