[Windows] Concord is an application launcher with a rather elegant UI

Concord Main UILaunchers are a pretty big deal in the mobile scene especially on the Android platform, because they help add a lot of functionality. Android, for example, is all about customization and freedom. Launchers allow users to implement custom themes, take advantage of personalized shortcuts and more. The most prominent use of a launcher is to bring your favorite applications to the forefront. Concord is an application launcher for Windows that offers you quick access to the software you use most. It’s convenient because it helps you unclutter your desktop by removing all those shortcuts.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Concord is a stylish launcher that’s designed to provide you with quick access to customizable menus. Think of it as a miniature, and fully customizable start menu. Concord also houses links to important system information tools and browser shortcuts.

Concord UI over white backgroundPros

  • Main application menus include three sub-menus
  • Highly organized application launcher
  • Very easy to personalize, and navigate
  • Supports drag and drop functionality
  • You can enable a feature that opens sub-menus automatically when the cursor hovers over them
  • You can add browser shortcuts, which work as direct links to favorite URLs
  • Isn’t too heavy — uses about 40,000KB of RAM while running

Cons

  • The window is completely transparent, although this looks pretty good sometimes what shows up underneath can making read window items difficult
  • You can only move the Concord launcher by clicking and holding the cursor inside the small bottom menu bar on the main screen, multiple limitations like this one can become quite aggravating at times
  • No visual themes or visual customization support, what you see is what you get
  • Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • As far as I can tell there is no portable version available, which would be useful for a launcher like this

Discussion

Concord launcher add itemsConcord is essentially a customizable application launcher. I would describe the user interface as elegant and appealing. More importantly, it’s very easy to use and navigate.

Since this is a launcher running as a background service I’ll cover memory usage first. Concord is not too bad on resources and only uses about 38,000-40,000KB of RAM while running. If you’re not familiar with RAM usage, I can tell you that’s not the lowest I’ve seen but it also is not much.

The main navigation screen of Concord is where all of your shortcuts and application menus are placed. Each application menu or category, has three sub-menus with related options. The UI is organized as follows:

  • Media
    • Audio
    • Photo
    • Video
  • Art
    • Draw
    • Edit
    • Graphics
  • Home
    • Games
    • Hobby
    • Home
  • Internet
    • Favorites A to M
    • Favorites N to Z
    • Internet
  • Documents
    • Documents
    • Folders
    • Programs
  • System
    • File
    • Security
    • System

Obviously each of the submenus are for organization, they help to ensure the launcher always stays pretty neat. Even when you have hundreds of shortcuts and links added to the launcher.

Concord Organize itemsOn the very bottom of the window is a menu panel. There are three separate buttons, green for app settings, blue to minimize the window and red to close the window. There’s also a search filter, a button to display all shortcuts in a single list, a button to sort the items, and a final button to cancel out the default mouse click function. When the latter option is disabled, you can open menus and submenus just by hovering the mouse pointer over an item.

The app settings menu is where you’ll spend most of your time aside from opening shortcuts on the main menu. Here, there are options to organize each of the menus and sub-menus, add items to the launcher, browse system information and of course alter launcher specific settings.

To add items or shortcuts to the launcher, all you have to do is click on the “Add Items” tab, and then you can drag and drop items into the window. After clicking “View Items” a pop-up will appear that allows you to alter the description of the shortcut and place it in the proper category.

Concord settings menuIt’s actually pretty straightforward stuff. If you’ve ever used or read about a similar launcher in the past then you have a good idea of what Concord does. It’s very easy to customize and remarkably simple to use. One thing I really don’t like about it, is the fact that you cannot customize the launcher’s appearance through color templates or even themes. The layout and visual style that you see in the screenshots, is exactly what you get and that’s it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Also, the window itself is rather odd about what you can interact with. You can always click on the window easily to bring it into focus but there are only small portions of the window that allow you to move it around. For example, on the main screen in order to move the window you have to click and hold the cursor on a very thin menu bar. Furthermore, you cannot resize the Concord window at all.

Conclusion and download link

Concord launcher system informationIf you’re looking for a stylish application launcher for Windows that will help you clean some of that clutter off your desktop, then Concord is great for that. It’s easy to use, simple to navigate, and just as easy to personalize. However, if you already have a favorite launcher that you use, there’s not really anything unique that would entice you to switch to Concord. But, if you don’t already have a favorite launcher or you like Concord’s visual style and UI, then check out Concord.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 2.62

Supported OS: Windows (XP, Vista, Seven, Eight), Requires .NET Framework 3.5

Download size: 2.85MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? No

Concord homepage

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7 comments

  1. KMHamm

    Two quick things. 1) I have Fences, which I found out about here, and I love it – however, the free version is gone. Because I have Fences, I really don’t see the need for a launcher. 2) I keep hearing about .NET being a bad thing, but I have no idea why it is a bad thing. So…..?

