Windows 11 widgets, sadly, are not gadgets

Windows 11 Widgets

Well, that’s a bummer! Microsoft has already confirmed that widgets are returning to Windows 11, and we have already seen their implementation in the leaked and Insider builds of the OS.

But contrary to what many people expected, these will not be an evolved version of the classic widgets that were a part of the Windows 7 experience. These widgets in the good old operating system were known as gadgets, having made their debut in the version prior, Windows Vista.

And they basically allowed users to get access to certain information with a quick glance on the desktop, like stocks and weather forecasts.

The last time something like this was part of the operating system was in Windows 7, before Microsoft decided to drop this feature for security reason. They never made a comeback, despite many people hoping that the live tiles in the modern versions of Windows would evolve into the same role.

Yet, here we are with the company having killed off live tiles as well in Windows 11.

Redmond has opted for a completely new widget approach that is based on the News & Interests experience that the company recently introduce. The widgets in Windows 11 will simply be an evolved version of this feature that you can launch from the taskbar.

This is how Microsoft puts it:

“Windows 11 brings you closer to the news and information you care about faster with Widgets – a new personalized feed powered by AI and best-in-class browser performance from Microsoft Edge. Even when we’re at our most focused and creative we still need breaks – a moment to check in with the outside world or give ourselves a mental reset.

Today, we often pick up our phones to check the news, weather or notifications. Now, you can open a similarly curated view directly from your desktop. When you open your personalized feed, it slides across your screen like a sheet of glass so it doesn’t disrupt what you’re doing. For creators and publishers, Widgets also opens new real estate within Windows to deliver personalized content. Our aspiration is to create a vibrant pipeline for global brands and local creators alike, in a way that both consumers and creators can benefit.”

So, there you have it.

Tough luck, if you were holding out for Microsoft bringing back the classic feature as it was. Sure, there is talk that third-party widget creations will become part of Windows 11 sometimes after launch, but they are obviously not the same thing.

These little applets will be limited in their very nature, unlike something like what Game Bar is doing.

Oh well.