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Microsoft Killing Desktop Gadgets in Windows 8?

By - Source: The Verge | B 57 comments

The latest build of Windows 8 reportedly doesn't reference gadgets in the control panel or desktop mode.

If you haven't seen it already, Microsoft has cleaned house in regards to its online desktop gadgets library.

The company originally launched this feature with the release of Windows Vista, and, for a long time, the library Microsoft built over the years was huge thanks to internal developers and third parties. Now they're all mostly gone save for 29 of what the company seemingly considers "Greatest Hits." Even the Xbox Live Avatar widget is gone, replaced with the Avatar360 clock.

"Because we want to focus on the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows, Microsoft no longer supports uploading new gadgets. But that doesn't mean you can't still get gadgets. The most popular and highest-rated gadgets are still available on this page," the gadget page officially reads towards the bottom.

For gadget developers, Microsoft points out that they can now "use your HTML5 and CSS3 skills to build Metro-style apps for Windows 8 Release Preview. To get started developing Metro style apps, go to Windows Dev Center."

That leads us to the current report issued by Win8China. The site claims that it has obtained the latest internal build of Windows 8 -- 844x -- and that it contains no references to desktop gadgets in the control panel or desktop mode. Currently gadgets are supported in Windows 8 Consumer and Release Preview editions.

Desktop gadgets were originally required to be docked (or contained) within a special sidebar in Windows Vista. Visually this feature was removed in Windows 7, allowing gadgets to float on the desktop or be attached to the left or right side of the screen. However all gadgets are still owned by the sidebar.exe process, as seen in the Process tab of Windows Task Manager.

Typically the mini-apps are based on HTML and obtain information from web feeds. Based on Microsoft's information on the gadgets webpage, the company is merely moving up to HTML5 and CSS3, turning "gadgets" into "apps" with a Metro-based theme. Does this mean sidebar.exe is finally being phased out? Guess we'll find out this fall.

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    drwho1 , July 6, 2012 2:08 PM
    boiler1990Why would you want gadgets when Metro has live tiles?


    why would anyone want "metro"?
  • 26 Hide
    Marco925 , July 6, 2012 2:08 PM
    why not just kill the whole brand name and call it microsoft tiles? since they seem to have killed the windows part of windows
  • 23 Hide
    daglesj , July 6, 2012 2:15 PM
    It's just another way to reduce the functionality of the 'legacy' Desktop so folks move to living 100% in Metro land.

    Lovely.
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    boiler1990 , July 6, 2012 2:05 PM
    Why would you want gadgets when Metro has live tiles?
  • 20 Hide
    drwho1 , July 6, 2012 2:07 PM
    I have never use gadgets.
    Then again Windows 8 is in itself a big gadget, which along the lack of the START button missing (this was not a gadget) although Microsoft might have think so, might be the stupid "reason" why it was removed.

    Long live Windows 7!
  • 26 Hide
    Marco925 , July 6, 2012 2:08 PM
    why not just kill the whole brand name and call it microsoft tiles? since they seem to have killed the windows part of windows
  • 29 Hide
    drwho1 , July 6, 2012 2:08 PM
    boiler1990Why would you want gadgets when Metro has live tiles?


    why would anyone want "metro"?
  • 23 Hide
    daglesj , July 6, 2012 2:15 PM
    It's just another way to reduce the functionality of the 'legacy' Desktop so folks move to living 100% in Metro land.

    Lovely.
  • 15 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 6, 2012 2:18 PM
    Well Live Tiles are kind of like Gadgets, but for a company that screams "DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!" it doesn't seem wise to ditch the hard work your developers have created over the last 5 years.
  • 23 Hide
    SmileyTPB1 , July 6, 2012 2:29 PM
    Just more proof that MS has decided that the customers needs to be pushed in a new direction even though the customer feedback on the new direction "No, we don't like that.".
  • 11 Hide
    danwat1234 , July 6, 2012 2:36 PM
    Any hacks yet to disable metro on the latest beta?
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , July 6, 2012 2:41 PM
    Only gadget I use is the weather, and I have a few instances open for where I and my family live. Metro Weather is a good replacement for this, the other gadgets I have tried over the years were never used longer than a week with the exception of the EVE Online gadget that let me know how my character was progressing.

