If you saw my Angry Windows Nerd video you are well aware of my stance on Windows 8 and the desktop mode. Using the desktop with Windows 8 “Metro” apps can be a real pain, especially if you have dual monitors. One solution would be to allow Metro apps to run in the desktop. Sadly Microsoft does not allow this, but with ModernMix it is possible.
ModernMix is created by Stardock, a name you’ve surely heard if you’re into customizing Windows. Current work of theirs includes Start8, a Start Menu replacement for Windows 8. ModernMix is a very powerful app, but you wouldn’t know it by how simple it is to use. it allows users to run Metro apps in their own “windows” so they can be minimized, moved around, and resized like any other application. Since they operate like regular desktop apps you can even pin them to the taskbar.
As you can see in the image above I have three Metro apps running on top of each other on the desktop. To do this ModernMix gives you a few simple settings (seen below). You can set how apps behave depending on where you launch them, and decide how certain apps open. With a simple keyboard shortcut you can even toggle between fullscreen and windowed.
ModernMix does an amazing job at making Windows 8 apps much more friendly. Just using this app for a few minutes alleviated many of my complaints with how Windows 8 apps and the desktop interact. To give ModernMix a try there is a free 30 day trial, after that is $4.99. It is definitely worth a try.