ModernMix for Windows 8 gets updated

Last month, Stardock launched the first non-beta version of ModernMix, the application for Windows 8 users that allows Modern apps to run on the desktop user interface. Today, Stardock released a new version of ModernMix that adds a few extra features, as well as fixing some bugs that have popped up since the software launched.

The change log for the new version, 1.05, reveals that ModernMix now adds support for background sounds for Modern apps, such as Netflix, that did not explicitly support such sounds. There are also options in the app settings menu to force background sounds to be on or off. That means a person can, for example, watch and listen to a movie on the Windows 8 Netflix app while still chatting with someone on the Skype app.

The 1.05 version also has a new right screen option that can now force an app to always run in full screen mode. The program's app settings page now has a list of all Windows 8 Modern apps that have been installed on the PC. People who use the config interface to create a shortcut for a Modern app to the desktop will now see that it forces an icon to be created. The change log also lists a number of bug fixes for the 1.05 version of ModernMix. Stardock is selling the app for $4.99 or you can get a free 30 day trial version.

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

Source: ModernMix

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I personally like Metro, and the efficiency of how the apps work/are designed.

With that being said, I understand the major problems with trying to 'work' in the Metro environment. It just can't be done efficiently how it is designed right now.

Currently, I barely use any Metro apps at all. I have stuff pinned on the Start screen, and whatnot, but I basically still just go to the desktop, and use the Taskbar for all my desktop apps. I just feel it's much faster to open my browser in desktop mode, and then have my other desktop apps right there, than how to currently do it in metro (Open Metro browser, then have to go back to the start screen to open something else, etc)

I think if MS would have implemented this themselves, they may have been able to do it better (maybe create functionality w/ metro windows built into the charms bar that Stardock cannot do) I also think they could have allowed for alot more Metro apps to be used/created if they were allowed to sit in 'Windows' as opposed to full-screen. This not only would benefit end-users, but it would also benefit MS, by moving users away from Win32 and into Metro apps.

Dot Matrix, you just don't get it.
I want my taskbar visible when I am in/using a program or Apps.
This is why Modernmix is a great program for some of us.
I, like many others simply don't like apps in full screen only, just look at the low sales numbers windows 8 has compared to windows 7 after 6 month.
And what is wrong with options???
Also, windows 8 has some annoying bugs.
1: Favorites gets unpinned when watching full screen flash videos/TV
2. If you have two tabs open in Internet Explorer 10, and you try to open a link in tab no.3 it sometimes refuse to open.

Its like having your own money making machine that withdrawals money from the Bank OF Microsoft lol
Stardock is more than happy to take the money giving people what they want
(regardless of whether Stardock likes or dislikes xyz windows 8 feature)
Microsoft could learn a lesson here ..and so could DotMatrix lol

Perfect, I hoped a future update would allow the media related apps to play sound when not the window in focus.

Perfect for multitasking and using the new TV catchup / streaming apps.

So it takes a third party company to fix what Microsoft could have done in the first place. I don't get it, Microsoft with all of it's money than can go to research, still can't hire talented people to do what this small company can do. Interesting!

JHBrown said,
So it takes a third party company to fix what Microsoft could have done in the first place. I don't get it, Microsoft with all of it's money than can go to research, still can't hire talented people to do what this small company can do. Interesting!

Could have, but didn't, and never will. Metro apps don't run on the desktop for a reason. They're moving away from the classic desktop.

Too right. How could Microsoft miss something so obvious! I think the answer is - they didn't. They just don't want people focusing on the desktop anymore. They want people to focus on Metro - with their App store and Apps that they can control.

Metro is going to 'take over' which I just find totally retarded. Why replace a windowed environment, that's evolved over decades. With an environment that resembles Windows 1.0 and has the same gimped Multitasking, with no overlapping windows. A finger is not as precise as a mouse - which does not matter on a mobile device. On desktops though. Yeah... it matters.

I hope Microsoft regains their sanity and undo's some of these terrible design choices before its too late. The only reason people put up with it is because they have little choice (you can only cling on to a legacy OS for so long before support stops and new driver support fades).

Dot Matrix said,

Could have, but didn't, and never will. Metro apps don't run on the desktop for a reason. They're moving away from the classic desktop.

That might not be how Modern apps are intended to be run, however I personally find them to be a lot more use in a window.

Dot Matrix said,

Metro apps don't run on the desktop for a reason. They're moving away from the classic desktop.

That's not a reason, that's just a statement. And even if it were a reason, it's a terrible reason.
The whole raison d'etre of Windows is WINDOWS. On a desktop. It's called "Windows" for a reason. Not "Microsoft Fullscreen".

Why throw away decades of success, and profit, and goodwill? Crippling your customers is bad for business. Just sayin'

Joswin said,
Too right. How could Microsoft miss something so obvious! I think the answer is - they didn't. They just don't want people focusing on the desktop anymore. They want people to focus on Metro - with their App store and Apps that they can control.

Metro is going to 'take over' which I just find totally retarded. Why replace a windowed environment, that's evolved over decades. With an environment that resembles Windows 1.0 and has the same gimped Multitasking, with no overlapping windows. A finger is not as precise as a mouse - which does not matter on a mobile device. On desktops though. Yeah... it matters.

