Yahoo refreshes Widgets

Widgets 4.0 features automatic updating and a lighter appetite for RAM

Yahoo Thursday updated its free Widget software and touted the program's new automatic updating feature and its lighter appetite for RAM.

Widgets 4.0, which runs on Microsoft Windows -- including Vista -- and Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, requires 40 percent less memory than before and automatically updates all widgets a user has previously downloaded when new versions are available, the company said.

The software now also includes a dock that shows widgets -- those active on the desktop as well as all those downloaded -- in a strip-like display, vaguely similar to the way Windows Vista shows Gadgets in its Sidebar. Also new are improved widget-making tools and something Yahoo dubbed Gallery Widget, which lets users locate and download any of the thousands of widgets without opening a browser.

Widgets on Mac OS X competes with Apple's own small applications by the same name and Microsoft's Gadgets. Yahoo acquired the software, previously known as Konfabulator, in a 2005 purchase of Pixoria.

The software is available for download from Yahoo's site.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld

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