Microsoft’s goal with this is to increase engagement with widgets, as clearly, when on the desktop, they’ll be utilized more – being right in the line of sight all the time, rather than being confined to the widgets panel (fired up from the taskbar) as they are currently.
When will this move happen? Bowden can’t tell us that, but what the leaker does point out is that Windows 11’s widgets are being treated to a dedicated session at Microsoft’s Build 2023 conference (later in May). So, there seems a fair chance that this move might be talked about then, and if so, it may not be long before we see the feature in testing for Windows 11.
All of this comes off the back of Microsoft introducing a new widget earlier this week in testing, but it’s a major one – Facebook.
Analysis: Full steam ahead with gadgets – er, we mean widgets
If the above guesswork of a vague timeline pans out then we should see the functionality to move widgets onto the desktop in Windows 11 appear later this year.
That’s our gut feeling, anyway, as Microsoft appears to be focusing quite strongly on this area of the interface (widgets and File Explorer are undergoing a fair few changes in testing, and pretty major ones, currently). Furthermore, developers are very much being encouraged by Microsoft to implement widgets for their apps.
Also, Bowden has mentioned the idea of shifting widgets onto the desktop before (in March), so it feels like the concept is progressing forwards at Microsoft, for the leaker to be bringing it up again now.
It'd certainly be a useful bit of additional functionality for those who find widgets useful – to have them right there on the desktop. And if you don’t like widgets, well, you can still just ignore them. It isn’t like they’ll make their way onto the desktop of their own accord.
With the ability to transfer them to the desktop if desired, Windows 11’s widgets are going to start to feel a lot more like the gadgets we had with Windows 7.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).