Microsoft Rereleases Windows XP PowerToys

Thanks to Bob Stein and the other readers who told me about the rerelease of Microsoft's PowerToys for Windows XP, a set of utilities for power users that was inexplicably unavailable for a few months. Sadly, the 2-month absence didn't result in any new features, although Microsoft removed several tools, including the ISO Recorder and the Super Fast User Switcher, that were available previously. Also, the PowerToys now are individual installs, rather than one integrated install. The PowerToys include:

   - Alt-Tab Replacement, which adds a visual representation of each active window on your screen as you use the ALT+TAB key combination to switch tasks. This PowerToy is much slower than the usual ALT+TAB function, however, even on high-end hardware.
   - CD Slide Show Generator, which gives you the option to add a slideshow application to a CD-ROM on which you've burned pictures and other images (using XP's shell CD-burning capabilities). The slideshow works in any Windows 9x (or later) version and provides efficient autorun functionality when you insert the CD-ROM in a PC.
   - Image Resizer, which lets you right-click an image or group of images and resize them to other sizes more suitable for email or the Web.
   - Open Command Window Here, which lets you right-click a folder in My Computer and choose a new "Open Command Window Here" option. The command line window you open points to the selected folder.
   - Power Calculator, which is a full-featured graphing-calculator application.
   - Slide Show Wizard, which walks you through the process of creating Web-based slideshows of your digital photographs.
   - Taskbar Magnifier, which magnifies part of the screen from the taskbar.
   - Tweak UI, which is a one-stop shop for accessing hidden system settings. TweakUI is a must-have for every XP user.
   - Virtual Desktop Manager, which lets you manage up to four virtual desktops from the Windows taskbar.
   - Webcam Timershot, which is a WebCam application that lets you take WebCam pictures at specified time intervals and upload them to a Web site or local folder.

This week, I'll update my PowerToys review on the SuperSite for Windows  to reflect these changes. For more information and the free downloads, visit the Microsoft Web site .

TAGS: Windows 8
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