Windows 11 Insider: Supports Third-party Widgets & Teams Video Feature

Microsoft is cruising out support for third-party widget development and new video calling processes for Chat from Microsoft Teams in its latest developer build of Windows 11.

The new elements in Preview Build 25217 are available for folks enrolled in the Windows Insider program.

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. Still, they can later appear in the Microsoft Store for the shipping version of their apps once the structure is formally released to the public.

Microsoft says that Widgets can only be assembled for packaged Win32 apps at this time, but support for Progressive Web App (PWA) Widgets is designed as part of Microsoft Edge 108.

The Insider preview also includes a sneak peek (for a restricted group of Insiders) at 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 catch a preview of your video feed, permitting you to fix your appearance or spot any background issues before starting a call.

Microsoft hopes to drive this experience more broadly available in the coming months, but a ‘small subset of users will already have access to the feature as part of a sneak preview release. In addition, you can launch Chat from your Windows 11 taskbar to check if you’re one of the lucky few selected.

Microsoft Store updates show new prospects to purchase a game or play on Game Pass. In addition, fun in the Microsoft Store will show if they’re already available to play on Game Pass, which should help avoid expending unnecessary cash.

The Insider Preview Build 25217 also contains a few other feature updates, including improved cloud recommendations and integrated search suggestions for Simplified Chinese, and some design changes to the Microsoft Store.

Now, the store clarifies if a game is included as part of a Game Pass to spare you from accidentally purchasing a game you may have free access to. The Game Pass library is also getting a performance boost and some more simplified options.

It’ll be a while until these updates make it onto the public Windows 11 build, but if you’re especially keen to try them out, you can sign up for the Windows Insider Program and download the latest developer builds as they release.