With the introduction of the Developer Preview of Windows 8, Microsoft has started trimming the fat, and desktop gadgets can now be considered a thing of the past.
The Redmond company launched Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) on September 14th, 2011, and since then announced that it would no longer support the development of new desktop gadgets.
Not only this, but devs will no longer be able to upload new gadgets to the Windows Live Gallery, especially since the gallery itself has been shut down.
The software giant is making no secret that the move was necessary in order to ensure that devs are fully focused on Windows 8.
‘Build Metro apps and not gadgets’ is the right summary of the Redmond company’s message to developers.
“In order to focus support on the much richer set of opportunities available for the newest version of Windows, Microsoft is no longer supporting development or uploading of new Gadgets,” the company reveals.
“With Windows Developer Preview, developers can create rich app experiences where customers focus on their important tasks. Apps are at the center of the Windows Developer Preview experience and are alive with activity and vibrant content. Users immerse themselves in your full-screen app while Windows gracefully gets out of the way.”
The only way to still access some gadgets at the moment is the Windows Personalization Gallery. Even so, Microsoft has focused on preserving access to only the most popular and highest-rated resources.
The company can’t stop developers from building new gadgets for Windows 7, but as I’ve already said, it’s offering no support for devs, and is indicating CodePlex as the right place to host new projects since the gallery has been taken down.
“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,” Microsoft notes.
“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. With Windows Developer Preview, you’re ready to imagine, build, and sell the next great app.”
Desktop gadgets were a new addition in Windows Vista that managed to survive in Windows 7 as well. However, as far as I can tell, gadgets failed to gain any real traction from users.
Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.