Windows Live Gallery retired

Our friend (and now MVP colleague) Travis Pope just alerted us that the Windows Live Gallery (gallery.live.com), at one time a  repository for gadgets, emoticons, and plugins for Spaces, Writer, Messenger, and more, is no longer, not that it comes as much of a surprise.

1565_gallery_6e0f712b_thumb News

Currently, if you try to access gallery.live.com, or try to get to Writer plugins through the “Add plug-in” option in Windows Live Writer, you’ll see this:

Looking for gadgets?

The Windows Live Gallery has been retired. In order to focus support on the much richer set of opportunities available for the newest version of Windows, Microsoft is no longer supporting development or uploading of new Gadgets. However, some of the most popular and highest-rated gadgets are still available on the Gadgets page of the Windows Personalization Gallery.

With Windows Developer Preview, developers can create rich app experiences where customers focus on their important tasks. Apps are at the center of the Windows Developer Preview experience and are alive with activity and vibrant content. Users immerse themselves in your full-screen app while Windows gracefully gets out of the way.

Windows Developer Preview allows you to leverage your existing skills and code assets so you can create great experiences for your customers. Gadget and web developers can now use their HTML5 and CSS3 skills to build native Windows apps. .NET Developers can use XAML, C#, and Visual Basic to build beautiful Metro-style apps. Game developers can use the power of DirectX 11.1 to build amazing, immersive gaming experiences. Driver developers benefit from increased productivity with the new, integrated Visual Studio development environment.

With Windows Developer Preview, you’re ready to imagine, build, and sell the next great app.

See the Windows Dev Center to get started.

Of course, that’s probably not what you’re looking for.  If you are still in need of Writer (or Movie Maker, or Photo Gallery) plugins, luckily you can still get to them, even though the explanation isn’t much help.  Just go to plugins.live.com:

plugins_thumb News

Last August, developers were asked to move their plugins, at first they were asked to host them on their own SkyDrive accounts only, but later Microsoft relented and agreed to host at least some of the .msi files at plugins.live.com.

At one time, gallery.live.com was hosting some 27 million page views a month, so it’s kind of sad to see that we’ve gone from that to a point where it has been retired and we barely notice.