Windows only: The free Emerge Alternative Desktop Shell replaces Windows’ taskbar, Start menu, and right-click context menu with a super-minimalistic version. In short, Emerge leaves you with essentially an empty desktop, a clean slate for some killer customisations. Emerge also clears away icons and menus Launchy users don’t need. When you first install Emerge, you may feel a bit out of sorts—where do you click when there’s no Start menu? Right click on your desktop to get access to your Start menu programs and quick launch toolbar and Emerge’s settings. Ctrl+Click on the Emerge Tray (upper left hand corner on your desktop by default), to further customise the look and feel of the tray. The learning curve on Emerge isn’t flat, but poking through the documentation and trying out various settings will make the dedicated desktop customiser very happy. Emerge is a free download for Windows only. Got another Windows shell replacement you like better than Emerge? Post it in the comments.