Windows 8 Store apps are fun stuffs to play around, but Store app use full screen and only runs one at a time. Also, notification from task bar is hidden.
There is a way to run Store app in window mode, from desktop. First, get copy of Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows from Microsoft, and install. VS 2012 Express is free to use.
After installing, simulator is also installed for debugging Store apps. This simulator is well made, it works like remote connecting to self environment. Inside simulator, you are accessing to your own PC, and you can use apps you installed, and making any modification applies to your PC. If you create shortcuts on desktop inside simulator, you will see shortcut created on desktop (outside simulator) real-time.
Open file explorer, and move to
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Simulator\11.0
You will see “Microsoft.Windows.Simulator.exe”, double click and launch. Simulator starts showing Start screen.
After simulator launch, right click simulator icon in task bar, and select pin to task bar, so you can easily launch from next time.
Some functions (function which requires administrative privilege) does not work, but you can do mostly anything inside simulator window. Note that inside simulator links to your PC, so anything you do inside simulator affects your actual environment.
To right side of simulator, there are many buttons to play with. You can switch screen resolution. Default resolution is set to 1366×768, and yes, inside simulator, it is working in this resolution. So, even if your actual screen resolution is low, you can try snap functions by operating through simulator.
Taking screenshot inside simulator (Win + PrtScrn key) will save screenshot in image size with resolution specified for simulator.
However, increasing resolution inside simulator will make simulator run slow, and also make texts hard to read, so it’s better to keep low resolution. See Microsoft site for detailed manual on how to use simulator.
Now, as you can see, you can run Store apps inside simulator, making “Running Store apps in window mode at desktop”.
Interesting thing is, clipboard is synced inside/outside simulator. Select and copy text at news app inside simulator, and pasting to notepad outside simulator can be done.
Tasks are independent in/out simulator.
To end simulator, right click icon in task tray, and click close.
Simulator has many other functionality, you can simulate touch operation even if your PC does not have touch panel.
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