Some changes made to an operating system over time make it seem like the developers are just trying too hard to “wow” us at the expense of keeping our systems streamlined and smoothly functioning. A company that eschews the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy when rolling out the next version of its operating system can cause consumer confidence to plummet and market shares to tumble. An operating system should move forward as a step toward a kind of positive evolution, but if such progress is forced, the end result can be disappointing (in the best cases), and downright infuriating to those who rely on the steady and reliable performance of such an operating system.
Many people disliked the Windows Sidebar (as just one among a cornucopia of other “features”) when it was introduced in Windows Vista. In response, Microsoft made some changes and introduced gadgets in Windows 7. A significant improvement, gadgets in Windows 7 can be very useful — unfortunately, many people overlook the feature.
There are many great Windows 7 gadgets available, from gadgets that monitor system performance to current weather. You can find Windows 7 gadgets on the Windows Live Gallery Web page.
One gadget that I’ve found useful is Sidechirp (which, if I’m not mistaken, was formerly called Twitter Explorer) by the developers of Build a Gadget. It acts as a simple desktop interface for Twitter updates, which means I don’t have to open my browser window to keep up to date on Twitter updates. In other words, it lets you keep up to date on Twitter updates right from your desktop sidebar. In fact, some people may find the gadget functional enough that they don’t even have to visit the Twitter Web site.
So what exactly can you do with Sidechirp? Not only is the interface simple to use, but you can view recent activity and mentions, and post messages, replies, and retweets.
You can download Sidechirp from the Windows Live Gallery.