ModernMix for Windows 8 exits beta stage

Earlier this month, Stardock released the first beta version of ModernMix, its third and newest app designed for Windows 8. Today, the company released version 1.0 of ModernMix, taking the software officially out of its beta stage.

You can check out the change log history for ModernMix at Stardock's website. As you can see, the final push from the last beta version to today's 1.0 build was to put in some improvements for how touch response on ModernMix worked on Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet, along with some other unnamed optimizations and localization support.

Just a reminder: ModernMix allows apps made for the Modern UI of Windows 8 to run on the desktop interface, either in full screen or in windowed mode. It also allows users to create desktop shortcuts for the Modern apps along with the ability to access those apps via the desktop taskbar.

ModernMix 1.0 is being sold for $4.99, or you can download and use a free 30 day trial version in case you want to put it through its paces before buying it. ModernMix can also be used together with Stardock's previously released Start8 Start desktop menu program. Keep in mind that these programs are just for Windows 8 and will not work on Windows RT.

Disclaimer: Please read this FAQ on Stardock's relationship to Neowin

Source: ModernMix

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I downloaded the trial and installed it. Have to admit it works pretty well. There is an odd flicker when starting / switching modes in modernUI, but beside that the apps work well inside the desktop, windowed.

I have been using Start8 for a while and its good. I have just purchased ModernMix today and this is just brilliant. Don't get me wrong I love windows 8, but I find that using full screen on a net book isn't always workable for me at least. I have been holding back on using windows 8 on my main desktop rig as I don't like the full screen application usage. This may make me change my mind.

Great Program
And a positive benefit is, it opens the contents of the modern apps faster than windows default does:)
However, MS should build in this as an opportunity.
Not all of us use more than one screen,

Putting the windows back into Windows - hurrah!
At last, Solitaire Minesweeper etc back in a window rather than fullscreen - cannot understand how the "UI experts" (hah!) at MS ever thought that fullscreen only was the way forward for desktops.
Win8 in fullscreen-only is just like going back to the old DOS days - not metro but retro.

unless you have 1080p and up screens, the windows have to stay expanded full screen because apps don't scale well at all on lower resolutions. then whats the point?

vcfan said,
unless you have 1080p and up screens, the windows have to stay expanded full screen because apps don't scale well at all on lower resolutions. then whats the point?

Depends on the app. The Maps app for example can be used perfectly fine at pretty much any size. The Mail app automatically adapts to just a single column or two of them, or just the selected message. The Music app automatically switches into a compact 'now playing' view at smaller sizes. I suspect we will see more of that responsive design ,especially in light of the more flexile tiling in Windows Blue.

And to add to that: It's also about integrating Metro applications into the regular Windows Desktop. Their icons appear and can be pinned to the task bar (and Start Menu), they can be quit, launched, minimized and maximized like regular apps, snapping works the same way it does for Desktop apps, you can freely arrange and let them overlap with other Metro and Desktop apps, even have a fullscreen Metro app in the background on the Desktop. There's no need to touch the (Metro) App switcher anymore and no sudden loss of context due to a disappearing task bar. You can freely switch between fullscreen and windowed mode at any time depending on the app and what you're doing, and the app will remember your choice.

CSharp. said,

Depends on the app. The Maps app for example can be used perfectly fine at pretty much any size. The Mail app automatically adapts to just a single column or two of them, or just the selected message. The Music app automatically switches into a compact 'now playing' view at smaller sizes. I suspect we will see more of that responsive design ,especially in light of the more flexile tiling in Windows Blue.

sure some apps work fine,but apps are mostly not designed to run at anything smaller than 1024x768. Therefore most apps are still fullscreen. And when youre in the metro environment,you can switch apps just like the desktop taskbar,except the metro taskbar is auto hide. Meaning the whole thing is pointless.

vcfan said,
the whole thing is pointless.

You're right. Microsoft's out-of-the-box solution is already perfect. There's no need for this app. Waste of $5.

Happy now?

CSharp. said,

You're right. Microsoft's out-of-the-box solution is already perfect. There's no need for this app. Waste of $5.

Happy now?

thank you for coming to your senses.

1080p screens are really common these days... And I'd say its worth it just for the overlay it gives you on the top right to easily close apps, closing metro apps is really clumsy in win8 out of the box. being able to pin apps to the classic desktop taskbar is another big plus of this apps. no one cares if you don't want to use the app, that doesn't make it completely useless, get over yourself and stop trying to force your opinion on everyone.

ViperAFK said,
1080p screens are really common these days... And I'd say its worth it just for the overlay it gives you on the top right to easily close apps, closing metro apps is really clumsy in win8 out of the box. being able to pin apps to the classic desktop taskbar is another big plus of this apps. no one cares if you don't want to use the app, that doesn't make it completely useless, get over yourself and stop trying to force your opinion on everyone.

