We have our first Windows Insider build of 2021! Microsoft have just released 21286 for Windows Insiders on the dev channel and it has a new feature. Introduced in build 21286 is a news and interest section on the taskbar. The bar is a feed of news and weather not unlike the feed on the original Windows 10 start menu crossed with live tiles. You can personalize the bar with your selection of feeds and it is activated by hovering over the new section in the taskbar.
The new feature is available for Windows Insiders in United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and India and as ever Microsoft are phasing the rollout of the feature so you may not get it straightaway.
UPDATE: Here is my hands on video:
There are also some other interesting changes to the build.
New in the build is the ability to create and manage storage spaces in the settings app:
Other new feature is an option that allows you to run any specified Linux command on startup of a WSL distribution and improvements when changing time zones:
Based on feedback, we’re making a couple small adjustments for users of “Set time zone automatically” in Date & Time Settings:
When your time zone is updated because of a high confidence detected location change, we’ll now send a notification letting you know about it. The notification will include information about the new time zone and clicking it will open the Date & Time Settings.
If we detect a low confidence location change and there is a single administrator on the device, we will now send a notification asking if you would like to update your time zone – clicking the OK button in the prompt will make the change.
Here are the other changes, fixes and known issues with build 21286:
Changes and Improvements
Based on feedback, (GitHub issue #1495) we’re adding an option to disable automatic controller-to-virtual-key mapping for UWP apps. If you have a need to do this, add the following registry key, with a DWORD value of Enabled set to 0: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Input\Settings\ControllerProcessor\ControllerToVKMapping.
We fixed and issue causing some Insiders to see a popup that says “Your PC ran into a problem and restart in 1 min” after logging in to Windows with either an Azure Active Directory or Active Directory account on Build 21277.
We fixed an issue where no drives appeared under Settings > System > Storage > Manage Disks and Volumes.
We fixed an issue resulting in some printers getting stuck on connecting when added from Settings.
We fixed an issue that could result in sometimes unexpectedly being signed out of apps and websites after rebooting your PC.
We fixed an issue where the Windows Security icon would sometimes be unexpectedly large in the context menu when shift-right-clicking taskbar icons.
We fixed an issue that could result in MediaTranscoder hanging when transcoding certain files.
We fixed an issue where audio playing from UWP apps wasn’t ducking after pressing the microphone icon to start Cortana listening.
We fixed an issue that could result in VPN entries in the network flyout getting stuck at Action Needed until you pressed Cancel and Connect again.
We fixed an issue impacting touch targeting when resizing windows using touch.
We’ve made some fixes to our emoji keyword search results based on feedback, including adding a new keyword so that typing “lgbtq” will now return the rainbow flag emoji. Please continue sharing feedback with us in the Feedback Hub under Input and Language > Emoji Panel.
We fixed an issue that could result in the Read Aloud options in Magnifier being unexpectedly greyed out.
We fixed an issue where the “Help make Narrator better” toggle in Narrator Settings was disabled for Insiders.
We fixed an issue so that Narrator will now read Excel cell contents when verbosity is set to 2.
We fixed an issue where Narrator might not announce whether a combo box was in expanded or collapsed state.
We fixed an issue impacting Narrator’s ability to read the names of certain hyperlinks on websites in Microsoft Edge.
We fixed an issue impacting Narrator’s ability to read code windows in Visual Studio.
We fixed an issue for high contrast users that could result in Settings crashing when going to Ease of Access.
We’re working on a fix for an issue Insiders have reported where certain games like State of Decay 2, or Assassin’s Creed, may hang or crash when launching.
We’re investigating an issue where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War may not launch starting with this build. If you play these games, you may wish to pause updates until the issue is resolved.
You may experience some rendering / graphic issues after resizing certain app windows. If you minimize all your app windows and open them again it should resolve the issue (Press the Windows key plus D twice).
We’re investigating an issue where some 32-bit systems may lose network connection after taking this build. If you are running a 32-bit version of Windows, you may wish to pause updates until the issue is resolved.
When Xbox Game Bar is launched from Start or via the Windows key + G when using a text editor, the computer may appear unresponsive. If you encounter this, dismiss the Xbox Game Bar with WIN + G and end the GameBar.exe process from Task Manager.
Miracast users may experience very low frame rates in this build.
We’re investigating reports that starting with Build 21277 where explorer.exe / the Windows shell is hanging and or crashing.
We’re looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
Aero Shake is disabled in this build. To enable it, you will need to go here in Registry Editor and create a new DWORD entry named DisallowShaking with a value of 0: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Live previews for pinned sites aren’t enabled for all Insiders yet, so you may see a grey window when hovering over the thumbnail in the taskbar. We’re continuing to work on polishing this experience.
We’re working on enabling the new taskbar experience for existing pinned sites. In the meantime, you can unpin the site from the taskbar, remove it from the edge://apps page, and then re-pin the site.
[News and interests] Sometimes the news and interests flyout may show as offline even when the user is online.
[News and interests] Users cannot navigate into the news and interests flyout using keyboard.
[News and interests] In some scenarios, the news and interests flyout may appear empty with no content.
[News and interests] Sometimes the news and interests flyout cannot be dismissed with touch and pen.
[News and interests] News and interests uses more taskbar space on the left than expected.