Mediocre Mac mimic

Don't count on this program to successfully replicate Apple's Dashboard.

Fans of Apple's Mac Dashboard may want to try Kludget Engine, which promises to replicate the Dashboard experience on Windows machines. It'd be great to touch a button and see a variety of useful widgets fly onto the screen. But, like many attempts to bring Apple style to the Windows world, it's better in theory than in practice.

That isn't to say that Kludget Engine is bad. It looks much like Dashboard, and it's actually designed to run Apple widgets. So, we hurried over to Apple's Web site and downloaded some widgets. And they worked--sort of. They appeared within Kludget Engine and looked the way they were supposed to, except for widgets that required any kind of user input, which was many. Entering your ZIP Code for WeatherBug, for example, did not work. And a couple of widgets just wouldn't display correctly at all. Kludget Engine has produced a few widgets of its own, but there's really not much to choose from, and the lack of Help file means users have no guidance when it comes to widget selection or configuration. Thus, users are at the mercy of Apple widgets that may or may not work. It might be worth messing with for die-hard Dashboard fans, but most users can take a pass on kludgy Kludget.

Kludget Engine is free. It installs politely but leaves a folder behind upon removal. We recommend this program, but with reservations.

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