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TechnologyMicrosoft experiments with customizable widgets on Windows 11 home screen

Microsoft experiments with customizable widgets on Windows 11 home screen


Microsoft Experimenting with New Customizable Widgets on Windows 11 Home Screen

In the latest Windows 11 test build, Microsoft appears to be exploring floating panels that could provide widgets and apps on the home screen. Spotted by an insider, these experimental “Start Menu Companions” are similar to the adaptive cards seen on other platforms, showing up as movable islands on the left or right side of the Windows 11 home menu.

According to insights, the widgets – which can currently be toggled on or off in settings – may display customizable information directly on the start screen. Users will reportedly get to pick from a list of pre-installed companions in personalization options. Microsoft seems to take inspiration from the live tile interfaces of earlier systems, which updated information in animated panes.

The potential widgets could work similarly to how notifications already function in Windows 11. However, it remains to be seen if advertisements will end up as some have criticized Microsoft for introducing ads to the startup location. Separately, the company also seems focused on integrating question-answering capabilities through its Copilot assistance if users run into dead-ends while searching settings.

While still in testing, this new concept shows Microsoft's continuing efforts to enrich the Windows 11 experience. Whether the widgets become a concrete addition or see more refinement, they highlight how operating systems evolve by bringing elements of other platforms together in novel ways. Only time will tell how users respond to this promising possibility of making the start screen even more lively and helpful.

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