Q:

Did Microsoft discontinue desktop gadgets?

A:

Quick Answer

Microsoft discontinued desktop gadgets for Windows 7 and Windows Vista in 2012. The sidebar platform has serious vulnerabilities, and the gadgets could be exploited to harm or take over a user's computer. The company urges anyone using Windows 7 or Vista to disable gadgets to avoid possible risk.

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Full Answer

Microsoft issued a security patch on July 10th, 2012, that automatically disables the sidebar in vulnerable versions of Windows. On July 26th, 2012, Mickey Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg presented their research on Windows gadget exploitation at the Blackhat Security Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The presentation detailed how to create malicious gadgets as well as how to exploit legitimate gadgets in order to gain control of victim computers.

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