It looks like people have start-ed (pardon the pun) to create gadgets. is Microsoft's under-the-radar, under-rated portal. They've done a nice job of adopting the beta/preview model of incrementally growing the site and features over time without over-hyping.

Gadgets provide a fairly simple model for creating new portlets. If you're interested in creating your own Gadgets go to their developer site,, or Scott Isaacs' good blog.

John Musser