Feeds

MS co-opts Stardock for WinXP skins

Button it

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft has blessed WindowBlinds by giving XP beta testers access to WindowsBlinds XP. Stardock's Brad Wardell assures us that this should by no means be viewed as official endorsement ("It's a very unofficial, casual thing") - but as we see it having your code on Microsoft's beta code servers is a lot nicer than not having it there.

the beta Redmond has posted is a version of Stardock's WindowBlinds XP which Stardock modified to work within the visual styles framework. It extends the capabilities of Microsoft's Visual Styles to enable outlandish themes or, as Wardell puts it, to allow beta testers who want more skins to have them.

Microsoft laid out some hors d'oevres last year by promising that Whistler (as we then called it) would support themes. And then it declared the restaurant closed, by adding the rider that third party themes were unlikely to be approved.

Like Apple before it, Microsoft twigged that letting users and OEMs customize Windows beyond recognition might diminish the expensively-marketed brand, and precipitate a tech support nightmare. After all, if users start asking for the freedom to decide how a program should look, then the next thing they'll want is to decide what it does, and before you know it, they're knocking on your door demanding the source code. And where's your business model then? So the new arrangement should please just about everybody.

Stardock and Microsoft have already co-operated with Redmond helping Stardock on skinning Office. Late last month Stardock released a beta of Skin Studio, a revamp of its BuilderBlinds skinning IDE, now extended to create XP themes. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.