MIX06: Windows Sidebar Gadgets

Another interesting smart client technology being discussed at MIX06 is gadgets.  Gadgets are written in HTML and javascript, technologies familiar to web developers.  They can be hosted as part of the live.com portal.  From a smart client perspective, however, they can also be hosted on the Windows Sidebar. 

Because they are on the desktop, Windows Sidebar gadgets are available while the user is working on other applications.  In addition, Windows Sidebar gadgets can be more interactive and have access to offline resources.

For information on developing Sidebar gadgets, see the following:

-Marc and David

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Comments (2)

  1. Gøran says:

    Do you know why the Sidebar team decided to exclude the possibility to develop Gadgets using WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation)? I remember that one of the visions for the Sidebar on PDC 05 was that developers could develop Gadgets in multiple ways (HTML/JS, WPF, WPF/E).

    I don’t think the challenge in developing Gadgets today is in the logic behind but it’s in developing interesting and compelling UI. Visualize data in a user friendly fashion on 150px wide Gadgets isn’t easy using HTML and JavaScript.

    Widescreen displays and multi-monitor configurations get more and more regular today. And it’s a great reason why we should invest in Gadget development. By integrating with full-blown application you can expose and visualize important data in the sidebar. Lunching full-blown application is often overkill. Users want important information at their fingertips represented in a nice visualization.

    Apple included this possibility years ago on the OS X platform (2002 I think) with the Dashboard technology. A few months later Confabulator developed this for the Windows XP platform as well. Later they where bought by Yahoo. So why don’t let 3rd-party vendors develop such a platform like the Sidebar since the WPF functionality has been excluded anyway?

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