At the Build 2014 conference earlier this month, Microsoft promised it would be adding the ability to run Modern mobile apps in floating windows on the desktop in a future update for Windows 8.1. But since Windows 8.1 Update 1 already adds a number of features that make it easier to interact with Modern apps from the desktop, it would be nice if we could add that capability now. Fortunately, we can thanks to an inexpensive utility called ModernMix.
I've already written about ModernMix a number of times in the past—check out Windows 8 Tip: Run Metro Apps in Windows on the Desktop, Windows 8.1 + ModernMix, and Windows 8.1 Update 1 + ModernMix? for a fairly logical progression—but the news today is simple: Now that Update 1 is available to everyone, I can report that this wonderful utility works just fine with this latest Windows revision.
If you're not familiar with ModernMix and are, um, too lazy to go back and read those previous articles, the short version is easy enough to understand: ModernMix lets you run Modern mobile apps in floating windows alongside your traditional Windows desktop applications. This makes particular sense once you upgrade to Update 1 because that update has some interesting Modern/desktop integration bits that really shine when used in tandem with ModernMix.
For example, you can now pin Modern mobile apps to the taskbar in Update 1. And with ModernMix installed, those apps will run in floating windows, consistently with your desktop applications. This is a huge boon for those of you, like me, who primarily interface with Windows on traditional PCs. Suddenly, those Modern apps are useful and usable.
I'll be using ModernMix on my daily-use desktop PC and Ultrabook going forward, as it makes the most sense on such PCs. Since it's only $5, you might consider doing so as well.