1080p is still a minority

http://gs.statcounter.com/#res...on-ww-monthly-201202-201302

im not trying to force an opinion. im stating facts. i actually installed it,then uninstalled it after 3 days. on low res screen you are forced to run it full screen if you want it to be functional. and if its still full screen,whats the point of running it in a window? also when you switch windows, you lose audio,unless its running as a background audio agent. again useless. the only advantage you're saying is you can pin it to the taskbar on the desktop? how is that an advantage when the task switcher functions the same way as the taskbar and the apps are pinned to the start screen.

I'm not on a low res screen, so stop trying to make arguments about it not being functional on low les screens. fact:

1. you are being ridiculous.

2. you are trying to force your opinion under the guise of "facts", get over yourself.

Being able to pin apps the the normal taskbar makes things much more consistant since I spend most of my time in the classic desktop, having to use 2 different task switchers is inconsistant and annoying. If I'm already on the classic desktop being able to open the netflix app thats now pinned to my desktop is quicker than opening the start screen and opening it from there. And some apps, such as the mail app really do benefit from being able to run in windowed mode on a high res screen. Yes it doesn't work well for some apps, and isn't very useful on lower res screens, but that doesn't mean the application is useless for everyone.

Pam14160 said,
Testing Blue now, and guess what, yes you will need it. Oh, BTW it works in Blue.

Actually I got it so I could show apps on the second monitor. I don't give a flying **** if it's in a window or not. So no, I won't need it.

ModernMix is a pretty polished app, the app you liked to is more of a buggy proof of concept at this moment in time.

You get what you pay for at the end of the day... however that's not to say the free app wont end up gaining functionality and becoming a viable alternative.

Snake89 said,
That's the thing i hate about Stardock, always releasing something for a price when someone release made the same kinda thing an released it for free.

But i don't see that changing anytime soon with them.

The app linked to was released after modern mix so...

Free doesn't always equal good, either way i'm personally more than happy with the $4.50 I paid for ModernMix, I think it vastly improves the usability of Windows 8, considering I got Windows 8 for free I don't mind spending very little on an app that makes it work how I desire it to.

Snake89 said,
That's the thing i hate about Stardock, always releasing something for a price when someone release made the same kinda thing an released it for free. .

If that other free product delivers just as much value as this one does, you're free to use it instead.

From the person's DA page:

"PS: Stardock recently spammed me with **** tons of spam, so i am mad at them. I may do both as apps (the Start8 clone would be first, as how it is almost done, the windows does not need titlebars), and let them go for free.

See Stardock? this is what happens when you spam the **** out of an indie developer, he find a way to decrease sales of one of your apps by making it free...

*******. Damned Spam."

dead.cell said,
From the person's DA page:

"PS: Stardock recently spammed me with **** tons of spam, so i am mad at them. I may do both as apps (the Start8 clone would be first, as how it is almost done, the windows does not need titlebars), and let them go for free.

See Stardock? this is what happens when you spam the **** out of an indie developer, he find a way to decrease sales of one of your apps by making it free...

*******. Damned Spam."

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I refuse to buy anything by Stardock after the numerous Brad Wardell scandals.

Snake89 said,
That's the thing i hate about Stardock, always releasing something for a price when someone release made the same kinda thing an released it for free.

But i don't see that changing anytime soon with them.

How do you expect a company to run "selling" free products?

theyarecomingforyou said,

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I refuse to buy anything by Stardock after the numerous Brad Wardell scandals.

Then why are you on Neowin? If I'm such an awful human being, why participate on a site that I'm an admin on?

Frogboy said,
Then why are you on Neowin? If I'm such an awful human being, why participate on a site that I'm an admin on?

To express my opinions. I respect the products that Stardock makes, especially this one, but I don't agree with the culture of the company.

I have been using 0.98 for a few days, but there still are problems, hopefully 1.0 solves these.

I don't use the start stuff, quite happy with the supplied start screen, but modernmix does make sense.

Sounds interesting... but... I don't know, since the days of ODT on OS/2 I think Stardock products have become a little less solid. The ideas are cool but sometimes the implementation is lacking. I tried tiles and it behaved a little less intuitively than I would have liked... then again it only cost a few bucks.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well this works, considering it's still a hack in the end. Bought both Start8 and ModernMix and have no regrets. Next best thing to Microsoft actually implementing that stuff themselves.

MVD said,
Too bad Windows Blue is going to break all these third party start menu replacements and enhancements.

Start8, ModernMix, and Fences already run on Windows Blue just fine. The OTHER start menu programs are broken, however...