Microsoft introduced gadgets when the company launched the Windows Vista operating system. First in a limited gadget's sidebar that restricted the location that gadgets could be placed in, and then usable on the full desktop with the release of Windows 7.
Users who visit the Windows Live Gallery page are now redirected to a Looking for gadgets page that states that the "Windows Live Gallery has been retired" in order "to focus support on the much richer set of opportunities available for the newest version of Windows".
The informational page furthermore states that Microsoft "is no longer supporting development or uploading of new Gadgets". Some desktop gadgets are still available for download as part of the Windows Personalization Gallery, but no where near as much as before.
It may come as a surprise that Microsoft decided to retire the Windows Live Gallery before the official release of the Windows 8 operating system. While it may make sense to get the majority of developers to develop with Windows 8 compatibility in mind, it means at the same time that Vista and Windows 7 users have less options when it comes to downloading and adding gadgets to their operating system.
The Redmond company wants developers to switch from developing gadgets for Windows to developing Metro-style apps for the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
Windows Developer Preview allows you to leverage your existing skills and code assets so you can create great experiences for your customers. Gadget and web developers can now use their HTML5 and CSS3 skills to build native Windows apps. .NET Developers can use XAML, C#, and Visual Basic to build beautiful Metro-style apps. Game developers can use the power of DirectX 11.1 to build amazing, immersive gaming experiences. Driver developers benefit from increased productivity with the new, integrated Visual Studio development environment.
Not all developers on the other hand will have enough resources to build apps for an operating system that has not yet been released. It is also unclear how well Windows 8 will do, considering the controversial move to the Metro user interface.
Microsoft's move to shut down the Windows Live Gallery is on the other hand not the immediate end for existing and future gadgets. Developers and companies on the other hand will have to find hosting for their gadgets if they did rely on the gallery up to this point to host and promote their gadgets.
Microsoft on the looking for gadgets page suggests to use the companies own CodePlex project hosting service as a new home for Windows gadgets.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.