Windows 11 third-party widgets could soon be a reality

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The Windows 11 Widgets pane could become much more useful with the addition of third-party widgets. According to Twitter user FireCube, a recent update to a manifest file related to widgets suggests you’ll be able to download new widgets from the Microsoft Store.

In the manifest file, you can find a message saying “Download new widgets and widget updates in Microsoft Store”. From what we can see in the screenshot, it may be a message that appears when there is some kind of error displaying widgets, although it is difficult to tell say with certainty. This clearly indicates that users should be able to download new widgets from the Microsoft Store, which could make the Widgets panel much more useful.

Currently, the only options you have for Windows 11 widgets come directly from Microsoft. There are widgets for weather, sports scores, OneDrive photos, Microsoft To Do, and more, but that’s about it. If you don’t use Microsoft’s services, this isn’t exactly a nice feature to have. Third-party widgets can allow you to get content from different sources and add entirely new functionality in general. They could also replace Live Tiles, which allowed apps to display updated information in the Start menu in Windows 8 and Windows 10.

We weren’t able to find this string of text ourselves, but the manifest files for each of the available widgets include references for getting widget updates from the Microsoft Store. This would also be new, given that you can’t currently update individual widgets from the store. Again, this text could also refer to the Windows Web Experience Pack, which powers the widget experience, and this package is updated through the Microsoft Store.

It’s hard to say when third-party widgets might become available in Windows 11, but this change to the manifesto suggests that Microsoft is at least working on it. And those aren’t the only improvements it brings, as we recently saw a new full-screen widget page with multi-account support during the April 5 Windows 11 event.


Source: FireCube (Twitter)
Going through: Neowin

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