I am very excited to bring you the first public release of the Windows Live Gadget SDK today! You can start using this SDK right now to build Gadgets that run on Live.com.

Since the initial Beta launch of Live.com in November 2005, we have added a lot of enhancements to the site to enhance the end-user experience. We know that the performance is poor right now, and our team is currently working feverishly to improve that.

But as many features as we are adding to Live.com, the site is still very much a Gadget platform for you developers out there to build on. We rely on you to build rich and interesting Live Gadgets that we haven't thought of, and to build a strong ecosystem around this platform. Live.com is still in Beta today, but it promises to be one of the most popular Internet destinations when we launch later this year. You can leverage on the high traffic site to extend services beyond your web site by building Gadgets that live on Live.com.

Although we are releasing the SDK today, the Gadget platform and APIs are still changing. And we want to listen to your ideas and feedback to help us build a better platform. Some of the things that we know we need to work on are:

  1. Unified Gadget model - we want to enable developers to write a Gadget once and have it run on both Vista Sidebar and on the web, maybe even in other environments.
  2. Allow 3rd party gadgets to change header and footer - today, all 3rd party Gadgets are hosted within and iframe and do not have access to the title, title icon and footer.
  3. Make calling web services easier - this is self-explanatory.
  4. Better Settings model - there is no standard way to do settings today for 3rd party Gadgets. We would like to move to a more declarative model.
  5. Better Localization model - we provide API for you to find out the query the current locale but we don't provide much other support otherwise. This is not a big problem for most Gadgets, but it would be nice for more advanced Gadgets.

I can probably think of 5 or 6 others, but I'd rather have you tell me what you think are the important things you want to see. I can't promise that we will do all of them, but it will definitely influence our direction and investments. Anyway, enough babbling from me. I hope you will have fun building Windows Live Gadgets!

- James