Pin Me

What are Microsoft Widgets?

written by: •edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 11/2/2010

Microsoft Widgets are mini applications meant to enhance the experience of computing. Just as Google toolbar offers access to different services, Microsoft Widgets also make your Windows experience easier. This article offers a take on MS Widgets and checks out some of the best.

  • slide 1 of 2

    Microsoft Widgets - An Overview

    Simply speaking, Microsoft Widgets are mini applications that offer information, fun, lookups, and enhance the performance of any Microsoft based application: be it on your desktop or on your homepage. Microsoft Widgets, also known as Microsoft Gadgets, are small chunks of code that can be installed easily on any of the above. You do not need any separate HTML page. Microsoft Gadgets re-use the language and code at destination (Windows desktop or a webpage, normally your homepage). They are coded in any language employed in web technology.

    Generally, these widgets are designed for different purpose by not only Microsoft's internal programmers but also by other companies or people. For example, if you have good knowledge of JavaScript or HTML, you can design something that interests you and make it available to others as well. Microsoft Widgets are normally free and can be used by anyone. While most of them are cross platform, some of the Microsoft Gadgets are specific to platforms such Windows XP, Vista, and Win7.

    Note: You can upload your own Gadgets/Widgets for use with MS applications at Microsoft Gallery. The same place serves as best place to browse and get the widget you want. Some other websites too offer Microsoft Widgets. However, for widgets designed by third parties, make sure that you are not downloading a malware.

  • slide 2 of 2

    Popular Microsoft Widgets for Windows 7, Vista, and XP

    The following three are some of the most popular Microsoft Widgets (based on the number of downloads from Windows Gallery). Just see how they ease things for you. For example, the HP Widget helps you print pictures without having to use third party software for setting up print area and orientation manually.

    HP Photo Print Gadget with Smart Crop v2.0

    Designed for Windows Vista and Windows 7, this smart Gadget from HP allows you to print any image just by dragging into the widget. The widget automatically determines the orientation of the image and its dimensions. Finally, it removes the white space on the corner to give you borderless pictures. The HP Smart technology makes sure that your image's heading is not cropped while removing the extra space on borders. It can be used on any printer and is not restricted to HP printers only. You can change settings to manual on the widget itself. The best place to keep the HP Photo Print Gadget is your desktop so that you can print even downloaded pictures.

    Fantasy Baseball: The Microsoft Widget offers breaking news and updates on your favorite game. The widget is powered by One of the most downloaded Microsoft Widgets from the MS Live Gallery, this widget not only offers news and updates but also images of your favorite players, their bio, and other related stats. You can create a custom roaster for up to 25 players so that you get updates on these players. The Fantasy Baseball Widget also offers baseball tips and tricks to help you learn the game.

    Ebay Auction Sidebar: If bidding and winning is your fantasy, this Microsoft Gadget is just for you. Created by Intelligroup for Microsoft users, this MS Widget is a popular mini application that helps you bid without opening the eBay website. The eBay Auction Sidebar is certified from eBay International so you can use it without any legal hassles - from any corner of the world. It automatically detects your area and accordingly directs you to the corresponding eBay website. For instance, if you are using it from India, your bids and auctions are directed to eBay India by default.

    To further enhance the ease of use and to make auctions easy, the eBay Auction Sidebar is color coded so you know the bids you won. It also has an Alert feature that notifies you about anything that needs attention.

    These are just some out of the many Microsoft Widgets for your desktop. You can have widgets for weather, stock, dictionary, Hotmail, Live services, and more. For a detailed catalogue, visit the Microsoft Gallery.

    To sum up, Microsoft Widgets extend or offer new functionalities to your computer or your homepage. You can either use readymade Microsoft Gadgets or create one yourself to share it with others through the Microsoft Gallery.

Freeware for Windows XP, Windows 7 - Free Software, Microsoft Widgets for Mobile and more

This series intends to offer you with information on freeware for Windows XP and later versions. You can find information on where to find freeware for Windows XP, free software for Windows 7, and of course, Microsoft Widgets for all Windows versions including Widgets for Windows Mobile 6.5.
  1. Freeware for Windows XP: Facts about Freeware and the Best Sites to Get Them
  2. What are Microsoft Widgets?
  3. Windows 7 Themes for XP from Deviant Art
  4. How to Customize Windows 7 Desktop – Best Windows 7 Themes
  5. Freeware Registry Cleaner Roundup