Dang! I just stumbled across another pending change coming with Windows 8, and I’m sorry to say I’m not too thrilled about it, either. It seems that the Metro UI doesn’t make room for Windows Gadget displays. In fact, you can read a post at the Windows Live Gallery that includes the following quote “Microsoft is no longer supporting development or uploading of new Gadgets.” (for the Windows Live Gallery, anyway). Here’s a screencap of the Windows Live Gallery page as it currently stands:
In discussing this subject in an article for Network World (“Windows 8 Means no More Widgets or Start Menu“), author Andry Patrizio opines that he “… never knew anyone who used them…” (gadgets, that is). Well, I for one have found a certain class of gadgets invaluable for system activity and health monitoring. I regularly use Microsoft’s Clock gadget, which puts an instantly readable clock face on my screen (yeah, I know I can look down at the digital readout for Date/Time at the lower right in the notification tray, but I can tell what time it is much more quickly from a clock face, and see it from much further away). I am also extremely fond of All CPU Meter and Network Meter from Addgadget.com, regularly use the Norton Internet Security desktop gadget, and love the Windows Vista Shutdown Control Gadget, OS designation notwithstanding, because it lets me restart or shutdown my PC quickly and easily.
I sure hope some mechanism for accessing handy little management and control applets persists into Windows 8. They may not be called gadgets anymore, but I sure hope they remain available!