Don’t you hate it when Microsoft gives us some cool feature in one version of Windows and then cancels it in the next version? For instance, I change my wallpaper and screensaver every night before bed. I love to have new pictures to look at all the time. That’s why I loved the Dreamscene feature of Windows Vista Ultimate. This allowed you to use videos as wallpaper. So of course, since people loved it, Microsoft had to kill it in 7. Although Microsoft never revealed the real reason that this feature was killed, it is generally believed that it is because it was a resource hog. Yes, it sometimes slowed my system down, but I still loved it. I also think that they killed this feature too soon. A new generation of more powerful computers was right over the horizon. I think that today’s computers wouldn’t have any problem at all handling Dreamscene. Alas… two versions later and Dreamscene is just a dream.
The other thing that I liked… after a while, I’ll admit, was Windows Sidebar and Gadgets, also introduced in Vista. This was a dock for a group of desktop doodads, including different types of clocks, world clocks, traffic reports, weather, system monitors, puzzles, slideshows and other fun and useful tools.
What really won me over to using Gadgets (an almost carbon copy of Yahoo’s “Widgets”) was that they could be removed from the dock and “floated” around the desktop. I don’t have any icons on my desktop aside from my recycle bin, and enjoyed having four or five Gadgets in the corners (and sometimes center) of my screen. These included weather reports for the places that matter most to me.
Citing security issues, Microsoft stopped supporting Gadgets in 2011. Soon after that, they released a “fixit” to disable Gadgets on all versions of Windows, and strongly encouraged users to stop using them. Some of us didn’t listen, because we have a good anti-virus and are of the opinion that Microsoft should maybe work on fixing security problems with their programs instead of removing features that everyone likes to cover them up…
Gagdets and Sidebar were officially discontinued in Windows 8. But for those of us who HAVE 8, and would like to have our gadgets back, I share with you 8gadgetpack.net. This easily downloadable and easy to use program basically restores Windows Gadgets to 8 almost exactly as it was in Vista and 7. It looks like this:
The biggest difference is that there are only about 50 Gadgets, with no new tools being added. These are classic Gadgets, though. Above you can see the first screen that you see when you right-clock on your desktop and click GADGETS, as well as the weather and system resource Gadgets that I use.
They also offer a version for Windows 7 if Microsoft has disabled your Gadgets there called 7sidebar that can be downloaded from the same website.
Enjoy having your Gadgets back!
~ Randal Schaffer