ObjectDock 2.1 adds Windows 8 support; removes XP and Vista support

Software developer Stardock has been busy with a number of new software programs made especially for Windows 8, including Start8, Decor8 and ModernMix. This week, the company released a new version of one of its older software programs that adds support for Windows 8 at last.

It's the 2.1 beta version of ObjectDock, the program that is designed to let desktop users access their Windows applications and shortcuts much quicker than normal through the use of an animated dock such as the one above. Users can add as many docks as they want and position them on any screen edge. Additionally, users can customize their docks' appearances with different options such as skins.

The 2.1 beta version, in addition to adding support for Windows 8, also puts in a way to launch applications via drag and drop. However, it appears that Stardock has also decided to eliminate support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in the new version of ObjectDock, as only Windows 7 and 8 will be able to run the new version of the program. Even though it's in beta, ObjectDock 2.1 is also on sale for $4.99 if you want to jump in right now.

Disclaimer: Neowin's relationship to Stardock.

Source: Stardock | Image via Stardock

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37 Comments

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anybody know how this is compared to rocketdock? I know rocketdock has been abandoned and hasn't been updated in 6 years, but it works fine for me in windows 8. The only thing that needs work is the buggy stacks docket version 2. Does objectdock do a good job with this?

I haven't used ObjectDock for several years - I generally have so many applications installed on my system that I found the docking of applications (or folders) wasn't that much more convenient than just clicking on a shortcut in the start menu or on the desktop itself. Once Stardock introduced Fences I was able to keep the icons together in a similar fence and have a clean desktop at the click of the mouse - now that I can have multiple pages (like on a smart phone) I can go beyond the limitations of a single desktop and keep my programs and utilities more organized.

One of the nicer things about being a Object Desktop subscriber is as my needs change I find that Stardock has applications that fill those needs. Windows 95/98/Me was pretty boring and programs like WindowBlinds and IconPackager allowed me to have a more colorful and different desktop. Windows XP improved on the look of the icons (reducing the need for IconPackager) and Windows Vista/7's Aero-based windows made for less need of WindowBlinds. Now with Windows 8 I use Windows FX, Fences, Start8, ModernMix and Stardock's Tiles to add (or restore) functionality to the operating system that Microsoft left out (or removed...)

I'm interested to see what they bring out as the operating system continues to evolve.

valerius said,
Why would anyone want to fake OS X on a 12 year old operating system?

Personally, back in the XP days it was actually kind of handy, could add some functionality that the XP taskbar was sorely lacking. Used to use it myself (and tweaked it to lose the OSX look, wasn't a fan) but nowadays.. meh. The 7/8 taskbar is quite good enough, especially if you put a bit of effort into extending it a bit.

General comment, as far as dropping XP support goes.. shouldn't exactly come as a big surprise. This is going to be quite common in the near future, better get used to it. A tad surprised by dropping Vista though, unless they're going to be working with some of the new features that were introduced with 7 and didn't want to deal with working around the various missing API bits.

Ian William said,

Did you ever use it? I'm using it right now.

yup. I used it from the time it was released until I could get my hands on a leaked beta build of windows 7. I never looked back.

jasonon said,
yup. I used it from the time it was released until I could get my hands on a leaked beta build of windows 7. I never looked back.

I'm guessing your experience with Vista wasn't great?

Ian William said,

I'm guessing your experience with Vista wasn't great?

It wasn't great, but it wasn't that bad. Vista doesn't always get the credit it deserves, but the reason I wanted to switch is because the OS was generally pretty sluggish and felt unfinished in certain parts.

True Launch Bar has been the best $15 (years ago) I ever spent. Fast completely replaced the start menu for me long ago...and you can add eye candy if you want. Damn, guess I'm a fanboy :-)

I can understand cutting support for XP, but what is the program utilizing from Win 7/8 that's lacking in Vista? Or am I looking at it the wrong way?

Good point. I even wonder if there are features in there that cannot be utilised by XP.

If Stardock wish to implement new features that require Windows 7/8, that's fine, however removing support for XP/Vista just for the sake of it is wrong in my opinion. Is there a changelog for this release?

Incidentally, I'm a RocketDock user...it's ancient, but works fine.

Simple.
1. Stop testing in Windows XP
2. Stop coding with XP in mind (such as checking XP compatibility for libraries, compiler, etc.)

