Posted November 7, 2013 – 5:25 pm in: Software
For users who love to access the Start screen without leaving the desktop environment, there is a free tool to open the Start screen within desktop environment, and also show taskbar at the bottom of the Start screen so you can quickly access the taskbar right from the Start screen.
Even though the Start screen acts as a launcher and is very customizable as well, for users who would like to have a dock on the Start screen and use it as a launcher, Stardock Corporation has just released a new software called Launch8 and is now available for download.
Launch8 is an application launcher for your Windows 8/8.1′s Start screen and doesn’t appear on the desktop. It lets you add your favourite program shortcuts to the dock and launch programs with a click.
By default, the Launch8 appears at the bottom of the Start screen but you can move it to the top area of the screen by clicking the Settings icon that appears at the end of the dock and then clicking Position at the top of the screen option.
Launch8 is highly customizable as well. You can configure the program to show clock on the dock, hide the settings icon, enable translucent background for the dock, show/hide jumplists, and choose between five icon sizes: auto-size (default), small, medium, large, and extra-large.
To add a program shortcut to the dock, click on the Settings icon, and then click Add option to browse and add application shortcuts to the dock. The good thing is that you can add both apps installed from the Windows Store as well as desktop programs to the dock.
And to remove a shortcut icon from the dock, right-click on the icon that you would to remove, and then click Delete option.
Just like the taskbar, Launch8 also comes with jumplist feature. Just hover the mouse cursor over the small rectangular box that appears above docked icons (appears below the docked icons when at the top of the screen) to see the jumplist. For instance, moving the mouse cursor on the rectangular box below the Internet Explorer icon displays all open tabs in jumplist.
Please note that if you can’t see the settings icon at the end of the dock, you can open Settings menu by right-clicking on an icon in dock and then selecting Launch8 option.
Launch8 is a paid program and is available for $4.99. However, a fully functional 30-day trial copy can be downloaded by visiting the download page.
Users who prefer having the Windows taskbar on the Start screen instead of third-party dock program can go through our how to enable taskbar on the Start screen in Windows 8/8.1 guide. StartIsBack+ (paid) also lets you show Windows taskbar on the Start screen.
Note that it the setup of Launch8 offers you install Start8 program. You can uncheck the option titled Yes, also install Start8 to continue installing Launch8 without installing Start8 program.