Not the gadgets you used to love | #firefox | #chrome | #microsoftedge

Microsoft has already confirmed powerful widgets are coming to Windows 11 via the app store, but contrary to what many people want, Microsoft is still silent on 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 directly on the desktop with a quick glance at pinned gadgets. Gadgets were later dropped from the operating system and they 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 it’s based on the news and interests experience. Additionally, only web-based widgets using Microsoft’s Adaptive Cards are supported, so overall, the new widgets feed in the OS is just revamped news and interests that you can already use on the taskbar.

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

Search bar

As you can see in the above screenshot, Microsoft is adding a ‘search bar’ directly to the desktop. Unlike the classic gadgets, the search bar doesn’t offer options to customize its appearance or functionality. Likewise, we cannot move the bar to any side of the desktop.

Web search widget

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

The static search bar appears right 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 displayed on the desktop that enables you to search the web,” Microsoft said in the official announcement.

Windows 11 search gadget

However, there’s a catch – the search bar doesn’t respect the configured default browser. In other words, if your default browser is Chrome, the search bar won’t respect your choice and direct the search queries to Microsoft Edge.

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