Microsoft Monday

One of the features brand new to Windows Vista is the Vista Sidebar where a user can personalize their sidebar with interactive gadgets. There’s a large variety of different gadgets to choose from in many categories like News and Feeds, Search Tool, Fun and Games, Multimedia, and more. Today we’re going to take a look at the top 5 downloaded Windows Vista Gadgets as well as five of my favorites.

–Top 5 Downloads–

  1. Multi Meter (Dual Core) v1.24
    Want to measure your CPU usage? This handy gadget will monitor your CPU usage so you know what’s going on with your computer. It’s simple, clean, and easy to read, just the way it should be.
    Number of downloads: 1,705,299
    multi meter gadget
  2. eBay Sidebar Tool
    This is a simple gadget to help you keep an eye on the items you’re selling, items you’re bidding on, when your feedback has changed, or when you have a new message waiting for you. You can also do an eBay search right from the gadget, and it features a tabbed interface.
    Number of downloads:1,402,645
    eBay sidebar tool 
  3. Calculator
    This calculator for your Vista Sidebar offers a bit more than the basic calculator.  It’s got Trigonometry and Copy/Paste functions as well as Scientific notation display.
    Number of downloads:1,126,547
    calculator gadget
  4. Weather Bug
    There are multiple gadgets available for monitoring the weather, but the Weather Bug is the most popular in terms of downloads.  You get get detailed forecasts, radar, weather cameras, and alerts if there is severe weather coming your way.
    Number of downloads:1,053,256
    weatherbug gadget
  5. App Launcher
    Add shortcuts to nearly anything, including folders!
    Number of downloads:632,643


–My Top Five–

While most of the five gadgets listed above under “Top Downloads” could certainly make my list of the top five, I wanted to point out more of my favorites without duplicating what we’ve already covered. So here’s my top five:

  1. WebGuide
    Last week we talked about the usefulness of WebGuide and how you can schedule and stream shows from Media Center using it.  They too have a Vista Sidebar Gadget and it will allow you to search for a show, view shows that have recorded, or view shows scheduled to record, right from your sidebar.
    Number of downloads:19,205

  2. Package Tracker
    This gadget is so nice to have for when you’re expecting packages.  Right from your sidebar, you can track a package from all of the major carriers. Once you’ve entered in the tracking number, you won’t have to enter it again.  The gadget will remember so you can easily go back and see its progress.
    Number of downloads:20,646
    package tracker gadget
  3. CTcontrol
    CTcontrol is the ultimate time control gadget.  It has a 24 hour alarm, a timer, 2 countdown options, a stopwatch, and 10 different skins among other features. You can even shutdown, restart, and lock your computer using this gadget. This gadget alone eliminates the need for several other gadgets.
    Number of downloads:91,542
  4. Gas Price Information
    Want to quickly access current gas prices in your local area? Use the MSN Gas Price information gadget. It has pricing data for over 90,000 gas stations across the United States. After entering in your zip code, it will tell you the lowest price, the average price, and the highest price of gas for your area.
    Number of downloads:44,869

  5. Gmail Reader
    If you’d like a gadget that will automatically check your Gmail account for new mail, Gmail Reader is a great solution. You’ll get a summarization of the last 20 emails in your inbox.You also have the option of hearing a sound when you have received new mail.
    Number of downloads:12,063
    gmail reader gadget