Stardock has released WindowBlinds 5 to the public today. WindowBlinds allows users to completely alter the look and feel of the Windows interface by applying visual styles (skins) to title bars, buttons, the Start bar, borders and more. Consumers customize nearly everything else in their environments: their cars, homes, clothing and cell phones are based on their personal preferences and needs. With WindowBlinds 5, users can now make their Windows desktops look and feel the way they want.
WindowBlinds 5 introduces a broad range of new features, including per-pixel alpha blending, resulting in smooth or glassy title bars and borders that realistically distort the content behind them; as well as the ability to change toolbar icons, progress animations and the hue and saturation of the Windows interface.
WindowBlinds 5 also eliminates the need for any dedicated process (sometimes called "Zero foot print"). It runs as a native extension to the system. Moreover, in order to develop the new glass/per pixel alpha blending features, Stardock made use of DirectX acceleration to great speed up window repainting, resizing, and moving which results in much faster performance than previous versions.
With over over 8 million users worldwide, WindowBlinds 5 is the most popular desktop-enhancement utility of all time according to CNET's Download.com where it recently passed the 9 million download mark. It is also used by companies such as Microsoft, ATI, nVidia, Alienware, Nintendo and many others to provide custom Windows user interfaces for their customers.
WindowBlinds 5 is $19.95 as a stand-alone program or for $49.95 by purchasing Stardock's award-winning Windows enhancement suite, Object Desktop. A shareware version of WindowBlinds is available for free download.
Screenshot: WindowBlinds Aura skin
Screenshot: WindowBlinds running "Arrow"
Screenshot: WindowBlinds running "Tiger"
Download: WindowBlinds 5Whats changed?
The immediately noticeable changes are that we are running Invision Power Board 2.1.3 and the v3.9 design has been revamped, codenamed Swift the new design removes a lot of the nested tables present in the 2001 v3.0 design here at Neowin.net.
Most of the changes are in the code, but we also made huge improvements to the layout and underlying css.
The server layout has changed too. We now use 1 dedicated server for MySQL data and 2 for Apache, the 4th does DNS, web and pop email.
Marcel (Redmak) has also coded a new news script backend and the design was updated there aswell, making the page lighter and more responsive overall.
The neowin 5 theme is not completed yet, due to the fact that staff have day jobs and the recent thanksgiving holiday halted development there temporarily, its next on the list. The most important thing is to have a working situation we can move to and I'm confident the updates will be sufficient while we finish up the new design on the new servers.