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The Windows 11 Start menu is getting a big update with a dedicated widget panel

Start menu companions in Windows 11

The recently released Windows 11 Canary build 26212 quietly introduced support for so-called "Start Menu Companions"—widget-like apps for the Start menu to show up next to your pins or the All apps list to display glanceable information, such as weather, stocks, etc.

Microsoft has not mentioned Start Menu Companions in the official release notes for build 26212. They were discovered by Albacore (@thebookisclosed on X), and here is a sneak peek of what may soon be available for testing in the Windows Insider Program:

There is not much information about the new Start Menu Companions, considering the feature has not been announced by Microsoft yet. Still, Albacore shared more details about the thing:

Start Menu Companions look and feel like the resurrection of live tiles, which Microsoft killed in late 2021 when announcing Windows 11 and its, let's be honest, lackluster Start menu.

It will be interesting to see if developers will pick the idea up. Meanwhile, we have to wait for Microsoft to announce all the details and let users test Start Menu Companions first.

What do you think about Start Menu Companions in Windows 11?

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