Remember Windows Vista? It was the first version of Microsoft’s
desktop operating system to support gadgets. The desktop
gadgets allowed users to browse e-commerce sites, check weather
forecasts, and get the latest news and reviews on their
Windows Vista’s sidebar gadgets feature has been discontinued,
but it appears that Microsoft hasn’t given up on the idea yet.
Microsoft is working on Chromium Edge-powered web widgets for
Windows 10 and it will initially bring the latest news to your
desktop while also offering you a quick way to check the
weather forecast without opening a browser.
Edge’s web widget is based on Chromium WebView and it can float
over your desktop and other apps, as shown in the screenshot
The web widget looks like a little button that appears at the
right-hand side of the desktop and running apps. If you click
on the floating icon, a small Edge-powered window will open
with a Bing search bar, weather forecast, top headlines, and
The best part? It works even when Microsoft Edge is not
actively running in the background.
It’s entirely powered by MSN and Bing News, which means you can
get personalized news suggestions by configuring the MSN feed
linked to your Microsoft account.
The idea is that this web widget will deliver a selection of
headlines, weather, and finance to save you from needing to
pull that information up. Widget is a concept that Android
users will be familiar with as Google’s operating system employ
a similar feature for the home screen.
If you like a news story, you can click on it to open that
webpage in Microsoft Edge. You can also react to the news and
click the ‘…’ button to get “more stories like this” or “fewer
stories like this.”
If you don’t like the whole idea of web widgets then you don’t
have to worry as the feature is completely optional and it will
work only when you launch it via Edge’s menu.
Microsoft is also planning to push the news feed idea via
Windows 10’s taskbar “news and interests” feature, which is
arriving later this year.