Microsoft pushes out fresh version of '90s throwback PowerToys suite with plenty of fixes – and one nasty bug

At least the 'new update notification' worked OK


Microsoft emitted a fresh version of its '90s PowerToys resurrection on GitHub last night, and followed it up with a bug fix in record time.

The release itself was an otherwise humdrum affair for those accustomed to the proddery possible with the Windows 95 incarnation back in the day. Version 0.15 turned up with almost 100 issues resolved and a truckload of new unit tests "to increase stability". It also dropped the requirement to be "run as admin". Sadly there was not much in the way of shiny new toys.

Among the list of updates to the suite was one aimed at making users aware of a new version of PowerToys, which proved handy as it turned out.

Having increased the compatibility of FancyZones with applications on the desktop, the PowerToys team warned that users would need to reapply their zone layout. "Don't worry," the gang intoned, "your custom zone sets are preserved."

Alas, a click of the Edit Zones button under certain conditions resulted in a crash.

The GitHub issue is interesting, not so much for the bug itself – let the dev who has never inadvertently screwed up a UUID cast the first stone – but the open manner in which it was described and swiftly resolved. The infamously uncommunicative Windows Insider team could certainly learn a lesson or two.

Having elected to deal with the problem, a new version was uploaded and Microsoft senior program manager Clint Rutkas, fresh from trumpeting the release of 0.15, glumly looked on the bright side as that update notification got a surprise workout.

PowerToys itself only contains PowerRename, FancyZones and a Windows keyboard shortcut guide for now. By the time version 1 ships, the team expects to include tools such as an image resizer, SVG previewing in Explorer and a quick launcher.

We're still holding out hope that Tweak UI might make a return appearance with a "Make it look like Windows 7" option for the Start Menu, but we fear that ship has long since sailed. ®

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