A new Windows 8 app gives you control over the way Windows 8 apps are displayed on the Start screen, overcoming one of Win8’s more annoying drawbacks.
Microsoft’s decision to limit the ways Windows 8 apps can be displayed on the start screen remains a drawback, but Stardock’s new program for Windows 8, ModernMix, provides a way around the problem.
Under standard Windows 8, Windows 8 Modern apps, also known as Metro or RT apps, can be displayed in fullscreen, or using either a third or two thirds of the screen for apps specifically designed that way. Users can’t choose to change the display mode for apps to make use of different resolutions or screen sizes, which can result in stupid situations such as displaying a calendar or stock ticker using the entire screen.
Abandoning multiple overlapping windows is a reasonable idea for mobile devices where screens are small but for the desktop it is a crazy choice.
ModernMix lets users set up apps to use full screen or in a window, with options based on whether the app is launched from the start screen and the desktop.
App windows can be moved, resized and closed, and ModernMix remembers the window size you last used for an app so it launches in the same place the next time it’s run. There’s a hotkey (F10) that can be used to switch modes, and if you’re running an app in fullscreen mode, ModernMix displays a small icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen that you can use to switch between screen modes. You can also pin apps to the taskbar for quick access later.
Both the problem and the solution are explained in this video:
You can try the app (currently in beta) in a free trial for 30 days, after which it costs $4.99.
Stardock also have a range of other utilities that "fix up" Windows 8 including Start8 which puts the start menu back where is should be.
I'm not trying to put the programmers of ModernMix out of a profit but I can only hope that Microsoft comes to its senses and revamps the Windows 8 UI. Forcing everyone to use a mobile UI even if they have a non-touch desktop is the mark of a authoritarian lunatic. It seems that Windows 8 is a big flop and utilities like ModernMix are doing there best to rescue it but the real rescue lies in the hands of Microsoft.
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