Stardock released WindowBlinds 5.5 today. WindowBlinds is a program that enables users to customize the look and feel of the graphical user interface of Microsoft Windows. By applying "skins", WindowBlinds can change title bars, borders, push buttons, scroll bars, the taskbar, the Start menu and virtually every element of the Windows environment. Thousands of different skins exist and can be created using a free program called SkinStudio.
WindowBlinds 5.5 is a major update in that it is the first program to allow users to change the look and feel of Windows Vista. Thanks to a new technology called "SmartSkinning", WindowBlinds allows skins created for Windows XP to be used to skin Windows Vista. WindowBlinds 5.5 then transforms the skin, on-the-fly, to conform to the new user interface conventions of Windows Vista to give it a distinctly Windows Vista look and feel. Users of .msstyles files on Windows XP can use SkinStudio to convert their favorite .msstyles to WindowBlinds 5.5 to run natively on Windows Vista.
For Windows Vista users, WindowBlinds 5.5 makes use of the new hardware accelerated Desktop Window Manager (DWM) to ensure the highest level of performance. WindowBlinds 5.5 also skins the client controls of "non theme aware" programs on both Windows XP and Windows Vista so that users get a consistent look and feel across all their applications.
WindowBlinds has over 12 million downloads at CNET's Download.com and is, by far, the most popular desktop enhancement program of all time. It has also been licensed by companies looking to deliver their own branded looks to the desktop including Microsoft, Nintendo, ATI, nVidia, Ziff-Davis, Blizzard, and more.
Stardock has also begun work on WindowBlinds 6 which will provide a host of native features to Windows Vista such as custom blur effects, Sidebar skinning, glass toolbar skinning, and some new features that Stardock is keeping under wraps. Users who purchased WindowBlinds 5 after February 1st will receive WindowBlinds 6 free. A beta of WindowBlinds 6 will be available for registered users shortly.
Users can download WindowBlinds 5.5 directly from the newly re-designed WindowBlinds.net website. The enhanced registered version is $19.95 or can be purchased as part of Object Desktop, Stardock's flagship suite of desktop enhancement programs which includes IconPackager, DesktopX, ObjectBar, DeskScapes, LogonStudio Vista, and more.
Requires: Windows XP, 2003, or 32-bit Windows Vista (64-bit support coming shortly)