Moving Metro to the Desktop

One of the problems I noted frequently while writing Windows 8 for Dummies Quick Reference is that there is a serious efficiency problem in switching between the Desktop and the Metro interface (or whatever Microsoft is calling it this week). In addition, each Metro app takes up the entire screen. That’s a serious misuse of desktop real estate when working with a larger monitor and I could understand most users getting frustrated with the entire situation. Fortunately, you can now move Metro to the Desktop using ModernMix, a $5.00 utility from Stardock.

Using this simple tool, you can display Metro apps in a Win32 frame. This makes it possible to display multiple Metro apps at once and obtain a significant productivity gain as well. It makes apps such as Skype usable again. After all, how many people are going to be willing to use Skype as a full screen app? Are you just going to sit there and stare at the screen waiting for someone to message you? You can read some additional comments about the unusable nature of the Metro version of Skype in the Channel 9 Coffeehouse. However, I’m not picking on Skype here—there are many Metro apps that simply don’t work well in full screen mode.

What’s more interesting is that using ModernMix makes it possible to shut down a Metro app simply by closing the window. Yes, there are other ways to shut down a Metro app, but this approach is simple. You don’t have to remember anything weird, you just close the window and the app is gone. Fortunately, you can download a free trial version of ModernMix to give it a try on your own system.

I’ve heard from a number of readers who have been looking for tools to help them run business applications better on Windows 8. There are rumors that Windows Blue is going to be an even larger departure from Windows of the past, so I suspect there will continue to be a strong market for third party tools. Let me know about your favorites at


Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 117 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current offerings include topics on machine learning, AI, Android programming, and C++ programming. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 70 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. You can reach John on the Internet at