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  1. Architecture of Windows NT
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  5. Calibri
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  15. Dashboard
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  57. Security and safety features of Windows Vista
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  94. Windows System Assessment Tool
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  99. Windows Vista editions and pricing
  100. Windows Vista Startup Process
  101. Windows Workflow Foundation
  102. Windows XP
  103. Windows XP Media Center Edition
  104. XML Paper Specification
  105. Yahoo Widget Engine

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Windows Sidebar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Windows Sidebar logo
An example group of Gadgets, each attached to the sidebar
An example group of Gadgets, each attached to the sidebar
Add Gadgets window
Add Gadgets window

The Windows Sidebar is a panel for Desktop Gadgets that is anchored to the side of the Windows Vista desktop.


The Sidebar contains mini-applications or Gadgets which may be used to display information such as the system time, Internet-powered features such as RSS feeds, and to control external applications such as Windows Media Player. Desktop Gadgets can also run on the Windows desktop, separate from the Sidebar.

Windows Vista includes eleven Sidebar gadgets: Calendar, Clock, Contacts, CPU Meter, Currency conversion, RSS Feed Headlines, Notes, Picture Puzzle, Slide Show, Stocks, and Weather. Of these, the Clock, Slide Show and Feed Headlines are displayed by default on a new installation of Windows Vista. Microsoft provides a link to a web site called Windows Live Gallery where additional Sidebar gadgets may be downloaded.

Some reviewers and Macintosh enthusiasts have been quick to point out the Sidebar's similarities in form and function to Apple's Dashboard, as well as Yahoo! Widget Engine (formerly Konfabulator). While there are a number of similarities in form and function, the Sidebar itself has been present for much of the development of Windows Vista (known for much of that time as "Longhorn"). The first known build to include this feature was built in September 2002, before the release of either Konfabulator or Dashboard.

Sidebar itself originated in a Microsoft Research project called Sideshow, which was developed in the summer of 2000, and was used internally at Microsoft. It had many similarities to current desktop gadget software, including a clock, traffic reports, and IM integration.

Interestingly, Sidebar was originally designed to replace the notifcation area or Quick Launch bar in Windows, but these plans were scrapped after the Longhorn "reset" in mid-2004.


External links

  • Microsoft Gadgets Gallery (New repository)
  • Microsoft Gadgets
  • Microsoft's Windows Vista page about the Windows Sidebar
  • Gadget Corner official Windows Sidebar and Microsoft Gadgets team blog
  • MSDN Windows Sidebar Reference
  • Sideshow: Providing Peripheral Awareness of Important Information

See also

  • Microsoft Gadgets
  • Windows SideShow for Device Gadgets.
  • for Web Gadgets
  • Google Desktop Sidebar
  • Dashboard
  • List of Windows Vista topics
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