Windows 10’s news and weather feed on taskbar is a mess

Windows 10 News and Interests issue

Earlier this year, Microsoft started testing a new feature on
the taskbar called “News and Interests”. It is basically a
widget based on Microsoft’s MSN and users can glance at the
feed on their taskbar to get personalized content based on
their web browsing activities. In addition to the personalized
news feed, you can also get weather and traffic updates.

Windows 10’s News and Interests feed is similar to Google
Discover and it’s not a bad concept for those who want news and
updates on their taskbar, but it needs serious refinements to
be useful.

With
June 2021 update, Microsoft is rolling out the new feature
to all consumers over the world. Based on the reports we’ve
seen, it appears to be a wider rollout and it is enabled when
users install the latest mandatory security update. Once
installed, a new weather icon will appear on your taskbar.

Windows 10 News and Interests

The weather icon is blurry, localization issues

If you hover over the weather icon pinned to the taskbar,
you’ll see the latest news, traffic and weather updates.

However, Microsoft’s News and Interests feed is far from
perfect and it’s plagued with numerous quality issues. For
instance, some users claim there’s an issue with the News and
Interests feed where the weather widget icon is blurry.

News and Interests blurry

“The new feature is cool, but for some reason, only the text is
very blurry on 100 percent scaling, but on 150% it’s fine along
with 175% & 200%. The issue does not appear on my laptop with
125% scaling,” a user explained the problem in a post on
Feedback.

Similarly, some people said that the text on the taskbar button
will look pixelated on high-resolution screens when the feature
is enabled or disabled. I was able to reproduce this bug on my
device running Windows 10 version 21H1.

News and Interests feed bug

News and Interests feed has other issues too.

Some users flagged localization issue where the feed will show
news headlines from different countries in an incorrect foreign
language.

“I’m in Finland and when I change the language, it changes to
English but after a while, it reverts back to Finnish. My
device is in English US, the region from Windows settings is
the United States and no Finnish language pack nor keyboard
layout is installed,” a user explained the problem.

Stale weather information in News and Interests

The default view of the weather widget seems to base its
information on both your location setting and system setting.
However, we observed that the weather widget can show stale
information after login.

In my case, it showed me that the sky is mostly cloudy, but
that was not the case when I looked outside my window and
compared the stats with other weather apps.

The web view is buggy

Windows 10’s News and Interests feed is technically based on
the same feed that powers your Windows Search.

Unfortunately, the web view has its own share of issues. For
example, you can notice stutters while scrolling and the scroll
bar is white in dark mode. It does not behave like the scroll
bars in other windows apps where the scroll bar matches the
theme of the app.

The scrolling is not smooth and feels laggy in general, and
overall performance suffers another blow when you use your
laptop/notebook in the battery preserving modes.

There’s another where the feed stops working after sign in and
displays a blank window, which can be fixed by restarting
Windows Explorer.

Microsoft released the unpolished version of News and Interests

Microsoft is apparently aware of these issues and they fixed
the bug where the “content of taskbar button would look blurry”
and incorrect weather report in preview builds released earlier
this year.

For some reasons, it appears that the rollout was rushed and
the company decided to enable the unpolished version of News
and Interests for everyone without addressing the critical
bugs.

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