Microsoft is increasingly trying to tie Microsoft Edge to Windows 10 through deeper integrations between the platform and web browser. In the latest move in this direction, Microsoft is working on resurrecting its Desktop Gadgets idea from back on Windows Vista.
While Vista was a much maligned version of Windows, the Desktop Gadgets were a cool concept. It allowed third-party developers and Microsoft to create widgets to add functionality to Windows. As the rise of apps and the Microsoft Store took over, it looked as though gadgets were gone for good.
However, Microsoft is bringing back the idea by integrating some Microsoft Edge gadgets onto the desktop. We have previously reported on the company’s news dashboard, and now another gadget is appearing on new Windows 10 preview builds.
Specifically, a floating search bar gadget. Importantly, along with the floating news dashboard, it seems Microsoft will be expanding floating widgets on Windows 10. I have previously argued these are sort of pointless, but if there is an audience for gadgets, opening to third-party developers in the future would be something worth seeing.
In terms of the floating search, it obviously taps into Microsoft Bing to surface search results. Importantly, gadgets are a way to entice Windows 10 users to browse with the native Chromium Edge app instead of an alternative like Chrome or Firefox.
Windows Search Integration
Recently, we reported on Windows Search becoming more connected to Microsoft Edge. The upshot here is you won’t need to open the Edge app to start some basic tasks such as access bookmarks, your browsing history, recent tabs, top sites, and so on. Previously, searches would open in Edge but that was about the extent of the integration.
Like the floating gadgets, the Windows Search integration is still testing on Canary branches of Edge.
Tip of the day:
Do you get flooded by notifications in Windows 10 from apps and want to disable them completely or just the notification sound? Our tutorial shows you how to do this. As an alternative you can also configure Windows 10 Focus Assist (Do Not Disturb Mode) and set quiet hours.