RETRO GEEKING AHOY! Microsoft has released the first preview of its new suite of Windows utilities, known as PowerToys.
No, you're not stuck in a retro nightmare (or if you are, it's incidental to this news) - it's a revival of sorts of the tweaking apps (or programs as we called them in those days, ask yer Mum) from Windows 95/XP.
The revived PowerToys is aimed at Windows 10 users (natch) and this time, thanks to the Nadella's change of heart, it's all up on (Microsoft owned) Github as open source. Even in its incubative state, over 4000 devs have ‘starred' the repo.
Steve Ballmer would turn in his support girdle.
The initial preview only contains two apps - a shortcut guide to the keyboard combos in Windows (can't help feeling that should have been native anyway), and FancyZones, a way of carving up your desktop to keep your icons tidy - similar to the third-party app Fences.
"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 utilities to squeeze more efficiency out of the Windows 10 shell and customize it for individual workflows."
More PowerToys are on the way including a screen recorder (in case you've forgotten that Game Bar exists, which you probably have) and of course, being open-source, if you've got an idea for a PowerToy, you can submit it for possible inclusion in a future edition. Currently, under consideration are a battery usage monitor and a replacement for the ‘Run' window amongst many others.
All you need to do if you want to try it out is download the installer from Github. Although it comes under the Insider Program, you don't need to be running an Insider build of Windows to get it. μ
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