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What is a widget?

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May 02, 2011 12:15PM

There is no one thing called a widget. The term is used

generically like gadget or gizmo.

It's often used in an academic context, especially in business

schools or economics classes. For example, an economics professor

might talk to her students about "the supply and demand for

widgets," or a marketing teacher might ask his students to develop

"a plan for selling widgets." By using a generic term they keep

their students from being distracted by the item itself.

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I believe originally the term widget was used in reference to a

device or article the name of which you had either forgotten or

never knew in the first place. For example: In the English brewing

industry the term widget is a applied to a small device found in

cans of beer which make the beer froth in a similar fashion to beer

pumped from a keg - it became known as a widget because no-one

could think of any other name for it.

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In the brewing industry a widget is a small plastic or nylon

device which has small holes in it and is bottled or caned inside

the beer. Widgets then release small bubbles of nitrogen into the

packaged beer when the container is opened.

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If you are thinking about Yahoo! Widgets, go to the official

website, http://widgets.yahoo.com/ then click on a button in the

upper right hand corner that says "What is a Widget?". Hope this is

what you were looking for.

a widget is a small window at the side of a computer screen

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There also used to be a product called a widget. It was a hard

plastic yellow handle that held a razor blade, and could be used as

a scraper.

In Cell phone lingo a widget is a shortcut that is on the home

screen of your mobile phone. It is just a small picture and maybe a

one word description that you can click on and take you to that

certain application.

Its synonymous with gadget/gizmo/doodad/contrivance/device.


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