  2. stilofilos

    [@michel]
    I agree for as far as this kind of launchers are discussed. Especially as, like here, (according to their website, I was not motivated to try it myself) things seem to be pre-chewed and you have to pay to really personalise it…
    On the other hand, I never use that ‘start’ , and my ‘quick launch’ is completely empty. But I do use two other (kinds of) launchers continuously cos they really do give me added value, and I’m glad I found them – maybe you’ll want to have a look at them as well :
    - in Famulus you just type a self-defined instruction in a really tiny window, like the initials of your bank to have it open your browser on the login page of that bank (or a data file, program,…) (sadly enough, this can only execute one rule per instruction) http://crzyinc.weebly.com/famulus.html

    - in QuickCliq you start from cratch and make a (really) personalised menu of items and/or groups of items, and launch them individually or together as needed (like: Dottech, GOTD, BDJ, Glarysoft and your notes manager opened simultaneously in one instruction) http://apathysoftworks.com/

  3. Briley Kenney
    Author/

    [@michel] The resources used are only temporary seeing as you can kill the launcher at any time. They’re convenient really. I don’t like clutter on my desktop, so I use a launcher for all my shortcuts usually.

    [@Nite Owl] Keen eye my friend! That I am. :)

  4. michel

    I never understood why the Start menu and Quick launch aren’t enough. I don’t see any advantages to adding any launcher or dock. I get just liking something different, but nothing really adds any functionality without needless complication and wasted resources.

    just sayin’.

  5. JonE

    Like @Mr.Dave I too have tried MANY different launchers and have to agree “True Launch Bar” is the way to go. And I also agree with @Mr.Dave that it is well worth the $19.95 price tag and is still being developed; the current stable version is 6.5; BETA 6.5.1. System requirments are listed as “Windows™ XP / Vista / 7 / 8″ and as far as I know “True Launch Bar” has no .NET dependencies. From what I’ve read it will install and run on Portable devices as well, but I’m not up to speed on that. The “True Launch Bar” Home Page can be found here: http://www.truelaunchbar.com and is also listed on Softpedia and Tucows. I’m sure it’s listed on many other download sites, but I haven’t verified that.

    For those that just can’t afford the $19.95, I know how that is, or are just too tight there is a FREE version titled “Free Launch Bar”. The current version is 2.0. “Free Launch Bar” is not developed like it’s big brother, and while it may install and run on “Windows 8″ the developer does not show comment on it. “Free Launch Bar” System Requirements are listed as, “Windows™ XP/Vista/Windows 7″ and again it has no .NET dependencies, to the best of my knowledge.

    I have “Free Launch Bar” on my XP machine and “True Launch Bar” on a 7 machine; I highly recommend both, just depends on what you need.

    Both “Free and True Launch Bar” are listed on Softpedia and both are 5/5 Softpedia picks. I know True Launch Bar is listed on Tucows and is listed as a Must Have Application.

    Oh yeah, the “Free Launch Bar” Home Page can be found here: http://www.truelaunchbar.com.

  6. Mr.Dave

    Looks interesting – and a good writeup, Briley – but too limited for my use. I tried LOTS of launchers and finally settled on a paid program, True Launch Bar (won a free version in a giveaway contest) and highly recommend it. It’s fast, looks great (highly customizable – I like to use fairly large icons with text names), you can have multiple copies, any number (or at least a big number) of menus and sub-menus, tear-off menus, and you can put several different apps right in the menus (To-Do list, timer, etc.). You can even set it to change what it shows depending on what applications are running. I’ve got one starting icon for most programs (14 sub-menus, most of those have sub-menus), one for my desktop, one for recent programs. It runs from the task bar and takes very few system resources — in fact, as far as I can tell, there’s no separate program or process running in the background, it works its magic using stuff already built in to Windows, by replacing the Quick Launch toolbar (you can switch back & forth whenever you want). Easy to add, move and drop shortcuts. Nicely done and well worth the 19.95 price tag. I’m not associated with the TLB people, just a big fan of their work! Look at truelaunchbar.com for lots of pics showing the flexibility of this program.