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Tom's Guide: 25 Free and Useful Windows Desktop Gadgets

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 10 comments

Check out Tom's Guide's latest story on gadgets.

Microsoft discontinued gadget support because it said it wanted to focus on "the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows." As a result, the Windows website no longer hosts the gadget gallery. However, for some people, gadgets were one of the best parts of Windows 7. If you're a massive Gadget fan and miss perusing the gadget gallery, we urge you to check out Tom's Guide's '25 Free and Useful Windows Desktop Gadgets.'

Gadgets first debuted on Windows Vista. These small programs remain useful, even though Microsoft withdrew official support for them on Windows 7. They're still a great way to keep useful information at hand so that you access it at any time.

Many gadgets originally designed for Vista work properly on 7, despite what Microsoft says. Here’s a rundown for the Windows Vista and 7 users out there--a list of 25 Windows Gadgets that will appeal to the power-user.

Take note, however, that not all of the following gadgets are designed to run at the same time. Every Gadget you use takes up screen real-estate, which is even more valuable on the smaller screens of laptops and netbooks. Our recommendation: Look through the list, pick what is useful, or even suggest some of your own in the comments below. Happy browsing, and feel free to come back here for our regular updates.

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  • 2 Hide
    rebel1280 , October 12, 2012 8:02 PM
    um.... i believe there was a big security flaw that caused MS to shut down gadgets?
    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Microsoft-Disables-Windows-Sidebar-Gadgets-Due-to-Security-Risk-643712/
    and even on your own website:
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/Windows-8-Sidebar-Gadgets-Security-Advisory-Black-Hat,news-39059.html

    shame on you toms lol
  • 1 Hide
    inerax , October 12, 2012 8:08 PM
    I was like WTF did M$ bring them back?
  • -2 Hide
    CaedenV , October 12, 2012 8:10 PM
    weather and the EVE gadget is all you ever need
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 12, 2012 9:34 PM
    Really Tom's does the left hand know what the right hand is up to?
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , October 14, 2012 9:51 AM
    Gadgets are evil. MS said themselves if you install these you're retarded. They did it at their own conference to make sure ALL people knew to TURN THEM OFF FOREVER. Nuff said. Google it before you turn them on. I'm thinking "microsoft gadgets security" should be all that's needed ;) 

    Never mind...Had to do it myself:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/advisory/2719662
    Wow, they'll even disable them all for you with MS FIXIT...ROFL. Toms should be ashamed as noted above. You can google the above for tons more. While a cool idea, it's a security risk big time according to the company themselves. Can't believe Tom's pushed this.
  • 0 Hide
    mavikt , October 15, 2012 8:49 AM
    I was very disheartened when I got back after vacation this summer and found that the IT department had poked in my registry.

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Windows\Sidebar]
    "TurnOffSidebar"=dword:00000000
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 16, 2013 10:40 PM
    Toms Hardware is merely posting the top 25 in their opinion and hopefully they did the research to make sure they can be "trusted". The only one they suggested that should even transmit data over the internet in my opinion is the weather bug one the others shouldn't transmit or recieve anything but what is already on my PC.

    If you read the article thoroughly you will have read the portion "when running insecure Gadgets," Microsoft reports. "In addition, Gadgets installed from untrusted sources can harm your computer and can access your computer's files, show you objectionable content, or change their behavior at any time."

    Hopefully someone from Toms will reply to this. Personally I don't trust anything from the weather bug but maybe they have changed some of their tactics in the past have led me to wonder about them but even a big name like Kodak has done some nasty things in the past.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 15, 2013 11:48 PM
    why would you run with Admin rights anyway? That's the real n00b move, if the exploit only applies with admin rights then I'm not worried.

  • 0 Hide
    dustinsherrill , April 10, 2013 7:04 AM
    I tried to run the Outlook Appointments & Vista Calculator but my anti-virus, Vipre, marked both of them as bad & promptly quarantined them.
  • 0 Hide
    xyster , May 10, 2013 6:41 AM
    haha. i was looking for some good widgets and this was the first article to come up on google for me. apparently its the best one too. thanks jane!