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March 22, 2007

Yahoo Widgets vs Google Desktop

Yahoo launched a new version of Yahoo Widgets (previously known as Konfabulator), a free application that displays small widgets on your desktop. Launched in 2002 for Mac, and then ported to Windows, Konfabulator was bought in 2005 by Yahoo.

Google Desktop
was launched in 2004 as a desktop search tool, but it started to include support for widgets in 2005. "Google Desktop is a new, easier way to get information – even without searching. You can think of it as a personal web assistant that learns about your habits and interests to identify and present web pages, news stories, and photos that it thinks you will be interested in," said Marissa Mayer.

While Konfabulator is the real innovator, Google Desktop combined widgets with search and focused on personalization. Here's a small comparison table:


Google Desktop
Yahoo Widgets
Platforms
Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Mac OSX, Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Setup size
1.7 MB
11.6 MB
Terminology
gadgets
widgets
Default widgets
Gmail, clock, To Do list, news, feed reader, sticky notes, photos, weather.
Yahoo! search, maps, notepad, address book, mail, photos, Flickr, Calendar, Weather, Finance, digital clock, CPU monitor, widget gallery.
Total number of widgets
360
3884
Rendering In the same process as Google Desktop.
Each widget has its own process: as a result, Yahoo Widgets is more stable, but also uses more memory.
Widgets are built in
XML and JavaScript
XML and JavaScript
What you can do with widgets
  • Can be detached from the sidebar
  • Collapsible
  • Always on top
  • Heads-up display: show/hide all the widgets at once
  • Expand the widget
  • Resize the widget, move it on your desktop
  • Change the frame, the opacity
What's unique
  • Desktop search engine
  • Recommendations
  • Google Desktop can display many gadgets available at Google Personalized Homepage
  • You can save the settings for some gadgets on Google's servers
  • Using Google Talk as a communication protocol
  • Alerts
  • Bigger developer community
  • Widgets have comments, ratings
  • Widgets look better and are more customizable
Performance
Google Desktop also indexes your computer, so it has worse performance. If you disable desktop search functionality, you'll reduce memory usage.
The latest version improves memory usage. The performance is similar to Google Desktop without desktop search.


Yahoo Widgets is for people who want to spread a lot of information chaotically on the desktop; there are plenty of sleek widgets to choose from. Google Desktop is for organized people: it lets you search you computer as well as the web, it shows a sidebar that's visible all the time and personalizes the gadgets automatically.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.