We reported recently that Microsoft’s
Sun Valley Update for Windows 10 will also include
productivity and multitasking features in addition to cosmetic
changes. Now there’s a bit more to add to the story. According
to a new report, Microsoft is internally testing a new widgets
feature for the OS.
Microsoft seems to be working on a new feature that would be
similar to Windows 8 Charms Bar and Active desktops. The
feature is currently called “Windows widgets” and it will be
introduced later this year or next year. If the Windows Widgets
feature is coming this year, it will be bundled with the Sun
Details are scarce and it’s unclear how exactly this would
work, but apparently, the feature will slide out from the left
side of the screen with a swipe gesture, the same way as
Windows 8’s Charms Bar.
For those unaware, the Windows 8 Charms bar of the Charms menu
allowed users to access Search, Settings, and other portals
from anywhere. The Charms menu feature was not well received by
PC users since Windows 8’s release in late 2012 and Microsoft
ditched it with Windows 10 in 2015.
The Charms bar was removed from all Windows 10 devices; both
traditional desktops, and tablets as well. However, that
doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft has given up on the
idea. The latest leak suggests that a similar feature will be
added to Windows 10.
In other words, you could soon be seeing a Charms-like menu
when you swipe from the left side of the screen where you’d
find buttons like search or pinned apps. This should make
multitasking and access both easier, and less jarring.
In fact, it’s also possible
that Windows Widgets will be based on the concept of active
desktops, a feature that allowed users to integrate HTML
features and elements similar to widgets, such as the latest
news, financial information, and wallpapers including GIFs.
It’s unclear whether “Windows widgets” will be tailored towards
beginners or advanced users.
Keep in mind that Microsoft may or may not ever ship these
features, and our interpretation of what they are may be
Other multitasking, tablet mode improvements planned for
According to reports, Microsoft may also add other multitasking
and gestures to the next iteration of Windows.
For example, in one of the documents, we discovered that
Microsoft is considering a new gestures layer to improve the
tablet experience on Windows 10. In addition, Microsoft is also
working on new tablet mode features and an improved
touch keyboard with colourful themes support.