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Reviving Microsoft PowerToys for the Open Source Community

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Microsoft Power Toys

The Software

Microsoft PowerToys is a set of utilities for Windows power users to enhance their productivity. The software consists of over 20 time-saving modules such as Color Picker, Shortcut Guide and Image Resizer as well as accessibility features such as Mouse Crosshairs and Mouse Highlighter. Initially introduced on Windows 95 as a set of freeware system utilities, PowerToys remained dormant until 2019 when Microsoft sought to revive it as an open-source project.

The Challenge

This project required navigating the complexities of diverse tech stacks for each module, engaging with a humungous volume of community feedback, and shouldering the responsibility of transforming PowerToys into a testbed for potential future features in Windows. This initiative was critical in not only preserving a historic piece of software but also in shaping its future trajectory to meet the evolving demands of Windows power users. Microsoft needed a partner that could be trusted to represent them in the open source community with diverse engineering knowledge.

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    Historical Revival

    Reviving and updating a historic software utility for modern operating systems.

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    Open Source Engagement

    Prioritizing, managing, and integrating vast community feedback, contributions and issue reports.

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    Tech Stack Diversity

    Navigating and integrating diverse tech stacks across 20+ modules.

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    Seamless OS Integration

    Ensuring smooth integration and functionality across devices within the Windows ecosystem.

Tech stack

Client impact

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    Boosted User Productivity

    Enhanced productivity tools for power users, elevating efficiency and utility.

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    Active Community Engagement

    Fostered a highly engaged and collaborative open-source community.

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    Windows Feature Sandbox

    Established PowerToys as a platform for trialing potential future Windows features.

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    Rich Module Library

    Expanded the module offerings, catering to a wide range of user needs.

    15M+ Downloads

    Microsoft Powertoys has over 15 million downloads and counting.

With over 90,000 stars and 80 releases on GitHub, our sustained partnership with Microsoft as a software maintainer for PowerToys, has significantly enhanced productivity and accessibility for Windows power users. It also allows Microsoft’s internal teams to test and refine features for new Windows releases, many of which have been deployed in other company projects.

By resolving over 16,000 issues and engaging with a vast open-source community, we not only upheld Microsoft's reputation but also invigorated the open-source landscape. This collaborative effort led to a variety of independent, well-integrated modules, showcasing our deep technical expertise and positioning Microsoft as a key innovator in the open-source domain.

The Team

Other Client Successes

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113 Cherry Street #11630

Seattle, WA 98104

Janea Systems © 2024

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