Microsoft will support third-party Windows 11 widgets later this year

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Microsoft plans to support third-party widgets in Windows 11 later this year. At its annual Build developer conference today, the software giant said it would open up access to Windows 11 widgets to developers as companions to their win32 apps or PWAs.

Currently, Windows 11’s widget system is limited to native widgets created by Microsoft, and the selection is rather limited. Microsoft has created widgets for its Outlook and To Do apps, but the rest are largely web-powered that feature weather, entertainment feeds, or news in the dedicated widget panel for Windows 11.

“We are energized by customer feedback on the widgets so far, people are getting quick access to the content most important to them in a seamless way without interrupting their flow,” says Panos Panay, Head of Devices and of Windows. “Starting later this year, you can start building widgets as add-on experiences for your Win32 and PWA apps on Windows 11, powered by the Adaptive Cards platform.”

Microsoft isn’t providing full details on its widget plans today, but it’s encouraging to learn that this part of the Windows 11 operating system will soon be open to third parties. The news comes just days after Microsoft began testing new desktop widgets for Windows 11 with a web search bar. Until now, widgets have been hidden away in a dedicated panel in Windows 11, but it looks like Microsoft is ready to make them more readily available on the desktop soon.

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