If there is one aspect of Windows 8 that perpetually frustrates users on the new OS, it is the traditional Desktop. With the continued focus of Microsoft on the MX or Metro environment to the detriment of the desktop in Windows 8, users have been complaining. Of course the 180 degree turn of MS with the Start button is known to appease traditional users. Even with this and all the enhancements MS did to the desktop in v8.1 notwithstanding, there are still aspects of this OS that simply won’t go away in frustrating users. I.e. the ability to use the desktop of this OS on a tablet.

With tablets averaging 10” size and sporting ultra-HD resolutions, the desktop elements have been shrinking. There holds on rule, the more the resolutions you have, the smaller your screen elements become given the same Screen size. So when your 10 inch device sports a Full-HD resolution, your buttons, icons and text boxes shrinks to nothingness. You either need a magnifying glass to read text, or you resort to what everyone does now, increase the size of screen elements with the Display tools in the System, an action that defeats the need to have a high resolution screen on a small device in the first place.


But even with increased screen elements, there is still the problem of targeting this small UI elements with the finger on a Touch device. Missed touch-activations is the result. When Yes and Cancel button stand next to each other on a dialog, you have the chance that you’ll hit Yes, while you meant Cancel on a Delete dialog box with all consequence thereof. So this is where Appymouse comes to the rescue. To give traditional desktop users a familiar UI operation back on a Touch device like Surface without having to increase screen elements to ugly sizes. Anywhere a desktop is presented, this tool is your hero.

See AppyMouse in action

AppyMouse is a tool published by Ostudiolabs and can be downloaded free of charge from their site. It is an executable, which means you can only install on the desktop and not in the MX environment. Installation brings the control to the lower right corner of your device where with the movement of the Thumb you can move the mouse on the screen, and tapping performs a click. Two-taps is your double-click as expected. See the video above to convince yourself. A picture is worth a thousand words right?

The publisher have of course taken your convenience into consideration by making the Control deck transparent so you can still see your work. And when you don’t need AppyMouse anymore, you can dismiss it to the Taskbar. You can also move the control to left side if you’re left handed, or it is just convenient. Look Mama, Photoshoping on my tablet, hands only!

This is something Microsoft self should have thought up and added to the OS instead of this coming from third-party developers. Consequence is that this app of course can only be installed on an x86 devices, you can’t install it on WindowsRT devices like SurfaceRT. So if you’re a SurfaceRT user, you are for now out of luck on that device desktop. If MS built this, it would have been included in the WindowsRT OS.

Coincidentally about a month ago I implored TeamViewer publishers to introduce this very feature on Windows 8 because they already have the very same feature as AppyMouse on the Windows Phone 8 devices with their TeamViewer client for WP8. There you can control a remote desktop sessions just like AppyMouse, and you can Zoom too. Now my request to AppyMouse publishers is to add Zoom function to generally zoom on the Desktop where those shrunken displays is a pain. I have even asked MarkRuss to add this zoom functionality to his ZoomIT tool. Hopefully they’ll be able to implement this. But in the meantime, we welcome this awesome tool to the desktop. It definitely makes life easier for the already frustrated Windows 8 Desktop users on a Tablet.

CC: @Ostudiolabs