Stardock releases Launch8, Start screen dock for Windows 8/8.1

After giving Neowin the first word on Launch8 a few weeks ago, Stardock has released their latest program for Windows 8 and 8.1. The app joins other Stardock programs made especially for the OS, such as Start8, Decor8 and ModernMix.

The company's press release has a quick introduction to the new program, saying, "Launch8 adds an always present quick access dock to the Start screen similar to those found on smart phones. Windows 8 users can drag and drop apps to Launch8 and instantly have access to them regardless of where they have swiped to on the Start screen."

The Launch8 dock can be positioned either on the bottom or top of the Windows 8/8.1 Start screen. It also allows users to access jumplists from docked apps, such as bookmarks from web browsers. Launch8 is available as a stand alone program for $4.99 or users can get the app as part of the company's Object Desktop subscription program, which includes many different applications, along with updates, for $49.99 a year.

It's been a busy year for Stardock as it has also announced a number of upcoming game-themed projects, including Galactic Civilizations III, along with using its Stardock Strategic Investment Fund to help start two new game studios, Oxide Games and Mohawk Games.

Source: Stardock | Image via Stardock

Disclaimer: Neowin's relationship to Stardock.

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Yeah I don't see the point in this, especially having to pay for it too. It provides no benefit what so ever and seems to clog up the start screen for no reason at all.

Can someone please explain this to me? The Star Screen is already one big launcher, why would anyone need another one cluttering it up?

Everything in that sample image (apart from looking terrible) could simply be the first block of tiles on the Star Screen...

Start8 and ModernMix were great programs and genuinely useful additions to Windows 8 for heavy desktop users with larger screens but this is just.. I don't understand.

why don't they just update objectdock, the dock that's been around for years and years and put this feature in for it?

i use objectdock all the time on the desktop but thats where i spend most of my time on win8.1. But this seems a bit redundant.

I try to keep my start screen as minimalist as possible(5 to 10 tiles), all other apps are just one keystroke away, why do I need this? it will just increase windows start-up time.

Silversee said,
A launcher on top of a launcher... now why dint I think of that?

you should come up with the idea to have another launcher on the one on top.. it would be an inception launcher

Yes, that is certainly what the Start Screen needs. Another atrocious piece of crap jammed on the screen. That's okay, most people will love it though because most people have poor taste. :-D

Why start screen needs a dock bar?.
Simple, because when you are installed lots of applications, Start Screen is not quite usable.
We can pin apps but they still don't feel right, specially when pinned apps are simply apps that are first in the list (instead of freeze in the list).

Personally, i don't use Start menu but sheesh, it is an optional apps that USES an space that, otherwise, is unused by the OS.

Never have liked those docking stations on any OS and with what that looks like, I like them even less now. That looks like nothing but a cluster f**k!! Darn sure nothing I'd ever use or install for anyone else.

Can't see the use of this really - if you really want to you can move whatever icon on the start screen to be right snack at the beginning, no need for other software to do this. If you want it on the desktop you can pin your favorite software to the taskbar .. Windows is already capable of doing all this.

Jarrichvdv said,
Stardock should just die already.

Yeah a company offering solutions to help people work more efficiently on their computer should die not

myxomatosis said,

Yeah a company offering solutions to help people work more efficiently on their computer should die not

If that were actually the case I might agree.

I'm sorry, but that screenshot looks downright tacky. We need screenshots of nice clean Start Screens. This is as bad as those marketing pictures of Windows Phone 8. Why do they need so many tiles?

You took the words right out of my mouth. Useless and fugly. Who in their right mind would spend $4.99 on this. I guess they got too confident after the success of Start8.