Gadget security guide

Check out Michael Howard’s and Dave Ross’ nice article on how to write a more secure gadget at


Swiss gadget development competition

Our friends in Switzerland are hosting a gadget development competition. Here are some highlights: What is the Swiss Gadget Competition about? Contestants develop their own Windows Live or Vista Sidebar Gadget to become the Swiss Gadget Champion 2007. They will not only compete with Swiss developers, but their gadget will also be presented to the…


Pre-configuration of Sidebar Gadgets using unattend.xml

We’ve heard from several OEMs who are having trouble pre-configuring Sidebar gadgets using the Sidebar unattend settings. We will explain in more detail how these settings work. First, the Sidebar unattend settings are overrides for the default gadget settings. To determine what the default Sidebar gadget settings are, you can examine the “%programfiles%\Windows Sidebar\settings.ini” file….


Windows Live gadgets for Sidebar

Windows Live released two gadgets that really showcase some Windows Live services, as well as being terrific examples of how to give users quick access to lots of data in a Sidebar gadget. Live Search Gadget – download   Live Search Traffic Gadget – download Definitely head over to the Windows Live Gallery and check…


Tips for writing Sidebar gadgets with SideShow functionality

Here’s a few tips for developers writing Sidebar gadgets that interact with Sideshow (the Windows Vista support for auxiliary displays): Early versions of the Sidebar/Sideshow documentation incorrectly refers to the enabled method as a property. The following code snippet demonstrates how to determine in your gadget whether Sideshow is available using the enabled method: var…


Embedded ActiveX objects and x64

Really, this post is about Flash. But it will probably apply to quite a few other ActiveX objects out there, too, so use it liberally! Unfortunately, Adobe Flash does not support the x64 processor architecture. The basic upshot of this is that you can’t view Flash content in a Sidebar Gadget if your machine has…


“WPF/E” and Sidebar gadgets

 One of my favorite new web technologies is now available for preview. I’d urge to you go check out the developer center and team blog.   Of course, since “WPF/E” is a technology designed to work in web pages, many of you are going to try it out inside gadgets. Very cool. Unfortunately, you’ll probably…


Using the slideshow gadget with Search folders

Ben Betz has a pretty cool post about building some advanced queries in the UI ( Did you know that you can direct the slideshow Sidebar gadget to cycle through images in those same dynamic search folders? David Washington submitted this tip. The Short Story: You can point the Slideshow gadget at a Search Folder….


Building the Feed headlines gadget using the Windows Feeds Platform

The final RSS gadget, “Feed Headlines” is done and available with Windows Vista! This gadget is featured on the Vista Sidebar by default and allows users to see new headlines peripherally. We built the gadget using the Windows Feeds Platform, which greatly reduced the complexity of getting and storing of feed data so that we…


Roaming gadgets on a USB key

DISCLAIMER: This post is relevant for the Vista v1 version of Sidebar, but isn’t guaranteed to work on future versions. Hopefully we’ll be able to devise a more streamlined method of roaming gadgets and settings in the future. Sidebar by default will use settings and gadgets that have been installed to your user profile. Many…