Stardock outlines Object Desktop for Vista plans

Software developer Stardock Corp. has begun to unveil its Windows Vista plans for its popular desktop enhancement suite, Object Desktop. Object Desktop is a set of programs designed to allow users to customize their Windows experience. On Windows, it was the first product to provide OS skinning, widgets and gadgets, alpha blended shadows, min/max effects, ZIP files as folders, and a number of other features that users take for granted today.

Stardock believes that Windows Vista offers the most potential yet for users to be able to personalize their Windows experience. This is due to a new feature in Windows Vista known as the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) which is a compositor that turns the Windows Vista desktop into a 3D surface (much like you'd have in computer game). This allows for what Stardock claims is "cool and interesting ways to display information, programs, and data without suffering the performance hit because most of it is being done on the video card."

This week, Stardock intends to release the beta of WindowBlinds for Windows Vista for Object Desktop users and has announced support for creating gadgets for the Windows Sidebar using DesktopX. It has released a document outlining some of its "first wave" of Windows Vista applications for Object Desktop. This also includes the ability to use WPF and .NET for Sidebar gadgets via Object Desktop.

Microsoft's Jim Allchin has asked developers to make full use of Windows Vista in order to help differentiate Windows Vista from Windows XP. With its expected January release, a lot of users are looking for tangible benefits of Windows Vista over Windows XP. Microsoft has asserted that the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and DWM along with enhanced security, and a new communications layer help make Vista a compelling upgrade.
Screenshot: Windows Vista altered via Object Desktop's Windowblinds
View: Object Desktop for Vista preview guide
View: Object Desktop Homepage

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From the article:

"Once Windows Vista is out generally, we'll concentrate on extending the WindowBlinds format to support Windows Vista specific functionality like blurring and the like."

I wonder if it's true that WindowBlinds performs better than Microsoft's own Aero does or if they're just pulling it out from where the sun don't shine.

It'll be pretty apparent. The reason has to do with how moving in particular is being done in the DWM. It's the old caching vs. non-caching thing.

Windows Vista isn't a RAM hog. It uses all thats there for cache. It will start to let go of things you don't use often to keep it free from the get go. I think thats a great idea. My vista install started at 800 megs. Didn't even stop services etc, remove stuff, etc. And before it was done about a month later my startups were under 400meg. Now i have debugers from VS 2005 in there and do programing etc, so my install might self configure to about that. Witch for me im ok with.

Windows Vista isn't a RAM hog. It uses all thats there for cache.

No, the DWM alone eats quite a bit, and then you have the new search indexer, sidebar, and more.

It's Aero Glass or nothing.

The main problem with Vista Basic is that you are stuck with one boring theme. I find most xp visual themes much better then the basic vista theme. In a lot of ways Vista is a step back.

For those in love with Aero Glass what happens down the road when you get tired of it ?

I'm not one to support Microsoft over Apple or visa versa - but in my opinion, Apple's MacOS X interface is far better, more streamlined, cleaner and user friendly than Microsoft Vista's Aero. With the amount of time Microsoft had, they really should have done far better.

Quote - Hankyone said @ #1.1
Windowblinds is currently using 583kb on my pc
xp default theme engine uses about 2mb

583kb is the Windowblinds loader & GUI, it uses additional memory besides that. Check your processes with something other than Windows Task Manager, which doesn't show loaded .dll's.