The problem with Windows 8 as it stands is that the OS may seem like it has multiple personalities when you begin using it. On one hand, you have the modern and new Start Screen with the Metro UI and Live Tiles. The apps that live and play on this screen are designed with HTML5 in mind and offer a touch-based experience similar to the apps that you may find on Windows Phone 8 or the iPad. Then, as you dive into the classic Desktop mode, which provides backward compatibility with programs written for Windows 7 or earlier, you have a whole new UI and user experience paradigm.
This means that apps are part of the new Metro UI are not meant to be operated inside a window on the Desktop mode. And though you can snap a Metro UI app to one side of the screen and your desktop to the other half of the screen, this presents some inconveniences as select apps, like your favorite IM app for the Metro UI don’t really allow you truly multitask in an easy windows world with the desktop mode.
This is where Stardock’s ModernMix comes to play. ModernMix allows Windows 8 users to bring the Metro UI apps into the desktop mode and allows users to move around the Metro apps in different windows, re-size them, and juggle them. This allows for a more traditional Windows-based multitasking workflow and allows users to quickly juggle between apps all on the same screen thanks to the windows-based paradigm.
ModernMix is a $5 utility that allows new apps and games to be operated in smaller, re-sizable windows rather than always in full-screen mode. It also allows for multiple Metro UI apps to run simultaneously at the same time.
So far, the new paradigms of Windows 8 have created a third-party market for apps and utilities that bring back the old paradigm of doing things. Stardock is also responsible for the Start8 software that brings the Start Menu back to Windows 8.