Saturday, October 02, 2004

Desktop Sidebar

One of the new features of Windows "Longhorn" is the sidebar. This is a usability enhancement that displays a panel docked to the side of the screen. This panel can host a number of functions including an analogue clock and picture slideshow. It shows great potential. However, "Longhorn" is unlikely to be released before 2007 (late 2006 is the current plan).

In the meantime, Desktop Sidebar is a great application that delivers, and goes beyond, the functionality of "Longhorn" sidebar. Best of all: it is available today for Windows XP.

Desktop Sidebar includes lots of pre-installed plug-ins including an analogue clock similar to that installed with "Longhorn". It includes a RSS newsroom (which adds a "Subscribe" button into Internet Explorer), integration with MSN Messenger and Microsoft Outlook and Windows Media Player. There is also a vibrant community developing skins and other plug-ins.

Desktop Sidebar is definitely worth an install.

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