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Summary:

Well since Yahoo has Konfabulator, Google has its Sidebar and Apple has its Dashboard Widgets, Microsoft needed to come-up with something. A brand new category imaginatively called — drum roll please – Microsoft Gadgets. I like to call it, “A million new ways to get hacked.” […]

Well since Yahoo has Konfabulator, Google has its Sidebar and Apple has its Dashboard Widgets, Microsoft needed to come-up with something. A brand new category imaginatively called — drum roll pleaseMicrosoft Gadgets. I like to call it, “A million new ways to get hacked.”

> Gadgets are a new category of mini-application designed to provide information, useful lookup, or enhance an application or service on your Windows PC or the Web.

And then you wonder why Steve is busting a cap, worried about people hightailing it to Mountain View/Sunnyvale. Or should I say, originality, thy name is not Microsoft. Or as Steve Jobs would like to say, “Redmond Start Your Photocopiers.” (PS, not that Steve hasn’t maxed out his Xerox machine either!)

  1. i’m not claiming that they invented it… but “active desktop” has been available for at least since XP and I thought it was on 2000. I had programmed a few apps for it… Om- you’re the mac guy, did they have a dashboard esque app back then?

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  2. The Windows Vista Sidebar was announced years before Apple emulated Konfabulator’s approach to desktop widgets in Mac OS X Tiger. The original concept for the Sidebar platform is from over four years ago (MSR) and MSN 8/Premium has had a sidebar (called MSN Dashboard!) used by millions of people since 2002.

    The Windows Vista Sidebar wasn’t a surprise to anyone except maybe people who haven’t been paying attention ;) It was even shown back at PDC 2003… and I believe it was in the tech preview builds handed out; SDK and everything.

    You might want to read this MSR paper published in 2001 for more on sidebars (and a pretty familiar UI and feature set):

    http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?msr_tr_id=MSR-TR-2001-83

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  3. Om, I think the original side bar concept dates back a couple of years to an MSR paper. See http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?msr_tr_id=MSR-TR-2001-83 for more information.

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  4. that link didn’t work so hot for me… you may need to try:

    http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?msr_tr_id=MSR-TR-2001-83

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  5. Oh Geez… formatting is killing this one. im going to bed.

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  6. The concept of a sidebar dates by to 2001. Both MSN and Windows had the concept working on pre-alpha code. The concept of widgets/gadgets dates back to way before Konfabulator or Apple. What MS has done is very much like the Konfabulator approach which Apple also copied. The difference with MS’s approach is the ability to move those gadgets from a desktop to another Windows device to a webpage. It’s an interesting idea.

    But to claim Windows is not innovative because of something Apple has is just reality distortion. You are ignoring everything else that was shown on just day 1 at PDC. Office has no more dropdown menus for crying out loud. You don’t think Apple will copy that?

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  7. [...] Oder wie es Om Malik in seinem Broadband Blog schreibt: …Microsoft Gadgets. I like to call it, “A million new ways to get hacked.â€? [...]

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  8. [...] We have been hot on the trail of widgets ever since we found Konfabulator back in Feb. Apple of course, released a competing platform called Dashboard, then Yahoo bought Konfabulator, and today we got newds that Microsoft was getting into the widget wars with an upcoming product called Microsoft Gadgets. Microsoft Gadgets come in three flavors: * Gadgets for Windows Sidebar will run on your desktop or dock into Windows Sidebar, an upcoming feature in Windows Vista alongside other applications. Desktop Gadgets can developed using Windows Presentation Foundation, DHTML/Atlas, and even ActiveX controls. The beauty of Desktop Gadgets is that they are visually and programmatically rich – scaling from vector-based graphics and managed code to standard techniques you’d use for the Web. You’ll be hearing more about Windows Sidebar over the coming months here as we approach release around Beta 2 of Windows Vista. * Gadgets for Start.com (a.k.a. Web or Server-based Gadgets) provide a fast, customizable homepage with a clean user interface – putting the user in control of more of their online experience. Currently in incubation/public preview, Start.com is a place where consumers can customize the web to their liking by adding their own sources of content including RSS web-feeds and web-based Gadgets that extend functionality of their site- anything from custom calendars to service integration. Start.com demonstrates the use of DHTML and ASP.Net Atlas, which separates the data from the UI resulting in significant performance improvements. In addition, Start.com Gadgets can easily support docking into the Windows Sidebar. * Gadgets for Windows SideShow(tm) (a.k.a. Auxilary Display Gadgets) allow users to view their information on devices. Users can view their data where they want it, whether it is for instant access on the lid of a laptop PC, for notifications on a keyboard display or for convenience on a detached device like a cell phone. Gadgets for Windows SideShow run on the PC and use COM interfaces to send data to devices. This Windows SideShow platform combined with the power of desktop applications allows for new scenarios and opportunities. Source: Microsoftgadgets.com via Om Malik’s Broadband Blog via Techdirt [...]

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  9. “Om- you’re the mac guy, did they have a dashboard esque app back then?”

    In System 6 to 9, they were called Desk Accessories. So to answer your question, yes.

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  10. [...] Om Malik calls it correctly: “A million new ways to get hacked.â€? [...]

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