Google has announced the availability of more than 1000 ‘Google Gadgets’ that can be run on any web site, differentiating them from the existing desktop gadgets which could only work locally by way of the Google Desktop software or on a personalized Google homepage.

These bits of cobbled together HTML and Javascript code that act as dynamic applications when installed on your web page are also different from the Widgets that Yahoo has had available ever since it acquired Konfablator last year. Those 3000+ plus mini-applications only run if you download and install an 11Mb host application first, and then only on a Windows based PC. Apple and Microsoft also have similar requirements, for now. It seems highly unlikely that Google will be allowed to maintain the lead in independent widgetry for long.

Indeed, they already have competition from the likes of Netscape co-founder Marc Andreeson with Ning that enables entire sites to be built from widgets, and Widgetbox that offers an open marketplace of the things.

What I find most interesting, however, is the fact that this really is a case of letting the users not only decide what they want but letting them build it as well. Surprisingly, only 2% of the gadgets available are Google developments, the rest all come from third part programmers. Indeed, given the exposure offered by the Google brand, this could be a great way to get your spare time programming fun projects distributed to a global audience.

The full list can be found at Google Gadgets.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

I love google gadgets but... it takes up to much space, slows my pc down. Im waiting for the google os. that will surely kick alota butts... but i am curious if they are not officially releasing it cus they do not want a lawsuit from Mr. Gates.. who knows. keep it up google. i am curious how far you legs will spread until you fall? i hope you dont but icarus flew to close the sun too. ..

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I also like Google Gadgets. But there are certain features which they discontinue:

The alternative is PHPExcel or other scripts that can produce those kind of charts or an app.