Should you get a Start menu replacement or leave Windows 8 as is? Honestly, I think that it is really about what you want and need. There is no right or wrong answer. Microsoft isn’t budging on its future direction for Windows 8, but at its core, Windows is still flexible enough to allow the use of 3rd party tools to help tailor Windows to be whatever we need out of it.
With that in mind, Stardock has just announced a very interesting new Windows 8 product, ModernMix. The idea of ModernMix is that Windows 8 apps are useful, even on the desktop. That said, most users are used to resizing windows, exciting with the familiar upper-right “X”, etc. That’s where this new Stardock product comes in.
With ModernMix, any Windows Store app will run on the desktop if you so choose, instead of forcing to fullscreen within the new Modern UI. This means that Netflix, weather apps, and even the People app can all be used from the familiar Windows desktop.
Additionally, ModernMix makes it easy to pin modern apps to the desktop taskbar fro quick launching. Minimizing the apps also sends them to the taskbar like a normal desktop app, and exiting is easier than ever.
Is this for everyone? Probably not. If you have a touchscreen, using the fullscreen mode makes sense. If you are a desktop poweruser, you probably don’t use Windows Store apps much anyway. For those that are trying to make the best out of both the desktop and the new apps but happen to have a keyboard and mouse? This could be what you are looking for.
Not surprising, this isn’t free. ModernMix will set you back $4.99 and can be used togetether with Stardock’s Start8 menu replacement program.
Is This Kind of Customization software a bad sign for the future of Windows?
At the beginning of this article I stated that I feel its your product, and you should be able to do with it as you please. That’s the great part about Windows 8.
The fact that there is an ENTIRE business at this point surrounded to not making Windows 8 better but simply making it more like an older version of Windows is a bit alarming. Time and time again I say it has more to do with product education and resistance to change than any failing of Windows 8.
That said, I’m starting to think Microsoft should have taken a gradual approach with Modern UI. I like Windows 8, but if they would have started to introduce a Windows Store and ‘pop touch menu’ in Windows 8 (sort of like LaunchPad for Mac OS) and then by Windows 9 fully transitioned to the Modern UI – it might have received less criticism.
The change was pretty abrupt. That said, I think it time, people will adjust. There were once ways to make Windows 95 behave more like Windows 3.x. There were even Windows 3.x users that spent most of their time in DOS.
Windows 8 is no different. What do you think of all the customization software out there? Are you interested in ModernMix or not? Share your thoughts below.