Crisis On Infinite Gadgets

    September 14, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The previously unknown market space for gadgets now has a crowd containing Apple, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

Some call them Widgets, others call them Gadgets. Some already have them available for Windows, and others are just now talking about them.

Pixoria claims to have had the little applications available first with Konfabulator, before Apple, and some quarters have hinted that Apple may have borrowed the concept for its Dashboard. Apple says the two technologies are completely different. The difference seems to be that Yahoo owns Pixoria/Konfabulator now.

In an industry where imitation is the sincerest form of product development, Microsoft has now unveiled its Microsoft Gadgets web site. The company debuted the site during the opening of its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

Microsoft’s Sean Alexander, a senior product manager in Windows, discussed Gadgets in his first post on the site. There will be three types of Gadgets. One version will work with the Windows Sidebar (wait, did someone say Sidebar?) in the forthcoming Vista operating system.

A second type will work with the web site, a presence that makes heavy use of Ajax programming and dynamic features. Gadgets that work with will also operate in the Windows Sidebar. It wouldn’t be surprising to see some Gadgets arrive that operate with the newly available APIs for MSN Search and Virtual Earth, among others.

And a third type will be developed for displays in mobile devices, like smartphones and laptops. Gadgets for Windows Sideshow will be available when Vista arrives. The SideShow appear to build on the Windows Presentation Foundation utilized with the Vista operating system.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.