Microsoft is planning to support third-party widgets inside Windows 11 later this year. At its annual Build developer conference today, the software giant says it will open up access to Windows 11 widgets to developers as companions to their win32 or PWA apps.
Currently, the Windows 11 widgets system is restricted to native widgets created by Microsoft, and the selection is rather limited. Microsoft has built widgets for its Outlook and To Do apps, but the rest are largely web-powered ones that present the weather, entertainment feeds, or news in the dedicated widgets panel for Windows 11.
Third-party widgets will need a companion Windows app
“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,” says Panos Panay, head of devices and Windows. “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.”
Microsoft isn’t providing full details about its widgets plans today, but it’s encouraging to hear that this part of the Windows 11 operating system will be open to third parties soon. The news comes just days after Microsoft started testing new desktop widgets for Windows 11 with a web search bar. Widgets have been hidden away in a dedicated panel in Windows 11 so far, but it looks like Microsoft is ready to make them more readily available on the desktop soon.