Configuring parts of your system can be tricky, even if you know where to look. Windows 8 made things that bit trickier by ditching the traditional Start menu, so Ultimate Settings Panel aims to redress the balance by putting key system and selected software settings right at your fingertips.
Version 1.0 of the utility offers five tabs: Windows, General, Outlook 2010, Configuration (Manager) 2007 and Configuration (Manager) 2012, with more promised in future releases. For now, you’ll mostly be concerned with the Windows and General tabs.
The Windows and General tabs provides shortcuts to key Control Panels and more deeply buried tools like File History in Windows 8 or ODBC Admin in XP – there’s also a shortcut to "God mode", which basically puts every single Control Panel option at your fingertips. The Outlook 2010 tab offers some handy repair and management shortcuts like cleaning the auto-complete name and email address list or restoring missing folder to the default delivery location.
System administrators will also appreciate access to key Configuration Manager 2007 and 2012 options, such as opening the Client Applet or Software Center.
It’s all very simple to operate – the app is portable, so copy it somewhere convenient, double-click it (you may get a security warning or two, but the app is perfectly safe to use) and off you go. In this early state, you may find the app doesn’t really offer the shortcuts you’re looking for, but over time we expect it to evolve a whole lot more functionality, making it worth grabbing.