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PowerToys Returning to Windows 10

Last week, Ms unveiled a GitHub repository named PowerToys. Though that repository has no releases just yet, the overview mentions (and links to) the Windows 95 era PowerToys project (Wikipedia), and announces a planned reboot for later this year (Summer 2019). First in the planned series of upcoming PowerToys rebooted will be:

+ Maximize to New Desktop Widget (MTND): “shows a pop-up button when a user hovers over the maximize/restore button on any windows. Clicking it creates a new desktop, sends the app to that desktop and maximizes the app . . .”
+ Windows Key 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.”

For the record, I remember the original Windows 95 Power Toys, and the Windows 95 Kernel Toys that followed them. I used several of both kinds of tools. I still use the Image Resizer Power Toy (currently maintained by Brice Lambson as Image Resizer for Windows) to this very day. I believe this planned reboot is a GREAT IDEA, and I’m glad to see Microsoft do this, and to put the source code out there in Open Source form.

PowerToys Returning to Windows 10.logo

This logo also appears in GitHub, and hearkens back to rude, crude logo designs from the Win95 era.

Please Help MS Prioritize Future Power Toys Plans

MS presents a list of utilities they’re considering for release under the Power Toys label. They’re asking for feedback on priority, and for suggestions on other stuff not included in the list. You can post suggestions to the PowerToys Issues list (use the “Suggested Power Toy” label, after checking to see what’s already been pitched, and endorsing other good ideas you find there). Interested developers can even roll up their sleeves and start working on coding stuff. Here’s the current list that MS is pondering (with links where projects are already underway):

– 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

This is a terrific concept that I hope readers here will not only be interested in learning about, but will also support with their input and suggestions (or coding help, from those with sufficient time, energy, and skill to participate at that level). To that end, be sure to check out the PowerToys Github repository and its Issues page. Cheers!


Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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