Google releases stand-alone desktop widget engine

iGoogle Desktop widgets

Google Desktop widgets can now be embedded in your iGoogle personal start page. This new functionality adds OS-level functionality such as CPU utilization, currently playing tracks in iTunes, or a battery indicator inside a Web interface. Google Desktop 5.5 is now available in a widget-only version for Windows 2000, XP, and Vista to bridge the desktop and Web worlds.

The decoupling of Google Desktop Sidebar puts its desktop widget platform in direct competition with Windows Vista Sidebar and Konfabulator. Google can use its widget platform as a beachhead onto the desktop and later encourage its users to enable more Google Desktop features such as search and personalization.

(Disclosure: Google is a sponsor of my upcoming widget conference, Widget Summit.)

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Commentary on "Google releases stand-alone desktop widget engine":

  1. HC08 on wrote:

    I’m not sure I get this. Google desktop has had desktop widget support since v2 in 2005. What does “decoupling” have to do with increasing competition against Konfabulator and Vista? Are there really that many potential users who have shied away from Google’s offering because they simply didn’t want the desktop search components???

  2. Niall Kennedy on wrote:

    The stripped down version of Desktop, widgets only, is now available. Google Desktop has had widget functionality for a few years, but never as a stand-alone product like Konfabulator.Many consumers will discover these widgets in the Google directory and install an iGoogle widget that might control their local version of iTunes. The extended reach of the desktop widget into a web page and the slim widget engine only install of Google Desktop could shake things up for Windows 2000 and XP users.