Microsoft’s PowerToys make a return in Windows 10, but this time it’s open source.
Many of you are hearing the name for the first time and it’s fine. PowerToys is a set of utilities which was introduced by Microsoft first in Windows 95. This was to let users modify some of the trickiest settings without having any knowledge about Windows Registry. PowerToys has FindX, TweakUI, Quick Res, and many other great tools back in the days. Microsoft introduced a version two of the PowerToys with the release of Windows XP and that’s the end.
After 17 years Microsoft is thinking of introducing you can say a version three to Windows 10 users. One of the interesting things about the version three of the tool is that it is open source and you can access all the codes on GitHub.
Microsoft is currently working on two tools – Maximize to new desktop widget, and the Windows key shortcut guide but the plan is to make 10 more such useful tools, all will be releasing this summer. The 10 tools that Microsoft is considering developing are:
- 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 taskbar
- Mouse events without focus
- Cmd (or PS or Bash) from here
- Contents menu file browsing
PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity.
Inspired by the Windows 95 era PowerToys project, this reboot provides power users with ways to squeeze more efficiency out of the Windows 10 shell and customize it for individual workflows. A great overview of the Windows 95 PowerToys can be found here.
The first preview of these utilities can be installed from here.
The first preview release of the PowerToys utilities and source code is now live! This release includes two preview quality utilities as well as the tools and docs to make it easy to create new PowerToys utilities.
- FancyZones – FancyZones is a window manager that makes it easy to create complex window layouts and quickly position windows into those layouts. The FancyZones backlog can be found here
- Windows key shortcut guide – The shortcut guide appears when a user holds the Windows key down for more than one second and shows the available shortcuts for the current state of the desktop. The shortcut guide backlog can be found here
Additional utilities in the pipeline are:
- Maximize to new desktop widget – The MTND widget shows a pop-up button when a user hovers over the maximize / restore button on any window. Clicking it creates a new desktop, sends the app to that desktop and maximizes the app on the new desktop.
- Process terminate tool
- Batch file renamer
- Animated gif screen recorder
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