Feeds

DesktopX – killer eye candy or the great Windows desktop liberator?

You decide

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

After a year's public development Stardock's extravagantly ambitious DesktopX has finally reached version 1.0, and hit the download servers.

It gives Windows similar functionality to the IBM Workplace Shell that OS/2 veterans know and love, and that Microsoft promised in its Cairo version of Windows NT. In fact Stardock CEO and shameless nostalgic Brad Wardell has put IBM's vintage 1991 WPS demo online here.

There's no shortage of alternative Windows shells, taskbar replacements and the like, but Stardock makes much of not playing in the same tarpit.

"We're not a Windows shell. You can install something like LiteStep but then you're blowing away Explorer," says Stardock's Brad Wardell. "DesktopX is object orientated - and not just buzzword object orientated."

DesktopX takes advantage of the COM interfaces in Windows applications. But this kind of stuff be in the OS, rather than as a user space application?

"I agree. The only reason we did this is that IBM, Apple and Microsoft didn't put it in the operating system," says Wardell.

"We have an object that tells you whether you've got incoming mail. Why does it take a third party to do that? Why should you have to open a 20MB application to see if you've got new mail?"

Although this is really base camp as far as Brad's concerned.

"We've got the infrastructure, but we'd like to start to create COM wrappers so people can manipulate the programs without having to do programming themselves," he says. "The only people doing this now really are virus writers!"

Other plans include bridging DesktopX to Windows Scripting Host so VBScript and Javascript can be used.

It's really not too shabby. There are screenshots of Aqua-like themes here and here (note to Apple lawyers with high blood pressure: keep an Aspirin handy before viewing these), and the home page is here.

Alas, no chance of a Linux version though. ®

Related Stories

Microsoft's Cairo reborn as killer eye-candy
DesktopX goes public
Apple rattles lawyers at DesktopX over Aqua

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
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
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
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
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.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.