It’s a well-known fact that Microsoft has dropped desktop gadgets from Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 versions due to security reasons, and has been offering a tool to completely remove sidebar or desktop gadgets from Windows 7 as well.
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users who aren’t concerned about the security can download and install third-party desktop gadget packs that include ported desktop gadgets from Windows 7. The advantage of these gadget packs is that you not only get native Windows 7 gadgets but also get tens of cool third-party gadgets designed for Windows 7.
Since desktop gadgets were originally developed for Windows 7, they don’t go well with Windows 8 and 8.1’s Modern interface. If you’re running Windows 8 or 8.1, and looking for a good sidebar program with tiled interface, you should check out MetroSidebar program.
MetroSidebar is a free sidebar program designed to add Modern UI-style (Metro-style) sidebar to Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. The cool thing about this sidebar program is that it goes very well with the Modern interface of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
The recently released MetroSidebar 2.0 displays date, time, your user name, user picture, and weather info at the right-side of the screen with default settings.
Just like the tiles on the Start screen in Windows 8 and 8.1, the tiles on the MetroSidebar update in real-time. The sidebar also shows slideshow of pictures located in Pictures folder, comes with an Alarm tile, and also lets you quickly launch Computer (My Computer or This PC), Control Pane, Recycle Bin, and Internet Explorer right from the sidebar.
You can customize the sidebar by adding, removing, arranging and grouping tiles in the rooms. The current version of MetroSidebar comes with a total of ten tiles: alarm, battery info, Bing search, clock, launcher, media player, pictures, power, user account info, and weather tiles.
To add a new tile, click the Settings icon located at the bottom of the sidebar and then click Add tiles. Select a tile’s name in the left-pane and then click the plus button to add the tile to the sidebar.
Options to auto-hide and dock the sidebar are available under Settings. MetroSidebar doesn’t affect the Charms bar present in Windows 8 and 8.1 any way.
All-in-all it’s a decent sidebar program with beautiful interface. It’s compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.