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AllProgs, my new freeware, a Start menu reinterpretation for Windows 8 (& others)

Hi!

Here is my new freeware: ALLPROGS.
You can install it from my other web site, here.
(the reason ia WordPress page can not publish a software)
The new site for this application is here
Enjoy it !


WHAT IS ALLPROGS ?

AllProgs manages the installed applications, just as the Windows’ Star menu, but in the form of a window and not a menu.
It can be seen as a Windows 8 Start menu addition, but works with other versions of Windows (I test it regularly under Vista and under Windows 7).

It displays the informations in two colums:

  • The applications:
    • A tree showing the installed applications.
      It is organized as columns, one per directory.
    • A list of the recently launched applications.
    • Your favorite applications list.
      You can add or remove them as you like.
  • The documents:
    • A list of the recently open documents.
    • Your favorite documents list.
      You can add or remove them as you like.

And you can filter your applications & documents by entering a name. That helps you to search something by part of its name. The filter accepts jokers ( ? and * ) also.


On this screen shot, you can see the documents on the left, and the applications on the right.
In the installed applications list, the Accessories branch is expanded to the right, showing the System tools.
The document explorer is not implemented yet, so it is empty for now.

Once AllProgs has been started, you can show or hide its window by hitting the AltGr key once. Just as easy as showing or hiding the ordinary Start menu (under Windows 7 and sooner) or the launch menu (under Windows 8 and later) with the Windows key !

Why did I make this application since Windows already has the Start menu ?

The first reason is I have never been very happy with the Windows’ Start menu, since Windows 95.
Mainly because it is a menu: if you click a few pixels out, it disappears, when you open an application, it disappears, when you open a recent document, it disappears and you have to open it again and scroll a long list to find the next document, etc…
This menu behaviour is annoying. So I wanted to make a real software that manages the applications, as a real window and not as a menu.

The second reason is the preliminary version of Windows 8 (the Preview version of 2011), which had no Start menu at all, replaced by this abominable and over-simplified welcome scrolling toy acting as an application launcher.
This launcher is absolutely not adapted to the desktop computers, it is a  pure joke on them. Why ? Because it does not display all the shortcuts of the installed applications, because it is not sorted hierarchically (I sort my applications when I install them so they are a lot easier to find later) and because it takes a lot of time to find an application with it. A desktop computer is definitively not a phone !
My answer is an application manager, completely adapted to the desktop computers.

A few features will be added from time to time, and this software is very easy to be updated.
Enjoy it !

REQUIREMENTS

Software

  • Windows Vista and later (Windows 7, 8, Server 2008 R1 & R2, Server 2012, etc.).
    Windows XP can work with some limitations, due to problems in Dot.Net 4 under XP (read the Faq for more informations).
  • The Microsoft Dot.Net 4 platform.
    If it is not installed yet, AllProgs’ installer will download and install it from Microsoft’s Web site.

Hardware

  • A desktop or laptop computer is highly recommended.
    AllProgs is not adapted to the low-power computers as the netbooks or some low-power tablets, although it should run (very slowly) on them, depending on the Windows version.
    AllProgs will not run under WOA (Windows-on-Arm).

Give it a try, it does not cost anything.

SOME HINTS

  • Use the AltGr key to show or hide the window.
  • To find a particular application or document, enter a name in the filter area.
  • Some options are available. Click on the upper button: “Show the options”.
  • If the Shift key is pressed while opening the contextual menu of a Favorite document or application, you will see the complete menu.
    Please be careful: this menu depends on the real document or application file, not on a shortcut.
    Use it only if you know what you are doing.

CURRENT VERSION

The current version of AllProgs works fine but is not as complete as I would like.

I want to add some features in the future:

  • Buttons to shutdown, hibernate, etc. the system.
  • The installed applications tree/columns should update when external modifications happen (software installation or removal for instance).
  • An option to enable/disable the automatic update check.
  • An option to enable/disable the AltGr key (system-wide) shortcut.
  • An easy way to translate the software.
    It could be a specialized tool, I have to investigate.
  • An option to enable/disable the graphic dark & transparent theme.

And there are many other things in my to-do list (dozens, in fact).  🙂

FAQ

Please read the Current version chapter first, as it could answer your question.

  • Q: Where can I download the software ?
  • Q: How can I close AllProgs completely ?
    • A: You have 3 ways to do that:
      1. On the upper left corner of the window, you have a circular icon. Right click on it, a context menu will appear and let you close the application.
      2. Or, you can use the standard key shortcut: Alt+F4.
      3. Or, you can right-click on the AllProgs’ task bar icon and use its context menu.
  •   Q: When I make a modification in the installed applications (suppress or add one), AllProgs does not update its list. Why ?
    • A: The current version is preliminary, I will write the update code in a near future. Please wait for an (automatic) update.  🙂
  • Q: How can I update AllProgs ?
    • A: The program checks updates itself on internet every 7 days.
      But you can manually update it: click on Show options & commands, then on Update the application.
  • Q: Why AllProgs tries to connect to the Internet ?
    • A: Every 7 days, it checks updates.
      Or you try to display the manual, that is on Internet.
  • Q: Why are there some bugs under Windows XP ? Can you fix them ?
    • A: Unfortunately, it seems the Dot.Net 4 platform under XP has some bugs.
      It is not something I can manage. I already wrote some workarounds, but there is no good solution … until Microsoft corrects these bugs (but I do not think they have much interest in XP any more).
  • Q: Can I volunteer to translate AllProgs in my own language ?
    • A: You are welcome to do this.
      Please just wait I create a tool to facilitate this work. I have to restructure AllProgs first.
      You can contact me first, then I will tell you when my tool is ready.
  • Q: What is the license of AllProgs ? Is it open source ?
    • A: AllProgs is free to use but it is not open source.
      The license can be found in its installation directory, in this file: Licenses.rtf, or downloaded here.
  • Q: Can I distribute AllProgs ?
    • A: Yes, but under some conditions. Read the license for more informations.
      If you want to redistribute AllProgs, you can download the complete installer here, the other files can not be distributed.
      The license can be found in its installation directory, in this file: Licenses.rtf, or downloaded here.
  • Q: Windows and my security software say the author of AllProgs is unknown and warn me that installing this software could be a risk. Why ?
    • There is no risk since there is nothing harmful in AllProgs (no spyware, no malware of any kind).
      But since a few years, Microsoft builds its security on software’s “signature” via “software certificates”.
      The problem is I do not have any software certificate I could use to sign my freeware.
      The simple reason is a certificate costs a lot of money, in fact hundreds of € (Euros).
      And certificates are paid on a year basis !
      That is way too much for me, since I do not expect to earn any money from this software.
 

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