Marty Lists brings us ShellExecute, a freeware application that is similar to the built-in START command, but in addition to normal, minimized, and maximized, you can also launch applications as hidden.
The readme contains:
Shell Execute \[version 1.00\] Launches executables or documents according to their file type association. The syntax of this command is: ShellExecute.exe /F:file \[/P:parameters /W:workingdir /R:runstyle /A:action\] /F: Specifies the file to execute. /P: Defines the command-line parameters to pass to the executable. /W: Defines the working directory the executable starts with. /R: Defines the window state, default is normal. (/r:Min|Max|Hidden). /A: Defines the action to take, default is Open (Print, Explore, etc.) Examples: ShellExecute.exe /f:D:\\Setup.exe /p:-S -SMS /r:hidden ShellExecute.exe /f:C:\\Boot.ini /a:print An argument of /? displays this syntax and returns 1. A successful completion will return 0. Copyright 2001 Marty List