I hope Microsoft regains their sanity and undo's some of these terrible design choices before its too late. The only reason people put up with it is because they have little choice (you can only cling on to a legacy OS for so long before support stops and new driver support fades).

If you're covering up a window with another window, then you don't really need that bottom window in focus. Metro solves the issue of "clutter". You're not getting much work done with dozens of open windows all covered up.

Dot Matrix said,

Could have, but didn't, and never will. Metro apps don't run on the desktop for a reason. They're moving away from the classic desktop.

Not with out cooperation of the public their not.
If people want the desktop then it stays .end of story.

and never say never.
could have and still might if they know what is good for them (more customers)

Dot Matrix said,
If you're covering up a window with another window, then you don't really need that bottom window in focus. Metro solves the issue of "clutter". You're not getting much work done with dozens of open windows all covered up.

Windows can stay open side by side, or overlap. As you well know. I NEED several open to get my work done.
What a ridiculous, truly desperate, response. Barrel-scraping at its lowest.

Dot Matrix said,
If you're covering up a window with another window, then you don't really need that bottom window in focus. Metro solves the issue of "clutter". You're not getting much work done with dozens of open windows all covered up.

If this is representative of the mindset of the Win8 UI designers, then the sooner that MS sacks the lot of them the better, before they continue to wreak havoc on MS's goodwill and its profitability.

THIS - "you don't need more than one window cos it might cover another one up" - is the justification for the fullscreen-only nonsense that ludicrously calls itself "modern".
Unbelievable. Ballmer, action this day please.

spoetnik said,

Not with out cooperation of the public their not.
If people want the desktop then it stays .end of story.

and never say never.
could have and still might if they know what is good for them (more customers)

Even if it stays, it's in for a major transformation.

gb8080 said,

Windows can stay open side by side, or overlap. As you well know. I NEED several open to get my work done.
What a ridiculous, truly desperate, response. Barrel-scraping at its lowest.

Not barrel scraping. Any window not in focus just adds clutter to your workspace. If it's sitting in the background, then you don't really need it on screen.

It would be super easy for Microsoft to implement; it isn't a matter of Microsoft not having the proper developers for the job. The matter is that this breaks design rules that MS has in place, which, to be honest, make perfect sense.

Dot Matrix said,
If you're covering up a window with another window, then you don't really need that bottom window in focus. Metro solves the issue of "clutter". You're not getting much work done with dozens of open windows all covered up.

I often need several windows open at the same time, I work in one and need to look at data from several others. Not possible in Metro; some kinds of work will never leave the desktop.

Dot Matrix said,

Not barrel scraping. Any window not in focus just adds clutter to your workspace. If it's sitting in the background, then you don't really need it on screen.

Drag and drop between two windows. How, if not both open? Both needed on screen.
Just listen to customers, and yourself. "Windows = clutter onscreen"???
If I didn't want more than one window, I wouldn't have bought a product called "Windows". It's that basic, why don't you get it?

I didn't met in my whole life a person more brainwashed than "Dot Matrix". I can't believe he/she "swallows" every fart that comes from Redmond.

If you are a Microsoft employee, why not understand people have big frustrations with this new, shiny toy you created? And for good reason...

Dude, did you ever heard of "drag & drop"? Did you ever have a busy app running in the background (say WinRAR) and opened at the same time a browser to check a site or two in the meantime?

For Christ's sake, please stop with this **** ... "it's a new paradigm, adapt or die". No, it's just a ****ty, worse paradigm of doing the same things on a desktop.

If you can't see the "ugly" truth, you Microsoft "believers" (how about starting a new church... Microsoft Church), please don't bother to argue us. We will not buy this ****, ok?

Mulsivaas said,
It would be super easy for Microsoft to implement; it isn't a matter of Microsoft not having the proper developers for the job. The matter is that this breaks design rules that MS has in place, which, to be honest, make perfect sense.

Then change the design rules. It's a broken design. It makes things worse.
How hard is that to understand?

Dot Matrix said,

Not barrel scraping. Any window not in focus just adds clutter to your workspace. If it's sitting in the background, then you don't really need it on screen.

wow you never cease to amaze me lol
i use my machine 24 hrs a day with overlapping windows and i juggle between which one is up front while i can still see others in the background.
your statement is so wrong i couldn't find the words to describe it lol
you ARE wrong and how i use my machine every day is proof. want pics ?
the fact you said that makes me wonder about you.. and how you use your machine and how you assume we do what you do and if not we should be forced to do what you do how YOU do it.
In other words after 20 years I'm hearing "your doing it wrong" from the famous resident Microsoft expert. AND your gonna gonna have to change.. 'cause i said so..

And i agree 100% more typical barrel scraping.. big time !

And buddy said it very well.. Microsoft "WINDOWS" is what its called lol

gb8080 said,

Drag and drop between two windows. How, if not both open? Both needed on screen.
Just listen to customers, and yourself. "Windows = clutter onscreen"???
If I didn't want more than one window, I wouldn't have bought a product called "Windows". It's that basic, why don't you get it?

