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Windows Gadgets - The Cooler Ones

Updated on August 14, 2013

Go Go Gadgets For Windows!

Windows Gadgets first appeared on the scene in the new sidebar feature of Windows Vista. They are like mini applications that can, for example, display RSS feeds, rotate pictures or monitor your computer's CPU performance. You can see the basic set of Windows Vista gadgets below:

Windows Vista Gadgets

Windows Vista Sidebar

On the right is a snapshot of the side bar of our family computer. The calendar, clock and weather gadgets are the most useful.

I hardly look at the CPU dial gauges and the photo gadget you can see is just a token gadget that serves no larger than purpose than displaying photos. Pretty basic really.

Windows 7 - No Constraints

The Sidebar was removed in Windows 7. Gadgets can now be placed and moved around on to any location on the desktop. Microsoft actually started referring to the gadgets as "Windows Desktop Gadgets" to emphasize the point. You can also change the opacity of the gadgets if you don't want them to block out too much of your background picture.

You still get the basic set with Windows, but now you can get heaps of cooler desktop gadgets online. You can even make your own!

Ultimate Explorer (click to see full image)
Ultimate Explorer (click to see full image)
Facebook Explorer  (click to see full image)
Facebook Explorer (click to see full image)

Must Have Windows 7 Gadgets

Ultimate Explorer - Search the many sites straight from your desktop. Very convenient. Your search results can either open in your browser or fly out to the side of your gadget, still on your desktop.

Facebook Explorer - See your friend's status updates, comment, like etc in a browser-less environment.

Twitter Explorer - to follow me @marcofratelli :)

Blogger Buddy - blog on from your desktop.

Amazon Explorer / eBay Explorer - shop online and keep an eye on your bids.

Really Cool Desktop Gadgets

Piano - play the keyboard using your keyboard! Personally I think this gadget is better suited to the touch screen of the iPad.

iPhone Battery Gadget - a pretty neat gadget replica of the iPhone's battery monitor for your laptop!

Tic-Tac-Toe Gadget - pretty self explanatory fun!

Traffic (by Bing Maps) - see real time traffic conditions in your area.

Fart Button - childish fun!

FML - view random stories! (Always entertaining!)

Say It! - a text to speech gadget, you can piss yourself laughing at the little things!

Daily Dilbert - what can I say? I'm an engineer :)

(only cooler on the iPad)
(only cooler on the iPad)
iPhone battery gadget
iPhone battery gadget

Get Windows 7

Remote Control Fart Machine
Remote Control Fart Machine

Heh heh! Activate near someone else!


Can You Make Your Own Desktop Gadget?

Yes you can.

If you have a great idea for a gadget that no one has made yet, this article explains how to go about making your own desktop gadget for Windows Vista or Windows 7 for free and in the simplest way possible. It requires no knowledge of any programming languages.

I'm thinking people might have use for some desktop gadgets such as:

  • Term paper completer!
  • "Inspector Gadget" gadget (for the 80s kids!)
  • Permanent File Shredder (EDIT: Found one here)

Any takers? :)



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    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I was totally unaware of all these gadgets! Thanks for all the good into.

      I voted this UP.

    • trafford profile image

      trafford 7 years ago from San Diego

      Really nice and interesting hub - i like it.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Marco. Thanks for this really cool hub on really cool gadgets.