Microsoft is testing its own IFTTT clone within Windows

Power Automate Desktop is part of the latest Windows Insider build, which means that it's possible users will see it within Windows... or not

Credit: Dreamstime

Microsoft’s Power Platform is an entire suite of Microsoft applications most users have probably never heard of. Think of it as a framework for developing apps for people who can’t develop apps. And now one of the applications, Power Automate Desktop, may be headed to Windows as a sort of super-powered macro tool.

Power Automate Desktop will now be part of the Windows Accessories folder, accessible from the Start menu. Power Automate Desktop also arrives as Microsoft does a little tidying up in the Windows interface, eliminating apps that it’s given up on, such Paint3D and 3D Viewer.

So what is Power Automate Desktop? It’s easiest to think of it as a supercharged macro program, combining what Microsoft calls “robotic process automation” with AI smarts. The tool is designed to eliminate “busy work” by acting like a macro—taking information from one field, adding it to another, and so on.

Power Automate Desktop works across various applications—launching them, recording and then repeating repetitive actions that you can replay whenever you like. In Microsoft-speak, this is part of the “low code/no code” philosophy the company has embraced over the past few years.

Credit: Microsoft

Although the workflow is logical, the interface will be unorthodox to some: Power Automate Desktop is designed for you to drag and drop actions, and if you’ve used IFTTT or one of its competitors, this might feel familiar. Want to try out Power Automate Desktop? You can download it here.

New tweaks to Windows

Besides Auto HDR, a feature that will bring the Xbox Series X feature to Windows PCs, Microsoft also added some additional features to Windows 10’s Insider Build 21337, most of them minor tweaks to the Windows UI.

Specifically, virtual desktops can now be reordered. Virtual desktops, part of the Task View shortcut on your Windows 10 Taskbar, can be reordered by right-clicking on them and selecting “Move Right” or “Move Left”. (You can drag and drop them, too.) You can also select a custom background via the same menu.

Delving deeper, File Explorer now displays files with additional “padding” between elements, spacing everything out. If you don’t like it, you can revert back into a denser “compact mode” if you so wish. Microsoft said it reserves the right to to tweak the interface further, though.

Other changes include captions for those who have trouble hearing are being tweaked, with different style options, as well as notepad and Windows Terminal now as “inbox apps,” which means that they are now decoupled from Windows and will receive new features on their own schedule, from the Microsoft store.

Finally, Wordpad is still available, but Word or Notepad are now the editor/viewer of choice when launching text documents.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?