Check the Weather with Windows 7!

January 18, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Keeping tabs on the weather is usually easy – all you need do is look outside. However if you want an idea of what the weather is about to do rather than what it is currently doing, you should take advantage of one of the desktop weather services available for Windows 7.

These applications require an internet connection which delivers information about the weather directly to the app, which might be running as a widget on your desktop or as an item in the system tray.

While Windows 7 comes with its own built-in weather gadget, you might find that this is unsuitable for your area or even unavailable…

Windows 7 desktop weather gadget

The Weather Channel Desktop

As the name suggests, this software is by The Weather Channel who seem to be attempting an international monopoly on weather forecasting.

The app, available from download.cnet.com/The-Weather-Channel-Desktop, is as comprehensive as you might expect from software bearing this name. Unfortunately it is also a little unwieldy and the ad-supported model can be a little irritating at times. Certainly the application suffers from loading the ads but if you’re looking for a fully features desktop weather application, The Weather Channel Desktop is the one to choose.

MyFreeWeather

Available from download.cnet.com/MyFreeWeather, this is a good alternative to The Weather Channel that offers a pleasing graphical representation of the weather, a five-day forecast and dual-measurement temperatures.

Interestingly, the weather information that furnishes this application is supplied by The Weather Channel, so if you tried their app and discarded it on the basis that the data wasn’t good enough, you likely won’t get any better results with MyFreeWeather.

WeatherBar

If you enjoy the Windows 7 Weather gadget but get frustrated having to minimise or hide all of your open windows in order to view it, then you should consider the WeatherBar, a similar tool that sits on the Windows taskbar rather than the desktop, meaning you can access it at pretty much any time.

While low on features it is high on information, meaning you get the main weather news for your selected area as it is made available.

You can download a copy of WeatherBar free from www.softpedia.com.

Windows 7 Weather Gadget

If you weren’t aware of the Windows 7 Weather gadget before reading this article, you can activate this tool quickly from the Windows desktop without bothering with downloading additional software.

To take advantage of this software, find and empty space on the Windows 7 desktop and right-click; in the context menu select Gadgets.

Ten gadgets are included in Windows 7 – one of these is Weather. All you need to do is double-click or drag the Weather gadget to your desktop and it will be ready to use.

Once in position, you might wish to make some changes to what is displayed by the Weather gadget. Hovering your mouse pointer over it will display some additional features on the right-hand side, and you can choose between closing the widget, resizing it or viewing its Options. This last choice lets you specify a location for the weather as well as choosing between Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature display.

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