From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Microsoft Gadgets are light-weight single-purpose
applications that can sit on the user's computer desktop, or
hosted on a web page. According to Microsoft, it will be
possible for the different types of gadgets to run on different
environments. Web gadgets can also be run on the Windows sidebar
and Windows desktop. and, Sidebar Gadgets are easily ported to
be compatible with Sideshow secondary display applications.
Types of Microsoft's gadgets
- Web gadgets - run on a web site, such as Live.com
- Sidebar gadgets - run on the desktop or be docked
onto, run on the Windows Sidebar.
- SideShow gadgets - run on auxiliary external
displays, such as on the outside of a laptop or even on an
LCD panel in a keyboard, and potentially
mobile phones and other devices.
Web Gadgets and Live.com
Web Gadgets run on Web sites such as
Windows Live Spaces
Live.com lets users add RSS feeds in order to view news at a
glance. Building off Microsoft's start.com experimental page,
Live.com can be customized with Web Gadgets, mini-applications
that can serve almost any purpose (e.g. mail readers, weather
reports, slide shows, search, games, etc.). Some gadgets
integrate with other Windows Live services, including Mail,
Search, and Favorites.
Users can create multiple site tabs and customize each with
different feeds, gadgets, layouts, and color schemes.
Desktop Gadgets and Windows Sidebar
Desktop gadgets is
desktop widgets; small specialized applications that are
designed to do simple tasks, such as clocks, calendars, RSS
notifiers or search tools. They can run on the desktop and on
The Windows Sidebar is a panel found in either the
right side (default) or the left side of the Windows desktop. It
is integrated with the
Windows Vista operating system, the latest version of
The Sidebar is a widget engine for Desktop Gadgets,
mini-applications which can be used to simultaneously display
different information such as the system
Internet-powered features such as
RSS feeds, and to control external
applications such as
Windows Media Player. Desktop Gadgets can run on the Windows
desktop and on the Windows sidebar.
Device Gadgets and Windows Sideshow
SideShow gadgets is Microsoft's implementation of
Widgets which run on auxiliary external displays, such as on
the outside of a laptop or even on an LCD panel in a keyboard,
mobile phones and other devices.
Windows SideShow is a new technology that lets Windows Vista
drive auxiliary, small displays of various form-factors where
ready-access to bite-size bits of information could be imagined.
These include displays embedded on the outside of a laptop lid
or on a detachable device, enabling access to information and
media even when the main system is in a standby mode. Data can
also be displayed on cell phones and other network-connected
devices via Bluetooth and other connectivity options.
The display can be updated with a number of different kinds
of information, such as contacts, maps, calendar, and email.
This can then be consulted while the mobile PC is otherwise
powered down. Since the underlying platform is so
power-efficient, it can run for hundreds of hours without
draining a notebook battery, while still providing always-on
access to data and multimedia content.
Sideshow is coupled to the Windows Vista Sidebar capability –
that is, Sidebar Gadgets are easily ported to be compatible with
Sideshow secondary display applications. However, hardware and
silicon providers can also provide native capabilities to allow
for richer multimedia applications such as text, image, audio
and video decode / playback. For example, a notebook with an
in-lid display could be used as an mp3 player while powered
down, with the notebook battery providing hundreds of hours of
playback time because of the low power footprint that the
Sideshow platform maintains.
Other Widget products
Other products in the desktop widget market include:
Google Gadgets as part of
Yahoo! Widget Engine (Formerly Konfabulator) widgets
Opera's Widget engine introduced with Opera 9
Samurize for Windows
Kapsules for Windows
AveDesk for Windows
Desktop Sidebar for Windows
Microsoft gadgets website
Windows Vista sideshow devices website
Sidebar gadget forum on
Microsoft Developer Network forums
Gadgets gallery at
Windows Vista |
Microsoft software |