I pretty much live in my browser. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is get a coffee then fire up XChat, FireFox, and Thunderbird. The last thing I do before I brush my teeth and go to bed is close XChat, Firefox, and Thunderbird. If I’m in front of a computer, I can guarantee you that at least those three applications are open and being used. This is just how things are for me, and how things have been for me for an awfully long time.
Now, about these widgets. Let’s say I decided I wanted a Google search widget. To get it widget, I have to find it (not hard), trust it to be non-malicious (I’m paranoid, so this is a bit edgy), download it, install it (it doesn’t do that automatically), then start it. Assuming it starts and does what it’s supposed to do, it then sits on the Dashboard and quietly sucks up system resources waiting for me to give it something to do. When I do decide I want to use the widget, I have to hit F12, click on the widget to focus, usually click on it again to get my cursor into whatever text box it’s supposed to be in, then type something, then click on the widget again to make it go (or hit enter), then either hit F12 or on an empty spot in the Dashboard to get back to my desktop.
Alternately, I could just click the Google button on my Firefox quickbar, type something in the webform (which happily autofocuses my cursor in the right place), then hit enter.
Maybe you’re seeing my confusion here. There are eleventy billion widgets out there that do things people can already do very easily in their web browser. Google searches, Ebay searches, Amazon searches, LiveJournal updates, etc etc. Widgets do not make these things easier or more convenient, so…I say to you, “Wtf?”