Windows Sidebar is a standard utility of the Windows Vista operating system. It is a translucent panel on which are located the so-called gadgets (mini-applications containing various information). By default, the sidebar is on the right side of the Windows desktop. However, the user can adjust the location of the sidebar in the right or left part of the desktop, or completely disable its display.
Gadgets work in Windows 7
|Component Type||desktop panel|
|Included in||Windows Vista , Windows 7|
You can develop gadgets for the sidebar using Notepad , or create them in the Gadget Creator program. [one]
In Windows 7, the Windows Sidebar component has been renamed to “ Desktop Gadgets ” ( Windows Desktop Gadgets ).
The sidebar includes 11 standard gadgets:
- hours ;
- news headlines ;
- CPU indicator
- slide show;
Gadgets can be located on the desktop separately from the sidebar itself.
Gadgets such as clocks, slide shows, and news headlines appear on the Windows Vista sidebar by default when you install the system. A link to the Microsoft website  is located in the control panel of the side panel, from where you can download additional gadgets created and published by other users.
Microsoft began experimenting with gadgets at the very beginning of Windows Vista development. First, the sidebar was included in Windows as part of the explorer. For the first time, the sidebar appeared in Windows Longhorn build 3683. However, by default it was turned off, it had to be activated independently. On the panel were located: Clock, Slide Show, Quick Launch, Search, List of programs and other components. However, despite all its functionality, the panel was not fully developed, and many gadgets simply did not work. Most of the gadgets present in earlier builds of Windows Longhorn were not included in the final release of Windows Vista.
Panel operation in other versions of Windows
Microsoft did not create a sidebar version for earlier versions of Windows, including Windows XP . However, there are its analogues from other developers:
- Thoosje sidebar
- Yahoo! Widgets
- Google Desktop (also an analogue of Windows Desktop Search )
In Windows 7, the sidebar has been discontinued. Gadgets no longer depend on the panel and can freely be attached to any part of the desktop.
In Windows 8, Microsoft completely abandoned the gadget platform in favor of Metro applications.
In July 2012, Microsoft reported that using the sidebar and gadget functions in Windows Vista and Windows 7 posed a vulnerability problem for the computer and recommended that users disable the execution of these programs using the Fix It utility.  
- Microsoft's Windows Vista page about the Windows Sidebar
- Gadget Corner - Official Windows Sidebar & Gadget Development Team Blog
- MSDN Windows Sidebar Reference
- Sideshow: Providing Peripheral Awareness of Important Information
- Microsoft gadgets
- Create Gadgets for Windows Vista