Windows 11 will get third-party widgets later this year

Win32 apps and progressive web apps will be supported.


Windows 11 widgets could become more useful in the coming months. Microsoft revealed at its Build developer conference that the operating system will start supporting widgets for third-party apps later this year. Developers will be able to create widgets for their Win32 apps and progressive web apps using Microsoft's Adaptive Cards platform.

"We’re energized by the customer feedback on widgets to date. People are enjoying the quick access to content most important to them in a way that is seamless without breaking their flow," Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer for Windows and devices, said.

Microsoft brought back widgets, which previously appeared in Windows 7, when it released Windows 11 last year. However, it tucked the widgets behind a dedicated button. In any case, we felt they weren't all that useful.

Opening up widgets to third-party developers so they can provide some at-a-glance information Microsoft doesn't offer through its own apps could be handy. You might, for instance, eventually see your Twitter timeline or WhatsApp messages in a widget.

The company shut down widgets (aka gadgets) in Windows 7 in part because they could be exploited. Microsoft hasn't revealed too many details about how third-party widgets will work in Windows 11 just yet, so here's hoping there's some quality control to fend off bad actors.