Microsoft’s latest developer build of Windows 11 includes support for third-party widget development as well as new video calling functions for Chat from Microsoft Teams. The new features in Preview Build 25217 are available to Windows Insider program participants.
Developers can now create and test widgets for inclusion in the Windows 11 widgets panel.
For the time being, new third-party widgets can only be tested locally on the most recent Insider Preview build, but they will be available in the Microsoft Store for the shipping version of their apps once the build is formally released to the public.
Widgets can currently only be created for packaged Win32 apps, according to Microsoft, but support for Progressive Web App (PWA) Widgets is planned for Microsoft Edge 108.
The Insider preview also includes (for a select group of Insiders) a sneak peek at a new video calling experience for Chat from Microsoft Teams on Windows 11.
When you launch Chat from the taskbar, you’ll see a preview of your own video feed, allowing you to adjust your appearance or identify any background issues before beginning a call.
Microsoft hopes to make this experience more widely available in the coming months, but a “small subset of users” will have access to it as part of a sneak preview release. You can check if you’re one of the lucky few selected by launching Chat from your Windows 11 taskbar.
Other feature updates in Insider Preview Build 25217 include improved cloud suggestions and integrated search suggestions for Simplified Chinese, as well as some design changes to the Microsoft Store.
To avoid accidentally purchasing a game that you may have free access to, the store now makes it clear if a game is included as part of Game Pass. The Game Pass library will also benefit from improved performance and streamlined options.