Half Decent Metro Applications..

You`ll notice I`ve titled this “Half Decent” metro apps , rather than just “Metro” apps or “decent metro” apps, and that’s because the whole concept is flawed in my view. – I mean seriously , – what`s the difference between Metro and DOS when you don`t have a Touchscreen?

Right! – I have only bought/actually Paid for, – a few apps. -Mostly because there aren`t really any good ones in the “store” yet, – hopefully that will change although after nearly a year now – not much HAS changed.

The best Apps I have are by far, the ones offered by Stardock:-

Modern Mix

Modern mix transforms “Metro” apps into genuine Desktop Window Apps, – resizable windows, cut & paste et al… If Microsoft had any common sense then they would snap this software up and incorporate it into windows quickly, because it makes a world of a difference to the Apps usability and reclaims the title of “windows” apps for them. -You still have all the original functionality of the metro apps and you can resize, move overlap windows apps to your hearts content.
When you open a Metro app with modern mix running you gain a small mouse-over in the top left of the screen where you can choose to run the App in a window or full screen, – you can also pin Metro apps to your task bar, display running ones there and create desktop icons for Metro apps.-The control screen for Modern mix also gives you many choices over how the program runs – I now cannot imagine using W8 without this invaluable addition.

Start8 is a replacement for the original Start MENU (Capitalized to emphasize Menu and not “Button”). Simple really – the old desktop used a small corner menu and not the monstrosity which is a start menu now, -why should we have to hide the windows we are working on and switch the whole screen off whilst USING the menu – no-ones answered that one for me yet- the old menu was useful , worked and was not obtrusive in the way Metro is. Anyway , why change something if it works?
Its a good implementation and reproduction of the old menu and is highly configurable (try changing things like `how your hot-corners work` without it….)

The last two are purely personal “likes” for me because they give you complete control of how windows looks, – (something that Microsoft is now addressing with Windows 8.1).
Deskscapes especially, transforms the look of windows, it uses small video clips or “dreams” as desktop backgrounds – It really does make it look good.
Decor8 is a similar program that gives you control of your lock screen and Start menu/(screen?) and again – this is being addressed in the update.

ALL these programs cost peanuts by the way…

And now we move onto the actual Metro apps I`ve bought from the windows store.

Music Info

Is what “Music” should have been…. its simple, Aesthetic, uses the stock windows library, and plays tracks well. and for 99 pence is a bargain.

File Brick

Is a better File manager than the supplied Metro File manager. BUT, – don`t get your hopes up, – you can only copy and paste or move files around, within the Metro App itself – its OK for a small portable tablet but quite frankly sucks, outside of the Metro “world”.
Its good points are its simple to use interface and its incorporation of the cloud – SKydrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, The Box, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, Flickr and Youtube all have “bricks”.


is a simple to use image manipulator that uses the touchscreen to good effect. – You can make a Collage image of all your fave jpg images with one larger Background (or no background if you want), You can move, resize and twist images on the screen intuitively on the touchscreen, then save the image. – its a simple program, written to do one thing only, but it does it well.



Is a very simple to use jigsaw program that (again) uses the touchscreen well, – it comes with a few loaded images and you can use your own photos.


Is the classic game, addictive and implemented well.


is the turd that won`t flush. – its great looking, -the animations good! – BUT, it comes without instructions on how to use it, move your character, – what you`re supposed to do etc and I challenge ANYONE without experience of the game to do anything in it. -I gave up in disgust – the game may be the best thing in games history but if you can`t even start it without extensive trial and error and a whole weeks worth of trying to google information about it , then it sucks badly….

that’s it really, – there are a couple more , but they are just programs that caught my eye – e.g. -a webcam viewer that streams from worldwide webcams, and two touchscreen DJ mixing programs (I DJ for a web page)

Edit:- Had to be a catch didn`t there? – I subscribed to the stardock “Desktop package” to complete the set, – wish to god I hadn`t wasted my money.
one of the programs I wanted does not work at all, -in the stardock forum, it is ADMITTED that it has been “BROKEN” for some time….

The other program I DID want from the package is called “Tiles”. – it seems to be the same… -I`ve posted a question in the “support” forum (that`s a joke…),but am being studiously ignored….
its been there 7 days now with no answer at all.
The ignorant B******s.


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