Custom widgets confirmed for Windows 11

Windows 11 Widgets Panel

BUILD 2022 is live. And the first big news from the event is the confirmation that third-party developers will soon be able to build their custom widgets for the Windows 11 platform.

Things have just been made official long after we first heard murmurs of such a development.

And although we have no concrete timeline when this new feature will arrive, it is expected to go official sometimes later this year.

Interestingly, these widgets will be powered by the Adaptive Cards platform, with Redmond implying that they will act as a companion experience for your Win32 apps or PWA rather than a standalone service as some may have expected.

Adaptive Cards

If this is the first time you are hearing about this technology, then do know that these are really simple cards that are written in JSON and are designed to provide bits of information to a wide variety of devices and formats.

Essentially, developers can create one set of information and deliver it to Android, iOS, JavaScript, ASP.Net, WPF, ReactNative and, of course, Windows. They can do without dealing with the complexities of styling the cards for each platform and presentation type.

Adaptive Cards are built on a universal card exchange network.

And that means that while they currently work on the Windows Timeline, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Cortana Skills, and Microsoft Bot Framework Web Chat, they can also be added to other networks. As an example, Cisco recently did so with WebEx Teams.

So, while details are light on how developers will be able to introduce their apps in to these Windows 11 widgets and have them show on the desktop, Microsoft is promising more news later this year.