Feeling bored with your Windows desktop and want to enhance it, its time to get some cool gadgets for Windows 7.
Lets see what options we have got here and how many different types of Gadgets for Windows 7 are available-
1) Windows 7 Sidebar –
Easiest and quickest way to get gadgets for Windows 7 machine is to right click on your desktop and choose Gadgets option from the context menu.
Select any of the shown Widget or choose to ‘Get More Gadgets Online’ which will open Microsoft’s List of gadgets for its Sidebar.
However problem is that even with just one gadget open, Microsoft Sidebar takes around 11MB of memory and with just 3 gadgets on desktop memory uses increases to 25MB.
If you try to get more gadgets from Microsoft’s Online Gadget list, you will find only page with around 30 gadgets list there.
Not much options available and it seems Microsoft has turned its eyes away from Sidebar developments and options of Microsoft Gadgets for Windows 7 are very limited now. Maybe because of Metro UI which will be changing the complete look and feel of Windows desktop in Windows 8.
2) Google Desktop –
Google Desktop was a nice piece of software with a big collection of gadgets for windows 7, but Google has discontinued it, in September 2011. One more product which has been discontinued from Google.
3) Yahoo! Desktop Widgets –
To my surprise, Yahoo has also decided to discontinue their Yahoo Widgets on 11th April, 2012. So no more Yahoo Widgets for Windows.
I always thought that it was just me who stopped using Sidebars/Gadgets after trying them all, but as it appears I was not alone.
4) Rainmeter (2.3.0 r1334 Beta) –
Rainmeter is a free and open source software and comes with a big list of free and beautiful skins. Each skin comes with a set of Gadgets for Windows 7 machine and serves different purposes.
Rainmeter can be found at – http://rainmeter.net/cms/
Just after installation of Rainmeter, it opens its default set of 4 gadgets for Windows 7 machine, along with a welcome box. Total memory usages with its 4 default gadgets and one Welcome Box was just around 5MB.
The Welcome Box gives your links to Recommended Skin page of Rainmeter, where you can find 3 recommended skins along with links of DeviantArt and Customize.org where you will find a big list of so beautiful skins that you would like to try them all.
It is possible to install more than one skin at once and have different gadgets from different skin packs on your desktop at one time. Therefore you can install multiple skins and decide to keep clock widget of one skin while Application launcher from the other skin.
You just need to right click on any of the Rainmeter gadgets and you get a context menu to choose items from any of installed skin
There are so many skins available with so astonishing UI that I have decided to cover them in a separate article.
Here let me give you few quick names of gadgets for Windows 7 to start with, these are one of the coolest skins available – Omnimo UI (this gives you Metro UI based Widgets and its one of the most comprehensive skins, a must try), Pileus Suite, Switchin and Torn Paper
Even after filling my complete desktop with Widgets, Rainmeter never crossed 20MB of memory uses. Rainmeter really impressed us with its performance and great looking skins.
Final Words : If you are looking for some nice Widgets for your Windows Desktop, not much options are available as Google and Yahoo have stopped supporting their Widgets and Microsoft Sidebar widgets are age old and very limited in numbers.
Therefore Rainmeter is the best option to enhance desktop by putting some nice and useful widgets.
Before we end up lets take a look at few screen of different Rainmeter Skins, showing different beautiful gadgets for Windows 7 machine –
Omnimo Windows 8 UI
Omnimo Configuration Options