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Gadgets are easy-to-use mini applications that give users information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools. Gadgets are a new feature of Windows Vista, alongside the Windows Sidebar which helps users to organise gadgets on their desktop.

From a user perspective, installing a gadget is quick and easy, with the option to dock it in the sidebar or run it anywhere on the desktop. Gadgets can be used to offer consumers a rich, branded experience or can be deployed within an enterprise to provide secure access to content and services.

Windows Gadgets are developed using HTML, CSS and JavaScript and hence can be built using Expression Web, Visual Studio or your current web authoring tool. Because Gadgets run on the desktop, they can access the local file system, make use of operating system APIs, consume RSS feeds and communicate with web services.

More information on gadgets can be found on the Windows Vista website.

Example Gadgets

There are a large number of gadgets available to download and install at the Windows Live Gadget Gallery. Once you’ve developed your gadget, you can submit it for inclusion in the gallery.

Additionally, you might like to review “Windows Vista Gadgets – the good, bad and the ugly” for examples of Gadgets that were highlighted on the Windows Vista Magazine blog.


There is a growing collection of resources available to help you get started building Windows Vista Gadgets: 


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