6 Cool FREE Widget Platforms for Your PC

Aibek Esengulov 01-07-2007

Widgets are tiny nice-looking programs that can do all sorts of interesting stuff ranging from the addition of a simple desktop clock or weather tool to a feature-rich video player. In many cases the purpose of a desktop widget is to bring functionality of the website (or at least part of it) right to your desktop. There are several platforms that can bring widgets to your PC, below I present to you some of the bigger and better ones.


Note: If you’re a Mac or Win. Vista user this is something you’re already familiar with, as both of these operating systems come with an inbuilt widget platform. Unless you’re interested in a slightly different alternative than feel free to skip everything from 1-5 and jump directly to 6.

(1) Yahoo Widgets (Win, Mac)

6 Cool FREE Widget Platforms for Your PC desktop widgets yahoo Yahoo Widgets comes with the biggest widget gallery, featuring over 4000 custom user-contributed widgets. Widgets are nicely categorized, commented on and rated by users.

(2) Google Gadgets (Win, Mac, Linux)

6 Cool FREE Widget Platforms for Your PC dektop widgets gdGoogle gadgets is one of the goodies that comes with the Google Dektop software. Basically, these are the same gadgets that can be added to your personal Google Homepage (aka iGoogle). Check out full gadget gallery here (approx. 350 gadgets).


(3) Opera Widgets (Win, Mac, Linux)

6 Cool FREE Widget Platforms for Your PC opera widgetsTo run Opera widgets you’ll need an Opera Browser (version 9 or above). To get an idea on the kind of widgets you get and how they look, check out ‘top downloaded widgets’ section here.

(4) [NO LONGER WORKS] Adobe AIR (Win, Mac)

6 Cool FREE Widget Platforms for Your PC widgets apolloAdobe AIR (formerly ‘Apollo’) is a “cross-operating system runtime …” OR in simpler terms, a tool that can be used to run certain web services right on your desktop which results in a faster and much more interactive experience. For instance, once you install Adobe AIR you can run any Yourminis web widget right on your desktop. See some more examples here.

(5) Klipfolio (Win)

6 Cool FREE Widget Platforms for Your PC klipfolio widgetsKlipfolio is a powerful personal dashboard and sidebar for windows users. It’s highly-customizable and counts over 4000 embeddable widgets (aka Klips). And unlike all other widgets, Klips are rather compact and tiny in size. Thus, Klipfolio can accommodate lots more Klips on its sidebar than any other widget sidebar.

(6) AmnestyGenerator (extra for Mac OSX Dashboard / Win Vista Sidebar) – this isn’t a widget platform but a really handy utility that can grab any web embeddable widget (i.e. for blogs, Myspace) and convert it to work on Vista Sidebar or Mac Dashboard.

Explore more about: Adobe Air, Opera Browser.

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  1. chris
    March 29, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Do you know of a widget that looks like Yahoo! but can run on Windows XP SP1??

  2. Aibek
    July 6, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    @ Mesa
    That's awesome. Will be waiting for release.

  3. Mesa
    July 5, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Hey, thanks for the mention!

    We're actually working on a new (and free of course) widget platform called Amnesty Hypercube that runs web widgets (e.g. Google Gadgets, YourMinis, YouTube videos, Flash games, etc.) right on your desktop. And if you're a Tiger or Vista user, you can "push" these widgets into your Dashboard or Sidebar from Hypercube with one click.

    Any web widget that is designed to cut-and-paste into a blog or profile page should run fine inside Amnesty Hypercube, which means there are tens of thousands of widgets out there.

    We're releasing Amnesty Hypercube as a public alpha on July 10 (for OS X Panther and Tiger) and August 28 (for XP and Vista).

  4. Aibek
    July 3, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Totally agree 'Yahooo widgets' are rather heavy on memory, same goes for Google Desktop.

  5. Terence Chang
    July 3, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Hi there:

    I find the Yahoo Widgets take a lot of memory space. I only use it once a month for some fun. Great list of widgets ...

  6. Aibek
    July 2, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    @ Andrew

    Thanks lots. Not sure if I heard of any of them before. Some feedback would be awesome.

  7. Andrew
    July 2, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Linux users also have great widget engines: SuperKaramba for KDE, gDesklets for GNOME, aDesklets for both, etc...