One of the key new features of Windows Vista and IE7 is something called Sidebar, which is a gadget platform. This will allow Live.com gadgets to be used right on the Windows desktop.I wrote a little bit about this after attending a Microsoft event called Search Champs in January.
Yahoo Music has very quietly released an Ajax gadget for Sidebar that will allow user to play Yahoo Music right from a Windows desktop, and it’s giving me a lot of ideas around the types of things that we’ll be seeing very soon.
Before this, to use Yahoo’s unlimited music product (all you can download and listen to music for $5 per month) you had to download the Yahoo Music Engine, which is their version of iTunes (a client based media player). But based on what Ian Rogers writes on the Yahoo Music Blog, this will no longer be the case. You will be able to listen to music right from a Windows desktop without using the Yahoo Music Engine.
I’ve included a couple of screen shots, including a close up of the player and a larger shot showing it on a Windows desktop. More screen shots are available on Ian’s post, linked above. You can also see a demo at this link, just skip ahead to 28 minutes and 10 seconds.
So the really interesting thing about this is, what other web and desktop applications will we be able to use via a gadget on the Windows desktop? My guess is, pretty much everything.