    All told Gadgets were a poor copy of Widgets, but they felt they needed to compete with apple even though hardly any apple users use widgets to begin with.
  • 0 Hide
    dulwichdik , July 6, 2012 2:44 PM
    I have a shut-down gadget on the desktop on win 8, as far as I know it is just a collection of command line scripts to execute the different options, does this still run on the sidebar exe route? I choose hibernate so on reboot I am straight back onto the desktop.
  • 15 Hide
    ricdiculus , July 6, 2012 2:57 PM
    MICROSOFT!?! What the hell? Why not just get out of the desktop OS business? You must really get behind the hole "The desktop PC is dead" thing. Damn this is frustrating!
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , July 6, 2012 3:01 PM
    The Everest gadget was good for monitoring temp and fan sensors. I am guessing they will produce a metro equivalent.
  • 14 Hide
    math1337 , July 6, 2012 3:07 PM
    Looks like I'm not buying it then. I have more than one screen, meaning that when I'm not using all of them for work, I can ALWAYS see the gadgets on the desktop, and I don't need to open the start menu first.

    Windows 8 has a lot of good improvements, but if microsoft keep taking away essential features(image backup, aeroglass, gadgets, etc.) I'm definitely not going to consider it.

    Release preview had all the goods, and now microsoft is taking it all away.
  • 13 Hide
    killerclick , July 6, 2012 3:15 PM
    Oh, Microsoft finally figured out that Live Tiles are exactly like desktop gadgets?

    Yeah, they're doing everything they can to push users to Metro, where they decide which apps can be offered, where they get a 30% cut on all sales and revenue from ad-supported apps. All that is worth to them more than all the users who hate Metro. That's why they're forcing an inferior UI (for PCs) with inferior capabilities and inferior (or non-existent) software.

    Windows 7 will be supported until 2020, and I'll probably be using it until then.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , July 6, 2012 3:16 PM
    M$ wants to charge for Apps just like Google, Apple, Amazon etc.... But if they're not careful they may just lose their golden goose. (The Desktop) + (Office Suite). And they want to move to a walled garden approach like Apples, and Win 8 is phase 1.
  • 7 Hide
    belardo , July 6, 2012 3:50 PM
    This is some of the dumbest shit I have ever heard!

    So, besides screwing over the poor Win8 suckers.... Microsoft is going to be active in screwing Windows7 users by removing the gadgets we are already using?! WTF!

    PROOF that Microsoft has lost their Fracking minds! All the have to do is not have gadget support in Win8, then it won't have an effect on WIN7 users (The #2 MS OS).

    So, to YOU WIN8 Lovers.... do you really THINK we can just STAY in desktop mode? So, if I want weather(which I have) system resource management (which I have) that I can see while Im working... I have to go to the shitty START SCREEN and scroll to see the damn weather or anything else?

    LOL, proof again than Windows8 is doomed to be worse than vista.

    They are purposely making Win8 desktop so damn ugly, that you don't even want to look at it.
  • 11 Hide
    lradunovic77 , July 6, 2012 4:17 PM
    Another reason not to get Windows 8. If they offered Windows 8 for $9.99 i wouldn't buy it because it is abomination of Windows. Windows 8 is crippled Windows 7 just so they can sell couple Tablets. I have news for them WP8 and Surface will fail just like WP7 and Zune failed. I can't wait to see Windows 8 becoming the biggest flop product ever released. MS deserves it because they are being arrogant.
  • 14 Hide
    lradunovic77 , July 6, 2012 4:19 PM
    Windows 8 -> No Aero, No Image Backup, No DVD support, No Media Center, No Gadgets, Cripple Desktop by removing Start Menu -> Windows turned into a big smart giant phone. Thanks no!
  • 9 Hide
    belardo , July 6, 2012 4:21 PM
    Right on! Wow, I think we are about to witness the biggest trainwreck that is about to happen!

    As pissed as I am about Win8, its going to be amusing to watch MS shit all over themselves. What did they do, hire a bunch of people from Commodore and RIM?

    I'll be OKAY as long as Win7 is available to buy... but these strong arm tactics by MS suggest that will not be the case. Meaning my ability to build new PCs for myself and my clients will be cut-off. I can't sell a POS win8 PC to anyone.
  • 10 Hide
    lradunovic77 , July 6, 2012 4:24 PM
    Windows 9 will be released in six months after Windows 8 with removed Metro or at least option to completely disable that stupid shit.
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