Date: October 13th, 2003
Article by: Roger (Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Stardock
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Stardock was founded by 20 year old college student Brad Wardell to help pay for school. Incorporated in 1993, Stardock focused on developing software for IBM's OS/2 operating system. Wardell wrote the OS/2 game Galactic Civilizations between taking electrical engineering classes and teaching digital logic lab, and helping run the university Macintosh lab.
In 1997, Stardock began to transition its software development to Windows. The "OS Wars" between Windows and OS/2 were drawing to a close with the world largely standardizing on Windows for the desktop. To fund its transition to Windows, Stardock developed a .NET concept in 1998 called "Stardock.NET". Its goal was to provide software as a service in which users would subscribe for a period of time and gain access to its technologies that it would develop on the fly.
Today, Stardock is spread across the globe. It looks for the best and brightest from around the world. This team works together via the Internet. While the core of Stardock is located in an office complex in Livonia Michigan, nearly half of the staff is located remotely. This team continues forward on creating PC software that allows both corporations and consumers to customize their Windows PCs. It occasionally still releases a new PC game now and then.
Stardock leads the way in developing technologies that extend the base feature set of Windows. Millions use its business software and its entertainment software is both critically and commercially acclaimed. Its founder and CEO, Brad Wardell, has seen his company grow out of his dorm room into a multi-million dollar corporation with employees and contractors on 4 continents. With a high level of profitability and brisk growth, Stardock is poised for even greater endeavours in the coming years.
Let's be honest for a moment.
Microsoft Windows is uglier than my aunt Bertha without her teeth in.
Everyone knows it, and throughout the years, programmers have developed applications to skin (stylize) Windows. One of the most popular has consistently been WindowBlinds from Stardock Corporation. With version 4, it has taken advantage of Windows XP's native skinning engine, and has taken it to a new level.
As per Stardock's press release, here are some of the new features in WindowBlinds 4:
· Skinning of command prompt windows
· Enhanced system performance for users utilizing native XP skinning engine due to new graphics acceleration technology named "Smart Painting"
· WindowBlinds can now stylize virtually every part of the Windows GUI (e.g. task panes, Control Panel background, logoff dialogs, and more)
· Increased capability. WindowBlinds can now work with most non-standard programs
· WindowBlinds can now control the size of the Windows start bar
· A new configuration program makes switching visual styles easier and faster.
What does this all mean for the end user? Read on...
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