Windows 11 is testing third-party widgets and new Teams calling feature

Microsoft is rolling out support for third-party widget development and new video calling features for Microsoft Teams Chat in the latest developer release of Windows 11. The new features in Example Build 25217 are available to people who are enrolled in the Windows Insider Program.

Now developers can create and test widgets that can be added to the Windows 11 widgets panel. New third-party widgets can only be tested locally on the latest Insider Preview build for now, but may later appear in the Microsoft Store for the shipping version of their apps once the build is formally released to the public. Microsoft says Widgets can only be created for packaged Win32 apps at this time, but support for Progressive Web App (PWA) Widgets is planned as part of Microsoft Edge 108.

Third-party widgets finally appear in the Microsoft Store after Insider testing

The Insider preview also includes a preview (for a limited group of Insiders) of a new video calling experience for Chat from Microsoft Teams on Windows 11. When you open Chat from the taskbar, you’ll soon be able to preview your own video feed so you can improve appearance or detect background issues before starting a conversation. Microsoft hopes to make this experience more widely available in the coming months, but a “small subset of users” will already be able to access the feature as part of a sneak preview release. You can launch Chat itself from your Windows 11 taskbar to check if you are one of the lucky ones selected.

Microsoft Store updates with new options to buy a game or play on Game Pass.

Games in the Microsoft Store will show if they are already available to play on Game Pass, which should prevent you from spending money unnecessarily.
Image: Microsoft

The Insider Preview Build 25217 also includes some other feature updates, including improved cloud suggestions and integrated search suggestions for Simplified Chinese, and some design changes in the Microsoft Store. Now the store is making it clearer if a game is included as part of Game Pass to avoid accidentally buying a game that you may have access to for free. The Game Pass library also gets a performance boost and some more simplified options.

It will take a while for these updates to reach the public Windows 11 build, but if you especially want to try them out, you can sign up for the Windows Insider Program and download the latest developer builds as they are released.

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