The question about Microsoft choking off ModernMix wasn't moot: Although Microsoft did not block Start8 from restoring the Start button and menu to Windows 8, it did change Windows last fall to bar another popular work-around, one that, like Start8, let users boot directly to the desktop.
Stardock began work on ModernMix before Start8, even though the latter launched in final form last September, said Wardell, because the company was sure that Microsoft wouldn't let Modern apps run on the desktop. "They won't ship [Windows 8] without the Start button," Wardell said he remembered thinking last year.
Wrong. The two traits of Windows 8 that have raised the most complaints are the disappearance of the Start button and menu, and the jolting transition between the desktop and Modern UIs. Stardock has now created workarounds for both, which Wardell said was good for not just his company, but for Microsoft.
"I think [ModernMix] will cause more people to try Modern apps," said Wardell.
A 30-day free trial of ModernMix can be downloaded from Stardock's website; customers who buy the $4.99 beta will receive the final when it launches.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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