The latest beta of Vista includes gadgets, and while there’s not much there yet, it’s a look into the future of Windows. Here’s a screenshot of the gadgets on my PC:
The top gadget is a kind of launch pad where you can launch programs with one click. Interesting, but not overly useful. The one beneath it is the good one — it’s a live feed of your RSS subscriptions. The others are pretty obvious — the Recycle Bin and a clock.
At this point, there’s not much to choose from, and you can’t customize the gadgets much. I’m hoping the next revision will do more with them.