What does Windows 7 use to render Desktop Gadgets, and why would I ever use “g:” tags?

This is really a two part question, but they're kinda related:

  1. How does Windows 7 render Desktop Gadgets? I'm trying to style some of my HTML elements with CSS, but not everything behaves as expected. Is my CSS being rendered by IE 9, IE 8, or is it rendered by whichever latest version of IE is installed on the computer?

  2. What is the point of using the "g:" tags, such as <g:background> or <g:text>? Is there any special benefit, as opposed to using JavaScript and CSS to manipulate standard HTML elements? Seems like all they're good for is making the code less portable.


It uses whatever version of IE is installed to render the Gadgets, however it always uses the IE7 compatible version of it from my experience. This I assume is just because of compatible reasons.

The g:text, g:background, etc tags are good when working on a gadget with a transparent background. If you just use plain HTML they are rendered with magenta artifacts on the semi transparent pixels. They also use a nicer font renderer - presumably DirectWrite or similar - so they look nicer.

Basically, if you give your gadget only uses 1 bit opacity, there is no reason to use the g: tags to my knowledge. If your gadget needs more than that, you have to use them.

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