Earlier this month, it was reported that current but unreleased builds of Windows 8 had taken away support for desktop gadgets, We emailed Microsoft for comment on this report but the company declined to do so.
Now Microsoft has issued a security warning this week that offers a way to disable desktop gadgets in Windows 7 and Windows Vista via a "Fixit" downloadable program. The warning states:
Disabling the Windows Sidebar and Gadgets can help protect customers from vulnerabilities that involve the execution of arbitrary code by the Windows Sidebar when running insecure Gadgets. In addition, Gadgets installed from untrusted sources can harm your computer and can access your computer's files, show you objectionable content, or change their behavior at any time.
Computerworld.com also reports that two software security researchers are scheduled to offer a presentation at the Black Hat conference later this month that could show a number of issues with gadgets in Windows operating systems. The description of the presentation says, "We will be talking about our research into creating malicious gadgets, misappropriating legitimate gadgets and the sorts of flaws we have found in published gadgets."
It definitely sounds like Microsoft is backing away from its current desktop gadget support and may eliminate it when Windows 8 is launched later this year.