Monday, August 18, 2008

XP PowerToys

Hey everyone! Good to be back. Today's topic is a bit antiquated, however, still applicable by many of us who have decided that Vista is not the OS for us and stuck it out with XP. I say antiquated because today deals with something that is solely applicable to XP and has been around since the XP's conception.

Microsoft developed a few applications meant to improve the user experience of XP called Power Toys (click the link for the download page). Power Toys consists of roughly 14 applications that are meant to "beef up" XP. There are applications that enable improved color manipulation for the design- or photo-inclined. There are applications that improve the ability to tweak the user interface. The most interesting application to me is the virtual desktop manager that allows you to create up to four virtual desktops and manage them using the task bar. It is not nearly as intuitive as Mac Spaces or even a handful of the products on the market that you can download. I am telling you about it because it is pretty interesting that Microsoft even made a group of applications for XP including a desktop manager. Power Toys has some pretty interesting applications. Go ahead and check it out.

As far as Vista Power Toys, no word. I don't think they will be doing anything. As is customary, Microsoft is following their classic good-then-bad cycle in OS production. They come out with a good OS, improve it, make it great, replace it with a terrible one, forget it, come out with another good one, improve it, make it great... etc. So I think most of Microsoft's efforts are focused on Windows 7. For info on that, click here.

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