It's been a while since Microsoft did much in the "PowerToys" space, a suite of useful utilities that provided enhanced versions of the apps and controls built into Windows. Harking back to the Windows 95 days, one of the most useful PowerToys was "Quick Res" which allowed you to change the resolution of your monitor without having to restart Windows. Of course, this was made a native capability in later versions of the operating system which ended up making this tool obsolete.
Despite a second version of PowerToys being released for Windows XP in 2002, not a lot more has happened for subsequent versions of Windows. Now, that is set to change with Microsoft signaling the introduction of two new utilities for Windows 10.
According to the GitHub repository for PowerToys, one of the first cabs off the rank will be a new maximize to new desktop (MTND) widget. With this tool installed, users can hover the mouse cursor over a window's maximize button which, as the name implies, will allow users to send the window maximized to a new desktop when clicked.
The second PowerToy on the cards is the "Windows key shortcut guide" which can be invoked by holding down the Window key for more than a second. The shortcuts that will be displayed will be sensitive to the present desktop context.
If neither of those utilities are particularly useful to you, Microsoft is considering a raft of other tools for development, which currently include:
- 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
Those interested in backing one or more of the above potential PowerToys should head on over to the GitHub repository and use issues and "+1"s as the desired means of feedback. Furthermore, this time round, the company will be open sourcing code for the first two utilities sometime in summer 2019 when the first previews are set to be released.