Raymond Chen of Microsoft’s Windows team has written up an interesting article on the history of the Windows PowerToys:
During the development of Windows 95, as with the development of any project, the people working on the project write side programs to test the features they are adding or to prototype a feature. After Windows 95 shipped, some of those programs were collected into the first edition of the Windows 95 Power Toys.
It’s an interesting look into how ‘Power Toys’ went from left-over code to part of the culture with MS products.
Some people claim that Tweak UI was written because Microsoft got tired of responding to customer complaints. I don’t know where they got that from. Tweak UI was written because I felt like writing it.
You almost expect Power Toys with a major MS release now. They’re like the software equivalent of DVD bonus features.