By Dervish / Last update December 29, 2021

Microsoft will restore its weather widget on the Windows 11 taskbar. This feature was first unveiled in Windows 10, providing real-time weather conditions and quick access to a wider range of widgets and news sources. However, Windows 11 canceled the integration of this taskbar and instead used a separate small tool panel.

"We are trying to display the Widgets entry point on the left side of your taskbar and provide real-time weather content," explained Amanda Langowski, head of Windows Insider at Microsoft. "You can also open the Widgets panel by simply hovering over the entry point."

By default, the weather widget will be displayed on the left side of the taskbar. If your Windows 11 taskbar is aligned to the left, it will be presented as an additional icon. This latest taskbar change can be found in the version brought by the Windows 11 Dev channel. Previously, testers could display the time and date on multiple monitors. These two changes are expected to be introduced in the Windows 11 update in 2022. 

In addition to changes to the taskbar, Microsoft also announced a new voice access feature for Windows 11. "Voice access is a new experience that allows everyone, including people with mobility impairments, to use their voice to control their computer and write text," Langowski said.

Voice access will support activities such as opening applications, switching between them, and browsing the web or reading and writing emails. Once enabled, you can use commands such as "Open Word" to open Microsoft Word processing applications, and you can even say "click" to simulate mouse operation to select items.

Voice access seems to be a combination of Microsoft's various voice recognition tools in Windows for many years. It is unclear when Voice Access will be available to all Windows 11 users. Microsoft said the new features will appear in future annual Windows versions or as part of a monthly service version.