Windows 10: New Bing Wallpaper app is out, PowerToys macOS Spotlight-like app due soon

Microsoft's Bing team have released an official Bing Wallpaper app for Windows 10.

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Microsoft has released a new Bing Wallpaper app that lets users add a collection of images to the Windows 10 desktop that have been featured on the Bing homepage. 

The new Bing Wallpaper app was quietly announced on Twitter by Microsoft Bing growth exec, Michael Schechter. "We just shipped an officially supported way to set the Bing homepage image as your desktop wallpaper on Windows," he said in a tweet

For some reason the Bing team decided to distribute the app via the web rather than as an app from the Microsoft Store. Some users also wonder why Microsoft doesn't build the app in as a feature of Windows 10.

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Once installed, the app provides a new wallpaper every day, and users can also browse Bing images and learn where they're from. Given it comes from Bing's growth team, it's not surprising the app also prompts users to make Bing the default search engine. 

"Bing Wallpaper includes a collection of beautiful images from around the world that have been featured on the Bing homepage," Microsoft explains. "Not only will you see a new image on your desktop each day, but you can also browse images and learn where they're from."

Separately, Microsoft is pressing ahead with a new PowerToys launcher app for Windows 10 that is designed to replace the Win + R shortcut to launch an app. Work is under way to merge a newly released Windows Walker PowerToys alternative to Alt-Tab for app switching with the PowerToys launcher project

As spotted by The Verge, the public beta of the launcher is scheduled for May and will initially feature searches that otherwise would be handled by search in the Windows Start menu. 

However, eventually it will act more like Spotlight Search on macOS, which searches for files and apps and serves as a place to launch apps. 

A mockup of the PowerToys launcher created by UX designer Niels Laute does indeed look like Spotlight Search.   

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Microsoft PowerToys developer Clint Rutkas last week put out a request for help to name the PowerToys launcher app. PowerToys Run is the most popular choice. According to Rutkas, version 0.18 of PowerToys, which should arrive in May, will be able to auto-update.  

Microsoft open-sourced PowerToys in September, reviving a feature it introduced with Windows 95 for power users. Each month developers behind the project are releasing updates and new PowerToys utilities, such as PowerRename for bulk renaming files, and FancyZones, for customizing windows layouts. 

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The app provides a new wallpaper every day, and users can also browse Bing images and learn where they're from.  

Image: Microsoft