Windows 11

Hands-on with Windows 11’s first desktop widget: Not the gadgets you used to love

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Microsoft has already confirmed that powerful widgets are coming to Windows 11 via the app store, but contrary to popular belief, Microsoft is still silent about its plans to turn widgets into an evolved version of the classic gadgets that were part of Windows. Vista and 7 era.

Windows 7’s desktop gadgets allowed users to read stock updates and get weather forecasts right on the desktop with a quick glance at pinned gadgets. Gadgets were later removed from the operating system and never made a comeback, despite many users hoping that a similar feature would be added to Windows.

Windows 11’s widgets approach is completely different and based on the experience of news and interests. In addition, only web widgets that use Microsoft’s Adaptive Cards are supported, so overall the new widgets feed in the OS is just refreshed news and interests that you can already use on the taskbar.

However, Microsoft is now investigating support for desktop-based widgets with a feature called ‘search bar’.

Search bar

As you can see in the screenshot above, Microsoft adds a “search bar” directly to the desktop. Unlike the classic gadgets, the search bar does not offer options to customize its appearance or functionality. Likewise, we cannot move the bar to one side of the desktop.

Web Search Widget

The good news is that this could be the start of some sort of desktop widget integration, and there’s a chance widgets will evolve into classic gadgets from the Windows 7 era.

The static search bar appears directly on the desktop to quickly search the web.

“To begin assessing this general idea and interaction model, the first exploration in this area adds a search box that appears on the desktop and allows you to search the web,” Microsoft said in the official announcement.

Windows 11 Search Gadget

However, there is a catch: the search bar does not respect the configured default browser. In other words, if your default browser is Chrome, the search bar will not respect your choice and will redirect the searches to Microsoft Edge.

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