Sky News has released a gadget for Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system.

The news network published the software, which sits alongside a number of other downloadable utilities and components, last week. It is a news alert service bringing headlines and images to users' desktops.

According to Microsoft's official documentation: "The gadget shows you the latest stories, including breaking news, updated every five minutes. The type of news you view can be changed by clicking on the feed selector icon in the top right of the gadget, or in the settings dialogue."

Sky News had previously offered a desktop alert application, produced by Skinkers, that is still available to those Windows users who do not run Vista. Other news organisations with the new Vista gadgets include BBC News.

The gadget won praise from Microsoft UK product manager Ian Moulster, who said he enjoyed Sky's 'Strange news' round-up of quirky stories.

Simon Dickson, a digital consultant who formerly worked at Sky News, said: "Full credit to them for delivering this. Increasing the potential points of access for the service is exactly the right thing to be doing."

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