Leak confirms big desktop widgets upgrade – GetintoPC

Windows 11 Widget Update

Windows 11 version 22H2, also known as Sun Valley 2, is set to finish in a few months for a late summer release. Codenamed Sun Valley 2, this would be the anniversary update for Windows 11 and will focus on quality improvements to polish the existing user interface.

As you probably know, Windows 11 comes with a redesigned Start menu and taskbar experience, and several basic features are missing. For example, you can’t easily dismiss “recommended” in the new Start menu. It is also not possible to increase the number of app icons in the Start menu.

Similarly, Windows 11’s core feature “Widgets” dashboard feels incomplete and doesn’t support third-party widgets at this time. You can only manage widgets like Microsoft Calendar, Movies & TV, and Microsoft To-Do, but this will change with Windows 11 Sun Valley 2 in the second half of the year.

Windows 11 third-party widgets

The new developer guidelines, which appeared on Microsoft’s website, confirmed that a future update to Windows 11 will substantially improve the widget panel by adding support for third-party widgets.

The support document suggests that these third-party widgets will be web-based and Microsoft does not plan to offer Win32 or UWP widgets through the widget panel for now, but this could change in the future.

Interestingly, it seems that third-party widgets can be installed without the Store. According to the document, publishing web widgets to the Microsoft Store would provide improved discovery in the Microsoft Store or widget dashboard. Developers can publish a Windows app widget through the Store and the process would be the same.

  • The app extension manifest is used to register widgets with the widget panel.
  • The MSI installation code performs COM registration and calls the widget registration APIs at installation time.
  • Web widgets are supported; there will be more later.

Additionally, “Adaptive Cards” are mentioned in the docs, which are “platform-independent UI snippets” designed for integration into Host experiences as Widgets. Adaptive cards are automatically designed to match the host experience, ensure low CPU and memory usage, and more.

Microsoft may already be working on new widgets with a small group of developers and public testing should start in a few weeks as Microsoft wants this feature ready for Windows 11 Sun Valley 2.


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