Stardock already offers a way to bring back the familiar Start menu in Windows 8 instead of the much criticized tile-based home screen. But if you’d still like to use “Metro” apps from Microsoft’s Windows Store and can’t wrap your head around having to run things like a calendar or email app either in full screen mode or as a snapped application to the side, with their latest utility you won’t have to.

ModernMix allows you to configure how Windows 8 apps behave depending on where you launch them - Start screen or desktop. Options include launching apps in the standard full screen, a windowed full screen mode, or a smaller window so they can be minimized, moved around, and resized. They’ll operate like regular desktop apps so you can have as many as you like open at a time and even pin them to the taskbar.

The software also remembers app window sizes so that they launch in the same place every time. You can use the F10 key or a little widget in the top right-hand corner of Windows 8-style apps to switch between modes.

ModernMix along with a few other customization tools from Stardock like Start8 and Decor8 appear to be challenging Microsoft’s vision of sharing a single interface design language across all its computing devices, but they are definitely welcome options for those who want to live in the desktop world.

The app is currently in beta and costs $4.99, but there's a 30-day trial available for those who want to test it out.