Windows Vista Sidebar and Gadgets
Windows Vista Sidebar and Sidebar Gadgets aim to make your life easier, the Sidebar is the “shed” for all the gadgets, or your tools. You can move it around the screen wherever you would like it, and it holds the key to making your life a little easier, or so Microsoft hopes. Instead of opening a web browser to check the weather, add a gadget to sidebar, instead going through the menu to find the calculator add it to the sidebar, add an rss feed to keep track of your favorite websites, etc, you get the picture. I’ve included a picture, but you have to click the more link so see it, it’s large and didn’t want everyone to have to download it on every page view.
Gadgets are mini-applications with a wide variety of possible uses. Gadgets can connect to web services to deliver weather information, news updates, traffic maps, Internet radio streams, and slide shows of online photo albums. Gadgets can also integrate with many of your applications to streamline how you interact with them. For example, a gadget can give you an at-a-glance view of all your online instant messaging contacts, the day view from your calendar, or an easy way to control your media player. Of course, gadgets can also have any number of dedicated purposes. They can be calculators, games, sticky notes, and more.
Microsoft Windows Vista comes with an essential set of gadgets to get you started. You can easily download more gadgets from an online gadget gallery. This gallery hosts gadgets from a wide variety of developers and offers an extensive selection to meet your interests. If you?re a developer, you can learn about creating gadgets at Gadget Builder Depot, the developer resource site.
Windows Sidebar is a pane on the side of the Windows Vista desktop that organizes gadgets and makes them easy to access. Windows Sidebar is the perfect complement to widescreen monitors and also works seamlessly on standard displays. You can easily customize Windows Sidebar to suit how you want to interact with it?whether you want it always on top or resting below maximized windows. You can also move gadgets off the Windows Sidebar and place them anywhere on your desktop. Source: Microsoft
Of course some of this stuff could just be added to the desktop, I would prefer an rss reader or a personalized google homepage to view all of the rss feeds I like, way to many to add them all to my sidebar or desktop.
Here is a link to the Microsoft Gadgets page listing some of the most popular downloaded gadgets and more, looks to be over a 100 listed so far.