Opal Fruits, Princess Diana and… PowerToys? Microsoft is dragging Windows 10 back to

With a nostalgic glow in its corporate eye, Microsoft has issued a Windows 10 version of its venerable PowerToys suite.

However, those who expect something similar to the potential horrors lurking in the original will be disappointed. As promised in May, the first two utilities in the preview consist of a window manager and a shortcut key guide.

The first, called "FancyZones," is a useful tool for users who tend to run multiple windows on a desktop in a preferred design. The theory says that a user can define a design (or choose one of the presets) and then make the applications fit their locations. At first it is a bit confusing, something that Microsoft has recognized with an instructional video that can be launched from the application.

It's a great toy, and we had five minutes of fun evoking all kinds of designs before we realized that FancyZones really doesn't like multi-monitor configurations. It can be brought to life (you must disable the new design editor in the configuration), but our opinion is that it is currently the best for those users equipped with a huge large screen.

Although it is a shame, it is worth remembering that this is only a preview for now. Anyone who feels particularly strong on the subject can go to GitHub and do something about it. Or just whine apathetically like us.

The other tool is a simple shortcut guide, which appears when the Windows key is held down. Think of it as Jen Gentleman (the Microsoft engineer who has done a personal search to educate the world about the less known Windows shortcut keys) in the form of an application.

The guide will initially be incredibly useful for those who are not familiar with those shortcuts and are obviously not very useful once learned. Hopefully, there will be some visual indicator for when new shortcuts are added and a shortcut manager to customize things lurks.

Utilities are available on GitHub as open source, and more are planned. A look at the portfolio shows incoming utilities such as a widget to maximize a window to a new desktop and a shortcut to eliminate a running process, which have a certain appeal. Other useful features that seek user support include a battery tracker to preserve the life of usually non-replaceable power packs.

TweakUI is still missing in action. ®

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