Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Mar 2013 19:10 UTC
Windows The Verge: "ModernMix aims to change this. The app provides options to simple run Windows 8-style apps in separate individual windows in desktop mode. Windows 8 still has the usual Aero Snap functionality to align traditional apps side-by-side, and ModernMix takes full advantage of this. ModernMix remembers app window sizes so that they launch in the same place every time. A little widget in the top right-hand corner of Windows 8-style apps lets you bring them into desktop mode, and if you re-launch them from the Start Screen it will remember where you left off." Stardock - making awesome stuff since OS/2.
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good idea, except
by stabbyjones on Wed 6th Mar 2013 19:48 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

Modern apps are so terrible that I don't want to use them let alone use them on the desktop.

It's been coming up to a year now and they haven't gotten any better.

Reply Score: 8

RE: good idea, except
by judgen on Wed 6th Mar 2013 20:42 UTC in reply to "good idea, except"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Sadly i have to agree on this one. Where are the innovation they claimed it would bring? So far all apps seems to be webapps with minimal content with a flat ugly (allthough colourful) and screen real-estate wasting as their goals.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: good idea, except
by Alfman on Wed 6th Mar 2013 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE: good idea, except"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Hey look at that, they implemented my idea ;) Good job guys!


judgen,

"So far all apps seems to be webapps with minimal content with a flat ugly (allthough colourful) and screen real-estate wasting as their goals."

All the more reason to run them in a window, no?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: good idea, except
by Nelson on Wed 6th Mar 2013 22:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good idea, except"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I just tried this. It doesn't work too well. A lot of apps scale slowly and are not written to take advantage of the variable resolutions -- so nearly every one breaks or displays a scroll bar.

It's not really fun trying to pan around an app in Desktop mode. If you try to just run it maximized in a Window then you lose a bunch of pixels due to the taskbar being there (if they follow Metro UI guidelines and pad the bottom of the scrollable area with 20px, its even worse since it'll cut off content indiscriminately).

I think I used to be more skeptical of the idea before this though -- I changed my mind, it'd be cool if official support for this idea came from Microsoft along with the associated framework and app vendor fixes to resize more smoothly.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: good idea, except
by MOS6510 on Thu 7th Mar 2013 05:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: good idea, except"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It doesn't work too well.


Yes, that's how I remember Stardock's products.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: good idea, except
by contextfree on Thu 7th Mar 2013 05:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: good idea, except"
contextfree Member since:
2009-06-01

tbh, I was positively surprised by how well the apps did resize, though my expectations were very low (considering that all the apps were designed for a 1024x768 minimum resolution). I guess since the WWA/XAML frameworks and controls are designed to adaptively scale, the apps get a fair amount of sensible resizing behavior for free even when not designed or tested for it. Though obviously there are some glitches and brokenness here and there.

As for whether something like this should be officially supported, why not just leave it up to developers whether their particular app supports it or not? Then devs who don't want to worry about supporting resolutions under 1024x768 still don't have to (and the UI control to change modes won't appear), and devs who think their userbase includes a lot of people interested in using the app on the desktop can do the work to support it properly. Additionally if apps know whether they're running on the desktop or not they can make some appropriate modifications to their UI - e.g. it's silly having both window chrome with a title that says "Store" and a giant header that says "Store" (well, tbh I think it's silly having a giant header that says "Store" even when the store is running fullscreen, but it's doubly silly on the desktop).

Edited 2013-03-07 05:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: good idea, except
by REM2000 on Thu 7th Mar 2013 11:13 UTC in reply to "good idea, except"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

i agree, im now a Windows 8 convert, i think it's a great release of Windows and have installed it on all primary machines.

The irony/funny thing is that for me Windows 8 became great when i ignored all the metro stuff, i found that having the task switcher hot area on the top left really put me off using Win8, however since ignoring metro and basically using a couple of metro apps as widgets/gadgets i find it works really well.

Metro apps especially from Microsoft are a complete mess, not really encouraging when the actual developer of the OS can't get the apps right.

Reply Score: 4

Surprisingly good
by contextfree on Thu 7th Mar 2013 05:32 UTC
contextfree
Member since:
2009-06-01

I wasn't expecting to like this since I'm mostly happy with Windows 8 as it is and don't see the need for stuff like emulating old versions of the start menu, but it's actually pretty sweet. You can set it up so WinStore apps run fullscreen like normal, but with the ability to basically turn the app into a desktop app (and back again) with a simple keystroke or GUI button press, which feels surprisingly quick and natural. This is ideal for me because again I'm happy with the default behavior *most* of the time (on my laptop), but occasionally hit a situation where I want to see something else at the same time and the snap view doesn't show what I'm interested in.

My biggest issue - which tbh is kind of a dealbreaker in terms of my buying this and keeping it installed, but since it's a beta maybe it'll be changed/fixed (or made optional to the extent it's intentional) by release - is that the recent apps thumbnail list on the left is (IMO) basically broken by this. It borks the switching animation (which I find makes the system feel smoother and doesn't slow anything down significantly, plus the non-animation here adds some weird flicker as well), and WinStore apps running in "desktop mode" still appear in the thumbnail list and switch to the app on the desktop, which I find disconcerting.

Basically, what I'd personally prefer is that apps running in "new UI mode" should behave and be treated by the system exactly as WinStore apps are now (so they should suspend/resume, be shown in the thumbnail list, but NOT be shown on the taskbar, etc.) and WinStore apps running in "desktop mode" should as much as possible behave and be treated exactly as desktop apps are now (so they should , be shown in the taskbar, but NOT suspend/resume, NOT be shown in the thumbnail list, etc.). I know some people like the idea of having a unified taskbar but I actually like having apps that suspend/resume be off to the left as it clears up the taskbar for more pinned desktop apps. I also think it makes sense for apps with completely different lifecycle mechanisms to have different UI for managing their lifecycles. If not for this issue I'd definitely pay the $5 for this otherwise very cool mod.

Reply Score: 2