Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Windows Vista Sidebar Wish List

Vista Sidebar Screenshot

I’ve been using Windows Vista Ultimate for about a month now and have had a chance to use Sidebar a little bit. Overall, Sidebar is nice but there are a couple of things that can be improved upon:

  • Sidebar is limited to a fixed width column on your desktop – it would be nice if I could widen this column since I have a 20″ widescreen LCD monitor (Dell 2007WFP).
  • It would also be nice if I could change the size of the gadgets so, for example, I can read more of the headlines in my RSS gadgets.
  • Sidebar allows for multiple ‘pages’ (or columns, if you will) of gadgets but the only way you can view the second, third, etc. ‘pages’ is by clicking on the left or right arrows at the top of the Sidebar column – it would be nice if I could customize Sidebar to cycle through my ‘pages’ every x seconds/minutes. I will rarely cycle through these ‘pages’ on my own.

I can’t offer a true comparison between Sidebar and Mac OS X’s Dashboard because Dashboard is only available on Tiger (OS X 10.4) and I’m running 10.3.9 (Panther). However, I have used Dashboard on other Macs and Sidebar has a leg-up on it: Sidebar gadgets/widgets are displayed on your desktop – with Dashboard you have to hit a button to view the widgets. Since Sidebar gadgets are displayed right on the desktop, they will be viewed more often…after all, isn’t that the point of these things? Anyway, I’m (wishfully) hoping Microsoft will include these improvements in Q4 2007 with Windows Vista Service Pack 1.


Filed under: MacOSX, Microsoft, Sidebar, Sidebar Gadgets, Software, Vista, Windows

Want more Vista Sidebar Gadgets?

Engadget Sidebar

Intelligroup, based in the U.K., has created 12 free Vista Sidebar gadgets (most are for U.K. websites). These are the ones I would recommend checking out:

  • Amazon search
  • eBay search
  • Engagdet headlines
  • Kotaku headlines

I’ve downloaded the Engadget and Kotaku gadgets and they’re pretty cool. The Engadget one is very nice but the Kotaku gadget is practically impossible to read because of the red text on a yellow background.

After downloading the gadgets, just double-click it and it will automatically be added to your Sidebar library. Speaking of, you can find more gadgets on Microsoft’s Windows Live Gallery website.

Update (2/27/2007) I provided some feedback, to Intelligroup, requesting the ability to customize the color scheme of the Kotaku gadget and just heard back from them: they are planning on adding this feature in the next release. Nice.

Filed under: Microsoft, Sidebar Gadgets, Technology, Vista, Windows