I recently stumbled across this official gadget by Microsoft for Bing. As excited as I was, I was disappointed to find out that it’s a very simple gadget that only shows suggestions and opens up the search results in the browser. The drop down suggestions aren’t even visual, i.e. you won’t see image suggestions or the weather by typing in ‘New York weather’ like you get in Internet Explorer 8’s search box.
If you used Windows Live Search ( yeah, I did! ), you probably know there existed a gadget of it as well which as been taken down from the Windows Live Gallery. It provided better functionality by showing the search results in the gadget itself. It even allowed you to set up macros so you could add 2 additional custom searches in addition to the default web Live Search. Compare this to the newer Bing gadget, and you should go huh?
I guess we’ll never know why Microsoft created the gadget platform to not support it fully with its own services later. We’ve all wanted official Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail, Calendar and other gadgets since years now, but perhaps Microsoft thinks it’s not worth their time to promote their own web services in a good way using their own technologies (another example is the Bing app on iPhone vs. the Bing app on Windows Mobile ). They even went on to remove some useful Vista sidebar gadgets in Windows 7. All we get are lame gadgets from them now. Why, Microsoft, why?
You can download the official Bing gadget here. ( Works on Vista as well )