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May 26, 2020

uTaskManager Offers UWP View on Windows 10 OS

Here’s an interesting tidbit, straight from Nayan at Windows Central. It comes from the Microsoft Store, and the apparently fertile brain of Andrew Whitechapel, a former senior program and development manager at Microsoft, and the holder of 10 patents based on his work for that company. The name of the program is uTaskManager. As the developer explains, the “u” is for Universal, as in Universal Windows Platform apps. I have to believe the “u” also pays homage to the more-difficult-to-produce “mu” (μ) character. (In this context, mu often does duty as an abbreviation for the prefix “micro.”) It’s a nice tongue-in-cheek reference to the program’s big brother, too.

uTaskManager Offers UWP View on Windows 10 OS.sec

Here’s Whitechapel’s description of uTaskManager, straight from its MS Store page.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

What Is uTaskManager?

The preceding screencap is the “Description” clipped from the program’s Microsoft Store page. More simply put, it’s a UWP version of familiar Task Manager available when you right-click the Taskbar or hit the CTRL-SHIFT-ESC key sequence (aka “taskmgr.exe”). The lead-in graphic for this story shows its more nuanced ability to provide runtime information about UWP apps resident (both suspended and running) on Windows 10 devices.

The Details tab differs substantially from the one in Task Manager though. It requires you to select an item from the Apps display, about which it shows details under this tab. The following screenshot shows details information for the SpotBright app (which gathers up and manages Microsoft brightspot images available for lock screens and desktop backgrounds).

uTaskManager Offers UWP View on Windows 10 OS.details

Note that details are available only on a per-item basis on this uTaskManager tab.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

More Fun with uTaskManager

You can learn a great deal more about what this program says and how it works by playing around with it. That’s how I discovered the “Installed” pane shows you the packages currently installed on the host Windows 10 PC/OS. This is information most likely to be of interest to developers (or forensics technicians/investigators) but it does show the complexity behind the screen on a typical Windows 10 installation.

This is an interesting tool that may be of value and use to some Windows 10 admins, power users and developers. I’ve yet to decide if it deserves a spot in the Admin Toolkit, though. Stay tuned as I figure that out. 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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