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Welcome to the World of Gadgets

Ethan’s fascination with gadgets started at an early stage. It all started with a birthday present at the tender age of 11, when he received a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Not too long after came the internet and he has never looked back. Ethan has a love for coding and all things technology.  Here you will learn about a new technology from Microsoft called “gadgets”.

There are currently 3 kinds of Microsoft gadgets: web gadgets (i.e. those that run on Live.comand Windows Live Spaces), Sidebar gadgets (those that run on the Windows Vista Sidebar) and SideShow gadgets (that run on various Windows Vista SideShow enabled devices such as external displays on laptops and keyboards).

Technically a web or Sidebar gadget is composed of an XML manifest file and at least one JavaScript file and optionally a CSS file. Web gadgets utilize Altas Runtime and Atlas Bindings. SideShow gadgets are not browser based and are quite different.

Show me a Gadget

What does a web gadget actually look like when its on a webpage? Here is an example of a real “live gadget” in action called “Live Clock”.

You’re thinking to yourself, this all seems pretty familiar. Some have suggested that Microsoft stole the idea from Apple’s Widgets. Others claim that Apple ripped off the idea from Yahoo’s Konfabulator. Maybe they both “borrowed” the idea from Windows 98 and its Active Desktop. While all of these technologies are similar, they all use a different approach to accomplish their task. After all, it would be ridiculous to accuse Chevrolet of stealing the idea of a car from Ford.