Add a dock to Windows XP or Windows Vista
Tuesday, April 03, 2007 by Frogboy | Discussion: ObjectDock
ObjectDock is the world's most popular dock program for Microsoft Windows. The freeware program allows users to place a dock on any edge of the Windows screen and react to mouse events. Users can choose to display running tasks as well as program short-cuts. A "plus" version adds multiple docks, tabbed docks, system tray support and more.
Right behind WindowBlinds, it is one of the most popular desktop enhancement programs available on Windows. It has almost 3.5 million downloads just on CNET.com.
In the 4 years since it's been released, Stardock has been continually updating and enhancing it. Now, version 1.6 is about to be released and it has some pretty significant improvements for users. So what's new?
What's new in ObjectDock 1.6?
ObjectDock 1.6 has a lot of new features which we'll go into briefly here.
New Weather Docklet & a Glimpse at the future...
A brand-new weather docklet is included:
Stardock is looking at Docklets as a major avenue for future enhancement. In an age where people are throwing widgets and gadgets onto gigantic side bars and docks -- ones that are of static size at that -- docklets to us make a lot more sense. They can use a lot less space and display more information.
Updated Graphics Engine
Much of the work on ObjectDock 1.6 was to enhance Windows Vista support. But in the course of doing so, many new techniques and tweaks were made that, as a result, ObjectDock 1.6 should be the fastest dock ever -- on any platform. Users have very precise control over the various kinds of animations supported:
ObjectDock also supports up to 256x256 icons (the Windows Vista native icon size incidentally) so you can have incredibly beautiful looking images.
New Start Menu Support
ObjectDock 1.6 will include a new Start Menu docklet that will make it easier than ever for users who want to just replace the Start bar with ObjectDock. ObjectDock is designed to work with the Start bar or to replace it entirely. But the key thing is, if users choose to replace the Start bar with ObjectDock, the Start menu needs to be the real Start menu from a compatibility and usability perspective.
Live Thumbnail support
When a program is minimized, ObjectDock will show the window with an icon in front of it. On Windows Vista, that thumbnail can update itself in real-time without slowing down the computer.
Windows Vista Enhancements
For Windows Vista users, new minimize and restore effects have been created. When a user minimizes a window to the dock, a very smooth but quick effect is made to indicate where the window has gone. When it is restored, the same thing occurs -- without any flicker or stuttering. A lot of effort has been made to make sure this effect scales with the speed of the computer to ensure maximum smoothness on any system.
ObjectDock 1.6 is currently in beta for users who have purchased ObjectDock Plus. ObjectDock 1.6 freeware is expected out in the next couple of weeks. We will give more details and information on new features as we add them in. Other improvements include a new set of icons, further performance and memory use improvements, and much more.
Users can get the currently released version of ObjectDock at www.objectdock.com.