Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
 
Windows 10 desktop gadgets

I had signed up for the free update from Windows 7 to Windows 10 months ago, and last weekend I finally got it. Download and installation went without a hitch. But what I lost was my desktop gadgets, which are showing things like the current time, the next appointment in my calendar, weather, mail in my inbox, and network bandwith usage. Now these gadgets were already "unsupported" in Windows 7, but now they were totally gone.

Instead Windows 10 proposes "live tiles" in the start menu. I fiddled around with those and managed to get some information of the the type I wanted in the start menu. But the live tiles are rather annoying: They don't appear to update all that often (a mail I had read and deleted still showed up on the mail tile 15 minutes later), and of course you need to open the start menu first to even see them. The Windows 10 desktop is completely static, with only icons and no updating information except for the little clock in the lower right corner. I have less current information on my Windows desktop than I have on my Android phone!

In the end I installed a program called 8gadgets and got my old gadgets back. Not a perfect solution as these are just legacy gadgets with no support whatever now. But until Microsoft realises that people might want to have useful information on their desktops, this is all I have.

Comments:
The tiles and gadgets do seem to be a step back from 7 and 8. From what I hear the latest Windows Insider build has improved tiles and better gadget support. I don't know how long that will take to go live.
 
This goes to show how different people have completely different requirements of technology. I loathe gadgets that update in real time. I like a completely static desktop that is the same every time I look at it. If I want something to update I want it to do so when, and only when, I choose to make it update.

Ín that respect Win10 has been quite good for me. I turned all the live tiles off within five minutes of installing it and I have things set up so that when I switch the machine on it goes straight to the Desktop with static icons only. It was a lot easier to get Win10 to do that than Win8.1 although I did have 8.1 behaving as I wanted for most of the time I used it.

I wouldn't expect everyone to use the same options as me, though. As I said, we all have different requirements or preferences. Why software developers are so unwilling to offer a wider range of choices in this kind of thing beats me. It rarely appears to have much to do with resource management or overheads; it seems to me that software developers and especially those working on UI systems are a highly paternalistic bunch, who generally think they know best and we should just do as we're told.
 
Try Rainmeter - lots of skins and customization, much sleeker that windows gadgets and works flawlessly with windows 10, and best part - it's completely free.
 
I used to use gadgets back in Vista, but I dropped them when I discovered just how much process time they actually took up.

 
Gadgets were dropped from Win 7 because of security threats. By keeping them, you were playing with fire...
 
By keeping *Windows* I am playing with fire.
 
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Come on, Bhagpuss, I bet you have the date and time on your taskbar!
 
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