Windows 7 is here—and after the tepid reviews that Windows Vista received, it seems that Microsoft is back on top of the world with their latest operating system. Windows 7 brings numerous improvements in terms of stability and performance over Vista. But one of the things that Windows Vista got right were desktop gadgets. Gadgets are mini-applications that sit unobtrusively on your desktop and perform a variety of functions, much like smartphone apps do for mobile devices. Windows 7 carries on the tradition of offering users desktop gadgets that boost productivity or simply provide a welcome distraction from your workday. Check out a few of the must-have desktop Windows 7 gadgets below.
Twadget (The Twitter Gadget)
Twitter is meant to be consumed in small doses. But instead of firing up your browser and logging into Twitter.com, Twadget lets you keep your finger on the pulse without interrupting your workflow. You can update your Twitter status and view tweets from your friends all from within Twadget.
The Google Gadget puts the search bar of the world’s favorite search engine right on your desktop. Simply type your query into the bar and you’ll instantly be whisked away to your results. You can search in English, French, German, Italian, Chinese Japanese and other languages.
This little gadget waits patiently until you come across text in a foreign language. You can then either type it in or copy and paste it into the box and have it automatically translate. With support for 43 languages, this gadget can be a real life saver.
Plan your weekend or your wardrobe on the fly thanks to the WeatherBug gadget. This gadget tells you live weather conditions for anywhere in the world. You can see the temperature, forecasts, radar, cameras, severe weather alerts and more—all powered by WeatherBug’s 8,000 tracking stations.
Does your PC feel sluggish? Find out what’s dragging and why with Speed Test. The Speed Test gadget gives you real-time feedback on your Internet speed, your website download speed, hard drive space and activity, WiFi signal strength, RAM usage, memory usage and other vital data about your computer.
Auction Sidebar Tool for eBay
Keep tabs on your auction and place bids all from the Auction Sidebar tool for eBay gadget. This gadget lets you monitor your watch list and remove items, too. You can set it up with custom skins and alerts, so you’ll never be outbid on a critical auction ever again.
How many ounces are there in a pound again? What about feet in a mile? How do you convert centimeters to feet? For all your burning unit conversion questions, the Unit Converter gadget has an answer.
Traffic by Bing Maps
Find out the fastest route home before you leave work, thanks to the Traffic by Bing Maps gadget. This gadget gives you real time traffic powered by Microsoft’s own search engine. This shows you where the traffic snags are and how to get around them so you can avoid getting stuck in traffic.