Microsoft Gadgets are lightweight single-purpose applications, or software widgets, that can sit on a Microsoft Windows user's computer desktop, or are hosted on a web page. According to Microsoft, it will be possible for the different types of gadgets to run on different environments without modification, but this is currently not the case.
Types of Microsoft's gadgets Edit
- Web gadgets - run on a web site, such as Bing.com or Spaces.
- 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.
Desktop gadgets Edit
Desktop gadgets are desktop widgets; small specialized applications that are generally designed to do simple tasks, such as clocks, calendars, RSS notifiers or search tools. They can also be used to control external applications such as Windows Media Center.
A panel, or sidebar, is found on either the right side (default) or the left side of the Windows desktop in the Windows Vista operating system. Gadgets can be placed on this sidebar, and they are automatically aligned on it. Gadgets can also be placed elsewhere on the screen, which generally causes them to expand and display more information. In Windows 7, the sidebar is removed, although gadgets can somewhat similarly be aligned on any side of the screen. Gadgets are toggled between the two sizes via a button in Windows 7.
Discontinuation and Revival Edit
According to Microsoft, Gadgets were discontinued because they have "serious vulnerabilities", "could be exploited to harm your computer, access your computer's files, show you objectionable content, or change their behavior at any time"; and "an attacker could even use a gadget to take complete control of your PC". Gadgets were completely removed in Windows 8. However, although Microsoft has announced it will not support Gadgets for Windows 10, by early 2015 there had been a major revival in interest with the website Gadgets Revived alone offering more than 900, some well established and others new. It is possible they will have a role in the new Operation System whether or not they are supported by Microsoft.