Microsoft has decided to shut down the Windows Live Gallery web site after a number of years. The web site, launched back in 2006, was at one point a popular destination for Windows users to download a wide variety of software gadgets, plug-ins and other applications. Users were able to purchase some gadgets via Microsoft Points which are also used to pay for content on the Xbox 360 console as well as the Zune Marketplace.
The Windows Live Gallery web site now has a brief message stating, "The Windows Live Gallery has been retired. In order to focus support on the much richer set of opportunities available for the newest version of Windows, Microsoft is no longer supporting development or uploading of new Gadgets." The message does add that some Windows-based gadget programs can still be downloaded over at the Personalization Gallery web site.
Part of the reason Microsoft has decided to close the Windows Live Gallery has to do with the upcoming launch of the Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft has already released a Developer Preview of Windows 8 which will include support for downloading apps via the Microsoft Store. The message on the Windows Live Gallery web site says, "With Windows Developer Preview, developers can create rich app experiences where customers focus on their important tasks. Apps are at the center of the Windows Developer Preview experience and are alive with activity and vibrant content. Users immerse themselves in your full-screen app while Windows gracefully gets out of the way."