Stardock Gives You a Windows 8 Appbar Experience

If you have a lot of applications and windows open at a time and find it difficult to manage them, navigate through or minimize/maximize, Windows 8 has a perfect solution for you. However, not all of us will get a chance to experience this until Windows 8 is publicly released.
One way to try out some of the Windows 8 features is to use Stardock. It emulates the Windows 8 metro interface and adds in a visual bar of apps onto the side of your screen.

First Things First

Stardock has a beautiful interface and is just perfect to manage tabs of open applications. Apart from this, it allows us to tile lists of application that we frequently use for quick access. Follow the link to download and install Stardock. When you are done and launch the application for the first time, it shows a how to use page.
This is a great summary of the tool. You may scroll the list up/down, scroll pages right/left and more.
By default, the visual bar shows two pages named “apps” and “my tiles”. The former will show all open application and windows while the latter is configurable to add in links to other apps and folders.

How to Use Stardock?

The startup page says a lot. It also shows a list of tips to help you. You may again look at these by right clicking on the appbar. For every open window, the bar will show a preview. You may hit on any one to open or hit the cross to close it. To pull in an app drag and drop it and the page.
There are a couple of right click options. The top of the bar, where the page name resides, will show options to rename, delete or configure the behavior of a page.
A right click on any window preview will provide options to close, minimize or restore the window. The option on recent documents shows the list of documents opened recently.
Doing the same on a tiled application will show a shortcut link, unpin and rename options.
Right clicking on a blank space will let you configure the entire appbar or launch tips and how to use pages.

Configuration and Settings

Stardock Tiles have four basic configurable settings. With pages, you may defer page settings or edit existing profiles. There is a list of appearance settings like colors, icon, caption etc. Then, the size and location option lets you place the bar on any of the four edges and lets you choose the bar size ranging between tiny to extra large.

Conclusion

Stardock is a good app to try if you want to get a preview of the Windows 8 metro interface. In addition to that, it is a solid app management application.

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