AOL is planning the first Windows Vista gadget that takes advantage of Microsoft's new Silverlight cross-platform media player technology: the AOL Social Mail Gadget for Vista provides one-click access to e-mail, AOL Instant Messenger service, photos and video directly from the Windows Vista desktop. The gadget is designed to scan the user's inbox and identify which five people they communicate with most often. The user can add or remove people from his or her "A-list" and with a single click can email or IM people on the list directly from the desktop. Viewing videos and photos without opening a separate application is also possible."We wanted to create a mail experience that's different from what has been done before," said Roy Ben-Yoseph, AOL's vice president.
The AOL Social Mail Gadget will come with two skins (surfboards and guitars) but is also has the capability of using custom skins. AOL is shooting to have a full-scale beta test within the next couple of months and a release version later in the year, according to Ben-Yoseph.