Windows 11 widgets may become more useful in the coming months. Microsoft revealed at the Build developer conference that the operating system will begin supporting widgets for third-party apps later this year. Developers can create widgets for their Win32 apps and progressive web apps using Microsoft’s Adaptive Cards platform.
“We’re excited about the customer feedback on widgets so far. People are enjoying the quick access to content that matters most to them in a way that’s seamless without interrupting their flow,” Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer for Windows and devices, said.
Microsoft brought back widgets, which previously appeared in Windows 7, when it released Windows 11 last year. However, it put the widgets behind a dedicated button. We didn’t find them that useful anyway.
It can be helpful to open widgets to third-party developers so they can provide at-a-glance information that Microsoft doesn’t provide through its own apps. For example, you may end up seeing your Twitter timeline or WhatsApp messages in a widget.
The company shut down widgets (aka gadgets) in Windows 7 in part because they could be exploited. Microsoft hasn’t revealed too many details about how third-party widgets will work in Windows 11 just yet, so I’m hoping there’s some quality control in place to ward off bad actors.
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