Tuesday, October 09, 2007 Posted by Aman Jain
The concept of widgets has been around in one form or another wherever operating systems were to be found –be it the unixes or the windows ,or indeed the Macintosh environment . Under Windows, Stardock
Had long ago introduced a concept quite similar to the now prevalent widgets. Vista introduced the sidebar under the then – codenamed longhorn build released in September 2002. While many have suggested that vista borrowed the idea from konfabulator (now yahooEngine )or from Apple’s Dashboard ;it is interesting to note that both these programs were introduced after September 2002.What then is a widget ?The simplest explanation is that it is a mini-program –one stripped to the most rudimentary features. For Vista’s implementation of the widget concept ,we can think of them as simple tools written in HTML/XML.markup languages,
The windows sidebar is a simple panel that gathers several of these widgets –which are called Desktop Gadgets under Vista – in to a single interface element..The windows sidebar is essentially meant to display quick information on various aspects of your social or online life . For example , a Gadget might be used to display RSS feeds off your favourite web site , another to display the latest e-mail, yet another might visually show the phases of the moon , while one might be used to track and show ticker prices on stocks . These Gadgets can reside on the sidebar or as free floating elements on the Desktop ; The sidebar itself can be placed at various placed around the Desktop , it is even multi monitor aware and can be placed on a second monitor if realestate is prime on your primary display , All in all , the windows sidebar is a nice addition to the operating system .
Head to http://gallery.live.com/ to browse through an already –impressive array of Desktop Gadgets.