I know, I know; everytime I see a time-saving or space-saving program launcher I just can’t help but share it. That’s the price you pay since I’m often looking at an 800 x 480 screen. This launcher du jour was spotted over at Lifehacker; I think Adam Pash longs for simpler program launchers more than I do, if that’s possible!
RocketDock is the freeware in question, but you won’t question it’s usefulness or Apple-like appearance. This application creates a customizable dock for your app shortcuts as well as your running apps. The app is supported on Windows 2000, XP and Vista, although I only installed it on XP Tablet Edition for testing. Using the touchscreen, you can easily drag and move shortcuts through dock and the icons are plenty big enough to tap with a finger; you can resize as needed. If you do run this on your UMPC, you’re best off with the dock on the top or bottom of your screen in an 800 x 480 native res; at that size, the dock doesn’t fully fit on the left or right. Of course, if your device can switch to a higher resolution, you can eek out some more pixels and real estate to help.
RocketDock behaves almost exactly like the doc in Mac OS X, so if you want to hide that Start bar in lieu of a custom dock, now is your chance. There’s a ton of options and skins included, so you can change the look and feel six ways to Sunday. Still not sure if it’s right for you? Watch this short video from the developer and see what you think.