Microsoft is building a new app launcher for windows 10. It seems similar to Apple’s Spotlight on macOS but for windows. Designed to replace the exiting Win+R shortcut, which opens the run command, the new launcher will be able to let users quickly search apps and files across windows and support for plugins like calculators, dictionaries, and search engines.
Since beginning work on the launcher in January, Microsoft expects an initial public beta is planned for May. The early version of the launcher will support basic search tasks the Windows Start menu search typically handles. But Microsoft has big plans to make it a more powerful launcher than Apple’s Spotlight search.
For everyday users, the Windows Start menu search will be enough, but it does not include plugins or the ability to add custom web searches, snippets and more. But power users demand more.
Microsoft has been working with the open-source community and apps like Wox to integrate plugins. Back in February, Niels Laute created a concept design for the launcher, and Microsoft will be adopting some of Laute’s code to give the launcher a more modern design.
This is one of many PowerToys that Microsoft is developing, and they are actually looking for help in naming the app. PowerToys is a feature from Microsoft that allowed anyone to improve Windows 10 for power users, Recently brought back last year. Although it was introduced way back in Windows 95. The apps were a quick way for Windows engineers to test prototype features, and Microsoft then put some of the best ones into PowerToys bundles.
The Win+R functionality is now so old and outdated, it is a favorite tool for power users to launch command prompts, regedit, PowerShell instances, and even shortcuts to areas in Windows like the Control Panel. The new launcher will support all these features that Win+R currently does, but in a more modern design, And hopefully, the community of windows power users can adopt it and build on.