The desktop gadget style of app for Windows, first introduced in Windows Vista, may be on the way out for Windows 8. Even though support for these kinds of programs was put into the Windows 8 Consumer and Release Preview builds, newly leaked information claims that the current, but unreleased, versions of Windows 8 have removed support for such programs.
Win8China.com reportedly got a hold of these unreleased Windows 8 builds and claims that support for desktop gadgets is no longer present in the build's control panel. The HTML-based desktop gadgets, sometimes referred to as widgets, are also not supported in the desktop modes for Windows 8, according to the article.
It's possible that Microsoft sees desktop gadget support as being out of date. Certainly the use of the Metro UI and the Windows Store in Windows 8 could deliver the kinds of small programs that have been available for the desktop gadget developer and user. However, it is odd that Microsoft chose to remove desktop support in Windows 8 now, rather than do it earlier with the launch of the Consumer and Preview editions of the OS.
We have contacted Microsoft to see if they can comment publicly on this report.