Microsoft To Add Support For Third-Party Windows 11 Widgets

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it would be bringing support for third-party Widgets in Windows 11 later this year, the company said at its annual Build 2022 developer conference.

Currently, Windows 11 only supports Microsoft’s native widgets that can be accessed via a dedicated widget panel. It has limited widgets such as weather, sports, gaming, photos, watchlist, entertainment, traffic, To Do, Outlook Calendar, Family Safety, and tips.

For those unaware, Widgets are small cards that display dynamic content from your favorite apps and services on your Windows desktop. They appear on the widgets board, where you can discover, pin, unpin, arrange, resize, and customize widgets to reflect your interests.

Your widgets board is optimized to show relevant widgets and personalized content based on your usage.

With the announcement of support for third-party Windows 11 widgets, it will now allow developers to create their own widgets as companions to installed PWA (progressive web app) or Win32 apps in the Microsoft Store.

“Widgets in Windows 11 provide a fresh, glanceable, and useful view into app content for users. We’re energized by the customer feedback on Widgets to date, people are enjoying the quick access to content most important to them in a way that is seamless without breaking their flow,” Microsoft’s EVP and Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, said.

“Beginning later this year you’ll be able to start building Widgets as companion experiences for your Win32 and PWA apps on Windows 11, powered by the Adaptive Cards platform.”

Adaptive Cards are platform-agnostic snippets of UI (user interface), authored in JSON, that apps and services can openly exchange. When delivered to a specific app, the JSON is transformed into native UI that automatically adapts to its surroundings. It helps design and integrate light-weight UI for all major platforms and frameworks.

While Microsoft has not divulged many details on how the third-party Widgets will work in Windows 11, the announcement certainly confirms that the support will be available soon.

Recently, Microsoft revealed a new search box in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25120 that allows you to search the web directly from the desktop on Windows 11.