Introduction to Windows SideShow

I’m now working on the SideShow team here at Microsoft, so I thought I’d transition to talking about the SideShow from a developer’s perspective in this blog. First, let’s get acquainted with what SideShow is…


So what is Windows SideShow?

Windows SideShow is a technology (new for Windows Vista) which enables you to view content from your PC on device displays which are not primary or secondary monitors. An example would be the “in-lid display” (like you have on the outside of a flip phone) on the ASUS W5fe:




So how can you view content on your SideShow display?

SideShow content is sent to the display by software applications running on the PC called “SideShow Gadgets”. First you install the gadget (See the SideShow gadget gallery here: ) then you enable and configure the gadget via the SideShow Control Panel page. Once the gadget is enabled it will show up and be selectable on the SideShow device.


Why do I need SideShow?

One example of using your SideShow display is when your PC is closed and asleep (say you’re on your way to a meeting). You can access email, media, your calendar and more while the notebook is closed! (Using the ASUS W5fe as an example). This is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how SideShow is useful. We’ll get into more scenarios in later posts.


That’s your basic introduction to SideShow, if you’re interested in more reading, here are a couple links:


Next, we’ll start to look at SideShow Gadgets in more detail…