If you are old enough, you probably still remember the dominance of PowerToys ruling on Windows 95 and XP. It’s a set of free system utilities made for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity. It’s been disappeared on Windows since Windows Vista and now Microsoft has decided to start backing it up again and will make it open source during the process.
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.
All sounds exciting only we will have to wait a bit longer for the first preview’s source code released in Summer 2019.
Meantime, why don’t we take a quick look at these old cool tools on Windows XP?
Alt-tab Replacement – replaces the default Alt-tab switcher with a more XP-style window that not only shows an icon for each application or window but also shows a thumbnail of them as you are going through them.
ClearType Tuner – arguably the first one that fine-tunes ClearType settings on the screen on Windows.
Color Control Panel Applet – to manage color profiles for devices, viewing detailed properties for color profiles.
Image Resizer – that allows us to batch resize a bunch of selected image files inside Windows Explorer.
Open Command Window Here – yep, the same version we saw and use on modern Windows.
Power Calculator – a much more advanced graphical calculator that can even store and reuse pre-defined functions. That sounds even better than the calculator we are using on Windows 10.
RAW Image Thumbnail and Viewer – what…we don’t even get that feature on Windows 10 out of the box.
Sync Toy – A synchronizing utility for files and folders. Super useful back to the days without Dropbox and OneDrive.
Tweak UI – to customize Windows XP’s user interface to make your own desktop that you love to use every day.
Virtual Desktop Manager – well, what took Microsoft so long to include it in Windows is totally beyond me.
Now, let’s see how many new toys in the new PowerToys will trump over these old cool ones.