Windows 11 is all about design improvements based on WinUI. It also brings back a long lost feature called widgets that are similar to Windows Vista gadgets. If you have used Windows 7 or Windows Vista in the past you will be familiar with the term gadgets or widgets.
The Windows 11 widget is not completely based on the Windows Vista or Windows 7 gadget concept. Currently, Windows 11 widgets cannot be pinned to the desktop and they only appear on the widget board. Also the widgets option in the current Windows 11 is only the Microsoft app widgets and News & Interests feed.
Reliable sources within Microsoft have revealed plans to add support for third-party widgets. It is very likely that third-party widgets will be included in Windows 11 version 22H2. Third party support for widgets will give you the functionality to to customize the widget board to your liking.
Windows 11 version 22H2 preview build will initially only include third-party widgets, later third-party support will be rolled out to the public OS version.
Support for third party widgets in Windows 11
The third party widgets feature for Windows 11 requires a new version of Windows Web Experience Pack. Developers will be able to publish their widgets in the Microsoft Store.
Because Windows 11 uses web experience packs for the widget board, Microsoft is also introducing third party support for older versions of the operating system. This step will greatly improve the widgets panel. However it is not yet clear whether Microsoft will allow apps that are not listed in the Microsoft Store.
It is likely that more developers will start working with Microsoft on new widgets for Windows 11. This is likely to happen sooner than expected, as Microsoft wants this feature to be ready by summer 2022.
The Windows widget board is moving to the left side of the screen as part of the Sun Valley 2 update. Users can view for example weather updates directly on the taskbar. Which is similar to the News and Interests widget for the Windows 10 taskbar.
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