I can hear the birds chirping lol

gb8080 said,

Drag and drop between two windows. How, if not both open? Both needed on screen.
Just listen to customers, and yourself. "Windows = clutter onscreen"???
If I didn't want more than one window, I wouldn't have bought a product called "Windows". It's that basic, why don't you get it?

gb8080 said,

Then change the design rules. It's a broken design. It makes things worse.
How hard is that to understand?

It's not a broken design. It's a different design. Metro allows for multiple "open" windows, and coming in Blue, will allow more.

With Metro, all those "open" windows covered up in the background are nicely suspended when not in focus, allowing your computer's resources to focus on other things, including your open work, AND it eliminates clutter. How is this not a good thing? This is more efficient computing, if you ask me.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Apr 25 2013, 11:53am :

Dot Matrix said,

It's not a broken design. It's a different design. Metro allows for multiple "open" windows, and coming in Blue, will allow more.

With Metro, all those "open" windows covered up in the background are nicely suspended when not in focus, allowing your computer's resources to focus on other things, including your open work, AND it eliminates clutter. How is this not a good thing? This is more efficient computing, if you ask me.

I don't want "open" windows, I want open windows.
If not fully visible on scnreen they are not "nicely" suspended, they are annoyingly inaccessible without extra unnecessary effort.
I will decide for myself what is "clutter" and what isn't. I can minimise selectively.

The present UI is an unquestionably bad thing. The MS UI people are clearly on a different planet and oblivious to real customer needs.
Look at Stardock and ask WHY customers use their products.

That guy is the Robert Tilton of the church of Microsoft.
I half expect him to start speaking in tongues when reading his comments.
I'd say its funny but i honestly find it fanatical and kinds scary and disturbing.

I'm loving it! I bought both Start8 (Returns Start button) and ModernMix and it's turned my Windows 8 machine into what Windows 8 should have been.

Apps that run in windows within a desktop = happiness. :-)
Desktop that runs as an app in windows = misery. ;-(

gb8080 said,
Apps that run in windows within a desktop = happiness. :-)
Desktop that runs as an app in windows = misery. ;-(

These things are just paradigms, man. They come and go. What happens when today's concept of a "monitor" is no longer relevant? Are monitors with desktops containing overlapping windows the undefeatable pinnacle of user experience for getting work done to you? Do you believe it's literally impossible for anything to ever outperform and replace it?

If you, however, agree that some day today's paradigms will be dead and gone and new concepts will have taken over, then you can't require a diaper change every time someone tries something drastically different. It's the only way to get there.

Joshie said,

These things are just paradigms, man. They come and go. What happens when today's concept of a "monitor" is no longer relevant? Are monitors with desktops containing overlapping windows the undefeatable pinnacle of user experience for getting work done to you? Do you believe it's literally impossible for anything to ever outperform and replace it?

I want to get my work done effectively and will move to better methods when they arise.
For now, I have Win8 on my laptop (with Start8, of course). However I have two desktops running Win7 and have no intention of installing Win8 as it would make my life harder not easier.

It's that simple. I don't think I'm unrepresentative of a very large class of longstanding Windows users. I can cope with new paradigms if they are BETTER paradigms. Win8 is more an out of control UI-techie-fantasy than a practical product. That's why I'm not buying any more copies of it.

Joshie said,

These things are just paradigms, man. They come and go.

The desktop paradigm has been around for ages. It was there way before the first computer was created. The paradigm itself is not even close to go.

We're all for progress, as long as it's actually progress, i.e. as long as it makes our lives easier. Windows 8 makes life more difficult for desktop users in several ways. That is not progress, that is regression.

LaP said,

The desktop paradigm has been around for ages. It was there way before the first computer was created. The paradigm itself is not even close to go.

The thing about disruptive technologies is that we generally don't see them coming. Windows 8 as it stands isn't exactly disruptive, but there's an opportunity to take it in a direction that would leave old metaphors behind permanently.

Joshie said,

The thing about disruptive technologies is that we generally don't see them coming. Windows 8 as it stands isn't exactly disruptive, but there's an opportunity to take it in a direction that would leave old metaphors behind permanently.

But why would you leave the desktop paradigm behind on a desktop PC ? I still don't see the the benefit of metro on a desktop PC (and i use Windows 8 since launch). I can understand on a tablet and to be honest i think the screen on a tablet is too small for a normal desktop to be optimal so it makes perfect sense to build something new. But as far as desktop PCs go i think the users should have the choise to boot directly to the desktop and run metro apps inside a "window".

LaP said,

But why would you leave the desktop paradigm behind on a desktop PC ?

Just because the words are the same doesn't mean they necessitate each other. It's called a "desktop PC" because it's physically suited for a physical desk. It's called a "desktop" in the OS as a metaphor for what you organize your content on (portfolios, calendars, documents...).

Don't forget that the "desktop PC" existed well before the graphical "desktop".

I had to un-install this in earlier versions because the live tiles never collapsed their updates, so if I had a counter for new emails or anything, it would always show new email even after being read.