Windows Enterprise Desktop

Mar 23 2012   8:24PM GMT

Windows 8 Investigations Reveal a Nice Gadget Surprise

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

In my earlier reading about Windows 8 (and even in some of my reporting) I’d been led to believe that “no more gadgets” was a stark reality of the Windows 8 landscape. Not so! A right click on the Windows 8 desktop includes an entry for Gadgets amidst its various offerings, so I soon found myself running my favorite gadgets on the Windows 8 desktop, too. The screencap below is reduced in size to fit the blog frame; click this link to see the full-sized version.

This is a reduced-size version of the Windows 8 desktop with gadgets and menu option for same

This is a reduced-size version of the Windows 8 desktop with gadgets and menu option for same

If you can see the reduced-size version (or look at the full-size version in another window), you’ll see the Gadgets entry at the bottom of the right-click pop-up menu from the Windows 8 desktop. At the right edge of the display, you’ll also see three of my favorite Windows 7/Vista gadgets plus the Symantec Norton Internet Security gadget as well (among the many interesting things I’m learning is that Microsoft Security Essentials won’t install on the Windows 8 Customer Preview, though NIS version 19.6.2.10 is running quite happily on my X220 Tablet and my home-brew desktop machine, both running Windows 8).

From the top down, you see:

  • The Windows Vista Shutdown Control, which keeps the shut down, restart, and logout buttons never more than one click away on the desktop.
  • The AddGadget All CPU Meter, which shows core (or hyperthread) utilization, core temps, memory consumption, and more (V3.9 is the most current version, and running on Windows 8 ).
  • The AddGadget Network Meter, which shows up/down network traffic, signal strength for Wi-Fi interfaces, and all kinds of other interesting network data (V 8.1 is the most current, and ditto).
  • The NIS 2012 Gadget appears automatically when you install NIS 2012. It popped up on my Windows 8 desktop after the reboot that launches the program suite “for real” after installation.

Because I find desktop gadgets so useful and informative, I’m delighted to see that my earlier intelligence on this subject was faulty. Given the underlying architecture similarities between Windows 8 and Windows 7 (so far, except for Metro and touch stuff, they seem much, much more alike than they do different), I had wondered how MS managed to lock them out. Apparently, they haven’t — at least not in the Customer Preview!

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