The first gadgets and widgets

In the software industry, a widget is a piece of reusable code that you can plug into virtually any website. A widget works on any page that lets you add an HTML block. You can put widgets on your blog, or your personalized start page, or your personal website.

A gadget acts just like a widget, but it is proprietary, so it only works on a certain website or a specific set of websites. For example, Google Gadgets can look and act like widgets. But they only work on Google pages.

In 2003, a startup called Konfabulator, released a paid software that consisted of cool standalone applets that did all sorts of stuff from telling the time, to monitoring stock market prices, to displaying your iCal calendar. This was originally for the Mac OS, and then a Windows port was released late 2004. In mid-2005, Yahoo acquired the startup, and then offered Konfabulator as freeware, both for Mac OS X and Windows.

Yahoo Desktop Widgets Gallery was discontinued on April 11, 2012.

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