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Microsoft announces new PowerToys and Windows development features

Microsoft is kicking off its virtual Build 2020 developer conference today, and all of the news is getting dropped at once. Among the announcements are new features for app installation and creation on Windows.

First up is new features for Microsoft's PowerToys utility, which is at version 0.18 now. There are two key new features, and the first is Keyboard Remapper. You can use the feature to remap key to key and shortcut to shortcut. The other new feature is PowerToys Run, which is an app launcher that the team has been pretty public about creating. It was previously called Power Launcher, and it's meant to replace Win+R with something better.

A lot of the new stuff for Windows app creation has to do with Project Reunion, Microsoft's plan to unify Win32 and UWP. This includes the preview for WinUI 3, which includes the support for UWP apps to desktop apps. There's also a preview of a Windows SDK Build Tools NuGet package, which lets developers use MSIX with fewer dependencies.

Microsoft is also announcing a preview of a Windows SDK .NET package, which allows you to call WinRT APIs from .NET apps. In fact, there's a lot that has to do with calling WinRT APIs from .NET apps, such as the announcement of C#/WinRT.

Finally, there's a preview of Microsoft Package Manager. It's a new open source command line interface that's meant to allow you to quickly install tools, similar to what you can already do on Linux.

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