5 Docking Station Reviews We all have seen those interesting hidden gadgets on some computers that allow you quick and easy access to your favorite software programs. These simple little applications come standard with the Macintosh Computers but for Windows users, we dont have that luxury.
Rocket Dock: (Version 1.35, Last Updated 2007) RocketDock is a smoothly animated, alpha blended application launcher. It provides a fresh clean interface to drop shortcuts on for easy access and organization. With each item completely customizable there is no end to what you can add and launch from the dock. Latest Version can be found at the RocketDock Download page or Version 1.3.5 can be downloaded directly. Now with the added Taskbar support your minimized windows can appear as icons on the dock. This allows for better productivity and accessibility. Support up to Windows 7 but please note that Windows XP x64 Edition, Windows Vista 64-bit Editions, Windows 7 64-bit Editions, and alternate shells are not yet supported. As for the Add-ons, they are easily downloaded giving you many downloadable types of Docking Stations. Online Manual is found here.
Circle Dock (Version 1.5.6, Release date Sept, 2008) Support up to Windows 7. There are two version available: 32 bit and 64 bit download. .Net Framework 2.0 or higher (Also works with latest .Net Framework 4.0 Beta). Circle Dock Alpha 8.1 can be downloaded here. Skins and Icons are easy to use. This software uses the same icons and skins as Rocket Dock and Object Dock.
Orbit Dock (Version 0.3.5.0, Release Date: Unknown) Support for Windows XP/Windows Server 2003. No more updates planned since May 2006. Download the latest version here for full version or update version to 0.3.5. Circular Interface that stays hidden until called upon. You can download Orbit Dock here or the source files here if you are a developer. Built on .Net 1.1 and .Net 2.0. Requirements are:
Install the .Net Framework 1.1
Install DirectX 9.0/9.0a/9.0b or 9.0c (9.0c is recommended since its the latest version)
Unzip Orbit to a folder on your hard drive
Orbit Dock can be downloaded here. Run it! Youre done. There is an online manual for help with setup and install.
Ciano Dock (Version 0.3.5.1, Release Date: Feb, 2010) Support up to Windows Vista (Windows 7 in the works). No Recent Updates. Easy setup with a circular interface. Ciano Dock can be downloaded here.
Appetizer (Version 184.108.40.2068, Release Date: March 2010) Support up to Windows Vista. No Regular Updates Appetizer can be downloaded from here. Appetizer Portable version can be downloaded from here.
WinLaunch (Version 0.4.5, Release Date Sept. 2014) This is WinLaunch, it provides a beautiful way to organize and access all of your important applications and files. The overall style has been heavily influenced by Apples OS X Launchpad introduced in Lion (2011) Support up to Windows 8.1 Actively updated WinLaunch can be downloaded from here. WinLaunch requires .Net 4.5 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30653)
Quick note about WinLaunch, Norton Internet Security has come up with a positive alert and has failed to allow the download of the installer file. We could not find much information about this alert.