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A new app subverts Microsoft's vision for Windows 8

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Stardock ModernMix
Stardock ModernMix

Stardock, creators of start menu replacement Start8, is introducing its latest Windows 8 app today: ModernMix. Windows 8's Metro environment, or however you refer to it, has been the source of focus for Microsoft and also a source of criticism around the way you interact with it. Unlike typical Windows apps, ones built to run in the Windows 8-style environment are designed to run fullscreen or as a snapped application to the side, but there's no other options for windowing.

ModernMix aims to change this. The app provides options to simple run Windows 8-style apps in separate individual windows in desktop mode. Windows 8 still has the usual Aero Snap functionality to align traditional apps side-by-side, and ModernMix takes full advantage of this. ModernMix remembers app window sizes so that they launch in the same place every time. A little widget in the top right-hand corner of Windows 8-style apps lets you bring them into desktop mode, and if you re-launch them from the Start Screen it will remember where you left off.


Microsoft has been criticised for its fullscreen approach to Windows 8-style apps, and Stardock's app does a great job of offering an alternative for those who want to live in the desktop world, but take advantage of some of the new types of apps being made available on the platform. The app is currently in beta form for $4.99, but there's a 30-day trial available for those who want to test it out first hand.