First up is Konfabulator. Recently purchased by Yahoo!. Konfabulator puts widgets on your desktop. What are widgets? (If you are familiar with Mac OS X Tiger then you know because of Apple’s Dashboard feature.) Widgets are little information panels for particular items. Weather, Calendar, and many more. You can have a countdown to the next Harry Potter movie right on your desktop if you’d like. Other widgets display how many new e-mail messages you have in your inbox. The widgets provided by Konfabulator look nice, and streamlined. They don’t look like the average window on your computer, blending nicely into your desktop background.
Next up is Google’s new desktop search and sidebar. Google’s new desktop is better than the search integrated into Windows because it keeps an active index of files you want to search for, including but not limited to: web history, AIM chats, e-mail , and music. Since it’s actively indexed, you don’t have to wait for results. They are instantaneous. Also the desktop search interface looks just like Google’s homepage.
The new sidebar on the other hand, is another attempt to put information in your face. It includes e-mail, RSS Feeds, Weather, To-do lists, News, and recently used files and programs on the side of your screen. The interface is a little annoying on your screen, however, if you select the auto-hide feature, it will only pull up when your cursor is on that edge of the screen. Every other part of the interface is pretty clever. It automatically pulls RSS feeds you frequent. A Google search bar is located at the bottom of the bar.I like to have information at my fingertips, so this is good for me. Some people enjoy taking the time to browse several pages of news and blogs. Ultimately, I encourage you to try these out for yourself. They are both free of cost, and free of ads.