Stardock launches beta DeskScapes 8 for Windows 8

Stardock has released two programs it has made for Windows 8 so far; the Start menu application Start8, which recently reached the three million download mark and the Start screen customization tool Decor8. Today, Stardock has released the first beta version of its third Windows 8 program, DeskScapes 8.

The beta version is now available for those Stardock customers who subscribe to its Object Desktop service. It's a new version of its previously released DeskScapes program. DeskScapes 8 also supports Windows 7 in addition to Windows 8.

Among the features in this first beta release are:

  • Customize your wallpapers with animations and effects
  • Apply over 40 special effects to your desktop
  • Re-color your existing wallpapers
  • Support for custom wallpapers on each monitor
  • Use your own custom image and videos as wallpapers

Stardock has also released a new beta for the Start8 program via Object Desktop. The changelog for the beta shows that it now has a Start8tweak.exe advanced configuration option, along with more additions, changes and bug fixes.

Editors note: Please read our disclaimer on Neowin's relationship to Stardock in our forums.

Source: Stardock | Image via Stardock

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I would like for Microsoft to have every developer make apps look like MS Office 2013 apps or even the Zune Desktop app rather than get more bloatware on my PC..

I'm amazed at how people are gushing over the small programs like these whereas just a couple of years ago people were complaining that programs like Windowblinds were bloated and no longer needed for Vista and Win7. It's great to see Stardock making such a come back.

I started using WB in Xp, and honestly found them bloated, clunky then, but kept on, while I was using XP. The only way I'd look at Win8 was through start8, and yeah, they've come a long way

As much as I dispise windows 8, programs like this really make me want to switch, just to give it a go... damn you Stardock lol.

Well, I don't sit in front of my PC to just stare at the desktop. Most of the time I have a window maximized, or an app running, so I don't look at the desktop very often. Also I don't use icons in my desktop. It's easier to go to the start screen and just click the icon I want. I think that makes Stardock's apps useless for me. I'm happy with my collection of wallpapers automatically changing each 10 min.

Animated desktops definitely won't be in Blue. The Start menu definitely won't be in Blue. Being able to choose a custom Start screen background may be in Blue, but I wouldn't count on it. What are you smoking and where can I get some?

Dutchie64 said,
this: meh
Start 8 : meh
Decor 8: only useful feature; changing amopunt of rows

Nothing I see that won't be in Blue.

The Start Menu is dead, Jim. Microsoft has already stated you'll never see it from them again.

And policies never, ever change based on customer opinion, right?
Tell that to Bank of America
Tell that to Instagram

I'm PRETTY sure the massively disappointing #'s in Win 8 sales have sent a pretty clear message to Microsoft. You can bet we WILL see the start menu again.

twhiting9275 said,
And policies never, ever change based on customer opinion, right?
Tell that to Bank of America
Tell that to Instagram

I'm PRETTY sure the massively disappointing #'s in Win 8 sales have sent a pretty clear message to Microsoft. You can bet we WILL see the start menu again.

Microsoft has already publicly stated the Menu is dead.

twhiting9275 said,
And policies never, ever change based on customer opinion, right?
Tell that to Bank of America
Tell that to Instagram

I'm PRETTY sure the massively disappointing #'s in Win 8 sales have sent a pretty clear message to Microsoft. You can bet we WILL see the start menu again.

We are seeing the start menu again. It's called Start8.

Microsoft isn't going to back down on this. The closest they'll come is extending the support for 7 like they did for XP when people too set in their ways couldn't adapt to Vista or beyond until they were forced to (and many are probably still running XP). They're much more likely to try to come up with yet another replacement and call it the "evolution" of the start screen or some bull****.

Stardock also released a new version of Fences recently, and I either missed it on Neowin, or it didn't appear.

I found it knee slap funny that the essential function of Fences is to group icons, which is essentially the same thing Windows 8's Start Screen groups do. The best part is that it is advertised along side Start8 without anyone noticing the irony.

Not really.

Fences allows you to do that while keeping your desktop the way you want it, run your own desktop animations, widgets, programs, etc. just the way you want them. And with a double-click, Fences sends all your desktop icons away (or back again).

The Start Screen takes up an entire monitor of space with an extremely low information, preschool colored, only shows you information when it is up on the screen waste of real estate.

For desktop users, or multiple monitor users, there is really no comparison between the two. The Start Screen is productivity sapping ugly garbage, while Fences is another elegant solution to reducing clutter and thus improving productivity.

And how does this increase productivity? Start8 does.

Overall, good work. Much better than paying an extra $100 for an "Ultimate" version of Windows...

When I had Vista I always wanted the animated background from the Metroid Prime title screen (microscopic video of a Metroid). I wonder if possible with an emulator and saving the frames as images with the text removed.