Later this year, Microsoft plans to allow third-party widgets in Windows 11. Today at its annual Build developer conference, Microsoft announced that developers would be able to use Windows 11 widgets as companions to their win32 or PWA apps.
Currently, the Windows 11 widgets system is confined to Microsoft-created native widgets, with a small variety. The weather, entertainment feeds, and news are all displayed in the dedicated widgets panel for Windows 11. Microsoft has designed widgets for its Outlook and To Do applications, but the rest are mostly web-based.
“The consumer reaction on Widgets thus far has been energizing; people are appreciating the rapid access to material that is most essential to them in a way that is seamless without interrupting their flow,” says Panos Panay, head of devices and Windows. “Starting later this year, you’ll be able to use the Adaptive Cards platform to create Widgets as companion experiences for your Win32 and PWA apps on Windows 11.”
Microsoft isn’t saying much about its widget ambitions right now, but it’s good to know that this component of the Windows 11 operating system will be accessible to third parties shortly. The announcement comes only a few days after Microsoft began testing new desktop widgets for Windows 11 that include a web search bar. Widgets have been buried away in a specific panel in Windows 11, but it appears like Microsoft is getting ready to make them more accessible on the desktop.