How to run multiple apps in Windows 8 without it looking awful!
QUESTION I've recently bought a lovely 27inch monitor with a 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution and I love it as I can comfortably have many windows open from different applications at the same time. Now that I'm using Windows 8, I find the Start screen to be rather overwhelmingly huge – like being slapped in the face with a multi-coloured pillow. Furthermore, all the Modern UI apps run full-screen, which seems like a real waste of pixels. Is there any way I can make better use of my screen space when using these new Windows 8 features?
HELPROOM ANSWER There are a number of things you can do. First of all, you're probably aware that the Snap feature in Windows 8 lets you run two Modern UI apps side-by-side.
To do this, grab the top of the Modern UI app as though you're about to drag it down to the bottom to close it, but instead drag it to the side of the screen until a vertical bar appears. Let go, and the app will snap to the side of the screen. Opening another Modern UI app will cause it to fill the remaining portion of the screen, leaving the two apps running side-by-side.
This also works when switching to the Desktop: The app snapped to the side will appear alongside the desktop at the same time. If you snap the desktop to the side, then each of your desktop windows will appear in its own tile displayed vertically down the screen.
As you can see, this feature is rather restrictive in that snapped apps are of a fixed size, occupying a thin vertical column at the left or right of the screen. Most apps aren't suited well to running in this format, although it's good for Twitter and instant messaging apps.
If you're prepared to install third-party software, you can run Modern IU apps in their own individual windows on the desktop using Stardock's ModernMix utility (http://www.stardock.com/products/modernmix). Once installed, you can run Modern UI apps simultaneously in their own windows just like any standard windows application. You can also switch freely between windowed mode and the standard full-screen mode.
This will enable you to open as Many Modern UI apps as you wish and make full use of your large screen.