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Tech News Microsoft brings PowerToys back to let anyone improve Windows 10 for power users

TheHarperdragon

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By Tom [email protected] May 8, 2019, 10:06am EDT

Microsoft first introduced the concept of “PowerToys” in Windows 95. It was originally a way for Windows engineers to test a prototype feature, and Microsoft packaged some of the best ones into a PowerToys bundle. These PowerToys included popular utilities like Tweak UI to customize the Windows user interface, Quick Res to quickly change screen resolutions, and Send To X that let you send files and folders to the command line, clipboard, or desktop.

PowerToys disappeared after Windows XP, during a time when co-founder Bill Gates ordered a security review of everything that was going into Windows. These useful utilities are now being revived by Microsoft in a new effort to focus on what power users need in Windows 10. The software giant is open-sourcing PowerToys on GitHub, so anyone can contribute and create power user tools for Windows 10.

The first two utilities that Microsoft is working on for Windows 10 are a new maximize to desktop widget and a Windows key shortcut guide. The maximize to desktop widget places a pop-up button over the maximize button when you hover over it. It’s designed to let you quickly send an app to another desktop, utilizing Windows 10’s multi-desktop view. The Windows shortcut guide utility simply shows a keyboard shortcut guide when you hold down the Windows key.

Microsoft is also considering 10 other utilities for these new PowerToys for Windows 10:

Full window manager, including specific layouts for docking and undocking laptops
Keyboard shortcut manager
Win+R replacement
Better alt+tab including browser tab integration and search for running apps
Battery tracker
Batch file re-namer
Quick resolution swaps in task bar
Mouse events without focus
Cmd (or PS or Bash) from here
Contents menu file browsing

Microsoft is looking for feedback and contributions over on GitHub, much like how the company recently open-sourced its Windows calculator for additional input and ideas. That effort resulted in a graphing mode being added to the Windows calculator. Microsoft is now planning to preview these PowerToys utilities in the summer, alongside the corresponding source code being published on GitHub.
 

SenorFrog

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I do remember those utilities (apps), however many of the site members may not even know what those are or what Windows 95 was :p
 

ffuhrren

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I love the WSL on Windoze 10, right now I'm evaluating Cygwin vs. WSL. :)
 
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