3 Desktop Tools to Get the Most Out of Windows 8

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing

As Windows 8 gains traction with users upgrading their current OS and people purchasing new PCs, the desire to find solutions to common issues has also risen. While Windows 8 is a fine OS overall, there’s still lots that can be done in terms of usability and functionality.

That’s where these 3 desktop tools step in.

Let’s take a look at some shortcomings of Windows 8, and how we’ll correct them.


Bring back the Start Menu

Yes, Windows 8 does not include the start menu you have been using for years and years. The start button and menu are gone, replaced by the new “Modern” start screen. The start screen is useful, but there’s no reason you can’t have it and the start menu as well.

Start8 brings the start menu back and better than what Windows ever delivered. There’s also several styles of the start menu you can choose from, so you can customize it to how you like. Start8 can be configured to automatically take you to the desktop when your computer starts, disable hot corners, show a start button on a second taskbar, customize the start button image and many other features.

Try it free for 30 days [Link] | $4.99 [Link]

Windows 8-2013-03-26-13-41-33


Run Modern (Metro) Apps on the Desktop

The Windows 8 start screen runs “Modern” apps (previously referred to as Metro apps). There’s some really great apps available such as Netflix, Rowi, SkyDrive, and many others. The problem is these apps only run in full screen making them less useful, especially for users with larger screen sizes.

ModernMix takes those same Modern apps and allows you to run them in a window on the desktop, just as you would with any other desktop app that you normally use. You can also pin those applications to the taskbar and ModernMix will explicitly close the Modern apps when closed with the close button.

Try it free for 30 days [Link] | $4.99 [Link]


Customize the Windows 8 Start Screen

ModernMix and Start8 help improve the functionality of Windows 8, and last up we have Decor8 which lets you customize the background in the Win8 start screen. This is something else you can’t change unless it’s one of the included images in Windows. Whether you want to use your own custom images, or a picture from your image library, Decor8 can take of it. Other features give you the ability to create your own Windows 8 color scheme, randomize the backgrounds for the start screen, and change the image of the login screen.

Try it free for 30 days [Link] | $4.99 [Link]

Windows 8-2013-03-26-13-42-52

Reply #1 Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:10 PM

I have said this before and no doubt there are others that find themselves in the same position I do.  I have my upgrade for Windows 8 on a disk but I'm waiting on the release of the next version of ObjectDesktop to see what other updates/upgrades or new programs, such as those above, are included.  

There never is a rush to jump right out and get the latest and greatest until you know for sure that it's something that will handle what you use a computer for.  Yes, lots of folks have posted pros and cons of Windows 8, it's just a personal thing with the majority of users.  

Reply #2 Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:44 PM

I renewed my O/D sub last month when a sale was on. I find with all the content + the content I make my self O/D was a steal. I will probably renew again the next time their is a good sale going on. lol

Reply #3 Saturday, April 6, 2013 3:44 PM

object desktop comes up on my computer wth windows 8. Only have IconPackager in it. Do have Cursor fx, Deckscapes, and Objectdock, Will be missing windowblinds though.


Peace all!!

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