Microsoft to remove desktop gadgets from Windows 8
5th Jul 2012 | 21:30
A casualty in the shift to Metro
We hope you haven't grown too attached to those desktop gadgets in Windows, because reports indicate that they won't be around anymore in Windows 8.
According to a published report, build 844x of Windows 8 abandons desktop gadgets, with no reference to them found in the OS control panel.
This is a shift from the previous Consumer Preview and Release Preview builds of Windows 8, which did feature desktop gadget support.
Metro to the rescue
Microsoft first introduced desktop gadgets with Windows Vista, offering the HTML-based widgets through a desktop sidebar.
The sidebar was removed in Windows 7, but the OS continued to support the gadgets themselves.
Removing gadgets does make sense with Microsoft's push for Metro-style apps. Like gadgets, Metro apps can also be based on HTML, and offer the same functionality tied together with Live Tiles.
However, this would see the apps restricted to the Metro UI, without a solution to access them as widgets when running Windows 8's desktop mode.
Of course, its possible that this is all just a quirk of the 844x build, and that gadgets will return as a desktop app later on.
But with the continued focus on Metro, it wouldn't hurt to start searching for alternative desktop apps for any of your favorite gadgets.