3 min read

Annoying Microsoft "Feature" after 21H1 Update

Much to my chagrin, after installing the latest Microsoft Windows 10 Feature update, when my computer came back up I was surprised and frustrated by this stupid taskbar widget showing the weather in my locale.
Annoying Microsoft "Feature" after 21H1 Update

So today I had to do my typical thing of restarting my computer several times because Microsoft pushed out updates to the .NET framework that caused my workstation to act wonky.... and because it is so rock-solid except for when Microsoft has an update pending... I knew it was time for me to do the whole process.

But, when my computer came back up (very quickly I might add... never going back to working on a laptop after a quad core HT Xeon workstation!) I was surprised and frustrated by this stupid thing here:

News and Interests on Windows Taskbar

In case this isn't obvious what I am referencing, here's the part zoomed in:


Much to my chagrin, I had a difficult thing trying to figure out how to get rid of this stupid taskbar which obviously is just a lame excuse for Microsoft to serve me content and force me to use goddamn Edge even though my Windows Settings have Chrome as the default browser and I am completely uninterested in weather or news updates on my workstation as I can get easily distracted by an insane amount of other stupid things instead of working.

The solution isn't inside the taskbar or personalization settings where I thought it would be and I spent like ten minutes trying to figure it out before firing up trusty Google only to find that you have to turn it off by selecting an option from the settings menu of the stupid widget itself:

Disable News and Interests taskbar widget

I really wish that Microsoft would stop obtrusively trying to force Edge on users that already have a stated preference for Chrome. It basically is just as blatant as the anti-competitive stuff they got nailed for back in the 90s with Internet Explorer for the sake of killing Netscape only it doesn't seem to be complained about with any vigor or alacrity. I'm one of the few techbros that prefers Windows/PC for my work as opposed to the ubiquitous Apple Macbook Pro (because they are honestly even worse... don't get me started on how bad the Apple ecosystem is for anyone who isn't a developer/creative) when ironically I was so jacked about my last-gen Powerbook G4 with the Motorola 7447 which made it completely impossible to actually coexist with any Windows applications.

I used to be such an Apple fanboi, but they jumped the shark so high and so far by locking down the internals of OSX and intentionally convoluting the repair process of their hardware for the sake of planned obsolescence. If you told me I would be happily running Windows 15y ago, I would have laughed you out of the room... but the very things that made OSX so desirable and intuitive have come to Windows - even though the constant updates are a real pain in the ass and cause systems instability. Ultimately, uptime is not the goal for a workstation, and ensuring that everything is patched and secure is absolutely essential with the threat landscape of today... but don't go taking a good thing and screwing it up by forcing unwanted and honestly bloaty and goddamn useless 'features' without my consent and say-so.