I still use the last free version of this, 1.90 Build 436.

Works great for me and has done what i wanted since the Vista days

I mainly use it for easy access to remote desktop shortcuts, shared folders and such.

The write-up says this enables quicker than "normal" access to desktop applications. Can anyone expand on that? Ever since Win7 and the superbar, these dock add-ons looked unnecessary and out of place. Exactly what is faster with this versus a pinned application on the taskbar?

It does do more than launch applications, such as widgets. It also allows skinning which you can't do with the default taskbar.
That said, I agree there is little need for it. I used to use it, but haven't bothered in quite some time. On Windows 8 now.

Mr. Dee said,
If I wanted OS X, I would buy a Mac.

This is one small part of OS X. My friend who has a Mac downloaded an app so he can snap windows to the side of the screen like you can in Windows 7. I guess he should just install Windows. But then he'd miss a feature from OS X and hand to buy another Mac. Then he'd miss a feature from Windows and haves to buy a PC again. Oh what a vicious cycle!

According to the operating system market share as shown on Wikipedia, Windows XP still is being used by 38% of the market and Windows Vista has about 5% - that's a pretty large share of users who are being eliminated from the latest version...

Haha yeah, this is crackup, to me it's just advertising why you shouldn't buy anything from stardock, they'll suddenly cut support for their app working on your OS! Well done guys, well done!

n_K said,
Haha yeah, this is crackup, to me it's just advertising why you shouldn't buy anything from stardock, they'll suddenly cut support for their app working on your OS! Well done guys, well done!

2.0 still works fine on XP. I wouldn't call that cutting support.

GraveDigger27 said,
According to the operating system market share as shown on Wikipedia, Windows XP still is being used by 38% of the market and Windows Vista has about 5% - that's a pretty large share of users who are being eliminated from the latest version...

Honestly, at this stage, all I can say is **** them. All they're doing is just preventing progress at this point. If they want to cling to yesteryear's tech let them, it's time to move on. Time to reward those who *have* upgraded with better tools taking advantage of new, richer APIs, without being bogged down with legacy support.

GraveDigger27 said,
According to the operating system market share as shown on Wikipedia, Windows XP still is being used by 38% of the market and Windows Vista has about 5%

How many of those would actually be interested in ObjectDock or even know it exists? Not many.

n_K said,
Haha yeah, this is crackup, to me it's just advertising why you shouldn't buy anything from stardock, they'll suddenly cut support for their app working on your OS! Well done guys, well done!

It's not like XP came out last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, or the year before that, or the year before th......

Deranged said,

2.0 still works fine on XP. I wouldn't call that cutting support.

lol. "suddenly cut support"? I'm sorry, but how old is XP? They're supposed to what...offer support indefinitely? The way microsoft is till supporting XP? oh wait.

If those customers are happy with a 12 year old operating system (or 7 in the case of Vista), how many would not also be content with the older software they're running on it?

Also keep in mind how much of the XP installed base is actually kiosks/ATMs/Movie ticket dispensers, etc.

n_K said,
Haha yeah, this is crackup, to me it's just advertising why you shouldn't buy anything from stardock, they'll suddenly cut support for their app working on your OS! Well done guys, well done!

How dare they "suddenly" cut support for a 12 year old Operating System!

Dot Matrix said,

Honestly, at this stage, all I can say is **** them. All they're doing is just preventing progress at this point. If they want to cling to yesteryear's tech let them, it's time to move on. Time to reward those who *have* upgraded with better tools taking advantage of new, richer APIs, without being bogged down with legacy support.

Oh FFS, if you don't like it then DON'T USE IT. You've said this yourself about Metro so many times.

(I don't use this myself but I DO support the principle that it is still possible to customise, in this case to add back some life to the tedious "flat" approach that is the current and hopefully short-lived fashion. When I see the word "flat" I think of beer and out-of-tune musical instruments - i.e. it's a big negative).

gb8080 said,

Oh FFS, if you don't like it then DON'T USE IT. You've said this yourself about Metro so many times.

(I don't use this myself but I DO support the principle that it is still possible to customise, in this case to add back some life to the tedious "flat" approach that is the current and hopefully short-lived fashion. When I see the word "flat" I think of beer and out-of-tune musical instruments - i.e. it's a big negative).

So stop calling it "flat" when what you're referring to is modernism. And modern design isn't "fashion" and isn't going to be short-lived...