There has always been a rivalry between Apple’s macOS and Microsoft Windows. Over the years, macOS has enjoyed a reputation for being the most user-friendly interface, and Windows has been considered the more utilitarian system. Modern Windows has come a long way since those early days and is now truly on par with what Apple has to offer.
However, after all these years, Microsoft still doesn’t offer a Mac-style dock in its operating system. But there are third-party options you can try if you really need a docking station on your PC.
RocketDock has been around for a long time. In fact, the developers who did this haven’t released a new version since 2008! But for some reason, people still love this bold little app launcher.
RocketDock still looks good despite over a decade of renovation. However, you can give it different skins, even using skins from other launchers such as RK Launcher and Objectdock.
Adding and removing shortcuts is easy. It does exactly what you’d expect from a dock without the fuss and bloat. It’s also free under a Creative Commons license, so everyone should try it at least once.
Is Launchy really considered a dock? Perhaps not entirely true, but this smart little app launcher is too good to be ruled out. Launchy is a small window with a text input field. It indexes your Start menu as well as documents and folders. You can set up your own shortcuts and launch whatever you want with a keystroke.
Launchy is free and open source, so anyone can try it without any obligation. Skins are also available to customize the look.
Although the program is free, the developer provides people with the option to donate some money, which would be a nice gesture.
While most docking stations are inspired by what macOS has done with this idea, the XWindows Dock is a direct clone of Apple’s software.
Like RocketDock, this dock hasn’t really been updated in a while and doesn’t seem to officially support Windows 10. On the other hand, the dock worked reasonably well in our Windows 10 installation with one small issue. The dock appears behind the taskbar.
This can be easily fixed by setting the taskbar to auto-hide. This has the added benefit of making your desktop look like MacOS, but this problem can be annoying for some people.
Since it is a clone of a Mac dock, the look and feel are very similar. However, it’s been 8 years since the last stable release, so it may stop working in a future update. However, it is the closest thing to the classic macOS dock at the moment.
Winstep Nexus is one of the few docking apps to officially support Windows 10. There are free and paid versions. This is a free version.
This dock is similar to the basic concept of macOS but gives it a true Windows flavor. It has reflective icons, support for animated icons, and of course, skins. It is really a very beautiful docking station with all kinds of special effects. It is also the only dock app to support the Windows 10 Universal Platform standard on Windows.
We also love the dock widget support and the ease of placing the dock itself. Multi-monitor support is excellent, with high-res rendering and docking station placement on any monitor. The Ultimate version offers quite a few additional features, but for most users, the free personal version will be more than enough for regular use.
The Circle Dock is the most innovative dock with a radial design that is completely different from anything we’ve seen. This is also not a permanent dock. Instead, you press a hotkey and the document will appear where the mouse pointer is.
It is an innovative idea and highly functional, but the software has never been developed to the point where it matches the functionality of RocketDock However, if you like experimental user interface ideas, Circle Dock is worth a try.
Good docking time
One of the best things about Windows is that if you don’t like something about it, you can change it with the right knowledge or tools. While Windows 10 seems to hold back full UI replacements like the venerable Rainmeter, it can still feel right at home in less ways.