Windows 11 Might Soon Support Third-Party Widgets, Manifest Code Hints

Third-party support will bring fresh new widgets to the Windows 11 Widgets panel

Windows 11 Might Soon Support Third-Party Widgets, Manifest Code Hints

Photo Credit: Microsoft

At present, only a few widgets are available on Windows 11

Highlights
  • At present, users can only have Microsoft’s own widgets in the panel
  • The Widgets panel of Windows 11 shows information snippets
  • Microsoft is yet to confirm the arrival of the new feature

Windows 11, the latest operating system by Microsoft, could soon get third-party widgets via the Microsoft Store. Currently, the widget panel can display only Microsoft's own widgets. These include a calendar, weather updates, and top news stories. As per a screenshot of alleged code from the Widget manifest that has surfaced online, Microsoft is reportedly now working on adding support for third-party widgets on Windows 11. The leaked Widget manifest mentions downloading new widgets through the Microsoft Store.

Twitter user FireCube tweeted a screenshot of the alleged code from the Widget manifest that contains references to downloading new widgets through the Microsoft Store. "Widget manifest update shows more evidence of being able to download third-party widgets and updates from the Microsoft Store," said the tweet. The screenshot of the alleged manifest file includes a message that reads “download new widgets and widget updates in Microsoft Store”. Based on this, it is speculated that users might be able to download new widgets following a future OS update. If the development turns out to be real and not just an internal Microsoft test, the Widgets panel would be more useful for people with options for personalisation.

At present, the Widgets panel of Windows 11 opens from the left side of the screen and displays widgets for weather, traffic, sports stories, a Watchlist, OneDrive photos, Microsoft To-Do, and some other apps and types of news. Previous leaks have also hinted at the arrival of third-party widgets to Microsoft's operating system. However, Microsoft is yet to confirm this expansion of the Widgets panel.

Recently, Microsoft announced a bunch of new features for Windows 11, focusing on hybrid work and enterprise customers. Microsoft is updating Windows 11's File Explorer with a tabbed UI and support for pinned files. It is also bringing improved accessibility features for persons with disabilities, along with support for services to automate updates for Windows, Microsoft Edge, and Office. Further, it is making switching between Windows 11 and Windows 365 easier, with Windows 365 Switch and Windows 365 Boot.


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Nithya P Nair
Nithya P Nair is a journalist with more than five years of experience in digital journalism. She specialises in business and technology beats. A foodie at heart, Nithya loves exploring new places (read cuisines) and sneaking in Malayalam movie dialogues to spice up conversations. More
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