8start launcher is an interesting program launcher that focuses more on easy of access and configuration than anything else. At first glance, it may seem like it's an average "bunch of icons" program launcher, but that's no the case. Icons can be sorted into categories and groups. Select a different category, and you get totally different groups of icons showing. It also can show drive space usage (although it only worked for my c: drive). This is fit into the app as if it were an icon. The number of icons in a row, and the drives show, are controlled in the settings.
"Well, I guess if I had to put it into words its a wharf. But, what makes it so cool, is you can define its size. The boxes can be 40x40, 64x64, 100x20. Hell, it could be 800x600 if you wanted. It supports a number of features including modules, sounds, multiple images and !Bang commands. Uses very little CPU, and is small in size. It runs in Litestep, Explorer, D, Reveal, or any other shell you can think up. It works great as a second wharf in Litestep, or just a nice app launcher for Explorer."
Status: not under development anymore, but available.
"Skinnable app launcher; very similar to the Mac SystemBar. Supports Transparency in skins, pop-up menus, separators and can be minimized. Included in the package there are the tools to configure and customize the look and feel."
Status: abandoned ?
"Flarp!bar is a powerful and highly configurable utility to offer keyboard-centric launching of web browsers, programs and documents on your PC - via a unique scripting system which makes visiting "http://www.blah.com" as easy as 'com blah', and a Google search for "some search words" as easy as 'ggl some search words'."
Shoggot: "one of the very first skinnable applaunchers. Skinnable, but barely - the time display is at a set pixel position, and the other elements have to be in columns around it, but it -can- be done. Stable, fast, kinda neat for the ways you can windowshade it (3 different ways!)."
Status: discontinued. Link points to our archive.
LaunchBar Commander is a program launcher designed to be effective but light on resources. It is designed so that you can make extensive use of menus, rather than just have a few buttons. It also can have multiple docks in a variety or configurations. Configuration can be done through a complete tree view editor or by the "drag-n-drop" method. It also can handle some system folders, with more being planned.
LaunchIt is program launcher that mainly uses icons to display the programs it can launch. Its usually a skinnable bar with icons. When you hover over one, a perpendicular bar appears with as your programs to open. There are also optional tool-tips to describe each item. This you have another way to distinguish things with similar or identical icons.
Status: disappeared. Link points to our archive.
"Nightlife is a free application launcher I'm developing. (...) It's a bit like an imagemap for a webpage. Plus areas of the "map" which are see-through. You create the skin in any paint program, including the icons, then define clickable areas."
Status: not under development anymore, but a previously unreleased beta available (look under 'random stuff').
PKLauncher is a simple program launcher. It takes a list or dialog box approach. The box is resizable, and can be reduced to a shade. To use the shade, there is an option of either clicking on it or hovering over it. Several options, including that one, are in the configurations menu. This is also where you control the list of programs you can launch. You either can type in paths, browse to files, or drag-n-drop files on the drop box. There also is an excellent skin preview/changer making it very easy to change skins.
Status: on hold.
"PKMenu is a fully skinnable launcher for Windows XP/2000 and higher. (...) In its default state PKMenu is hidden in the background. Only starter.exe is silently waiting for a chance to open the menu when someone clicks on the middle mouse button."
Status: on hold.
"Quick Menu is a free, skinnable, small and easy-to-use launch menu for quick and easy access to the applications you use most often. It sits quietly in the background, waiting for you to activate it by pressing the hotkeys. Upon activation Quick Menu pops up where the mouse cursor happens to be."
Status: obviously active, yet no download atm. Check our archive.
"This program is a launcher, (...) You can add your own programs, redesign its graphics to make this launcher exactly the way you want it to be."
Status: dead. Link points to our archive.