Object Desktop: Like getting the next version of Windows today

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 by Frogboy | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

Object Desktop has been on the leading edge of desktop technology since its initial release in 1999.  Features that are considered “standard” today showed up on Object Desktop first – often years in advance.

Years ahead…

Here are a few examples of innovations that showed up first on Object Dekstop:

  • ZIP files behaving like folders
  • alpha-blended shadows under windows
  • desktop widgets and gadgets
  • GUI skinning
  • scripted desktop automation
  • animated wallpaper
  • desktop icon organizing
  • digital distribution clients
  • changing all the windows icons
  • and much more

Some of the things mentioned above probably seem impossible that one program suite could be where so many common technologies first showed up.

Example 1: digital distribution clients

For example, digitral distribution clients.  Today, with programs like Steam and Impulse, not counting all the other programs these days that update themselves (Windows Live updating, Windows update, Adobe updater, etc.) that the first program suite to do this was Object Desktop back in 1999 with “Component Manager”.  It led the way in showing how you could release software that could be continually enhanced seamlessly.

Example 2: Shadows, Widgets, and more

While Macintosh users were claiming Microsoft “stole” the idea of gadgets from Apple or MacOS developers, it was Object Desktop that first introduced users to user-created scripted objects (widgets) back in 2000 – 3 years before it showed up elsewhere. In addition, such basic cosmetics as shadows under windows first became available to Object Desktop users back in late 1999 – years before it was available elsewhere.

Example 3: GUI Skinning

Windows has come a long way since the look of “Windows classic” but even on Windows 7, the mechanism for “skinning” the Windows GUI was modeled after Object Desktop’s WindowBlinds technology.

…And much more…

Of course, there are also plenty of technologies that remain exclusive to Object Desktop users.  For instance, the ability to change all your Windows icons on Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 remains exclusive to IconPackager (part of Object Desktop).

The ability to have animated wallpapers on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 remains something that only DeskScapes can do (part of Object Desktop).

And of course, the recently released “Fences” program (part of Object Desktop) is the first and only program for Windows that enables users to organize their windows icons conveniently or simply hide them all in a quick double-click on the desktop.

Seeing is believing

To see why power users have made Object Desktop the first thing they install on their PCs you have to look at some of the things it does today:



With WindowBlinds 7, you finally gain full control over the Windows GUI.  There are literally thousands of free skins available for download online that can customize Windows a bit or completely transform the GUI to look like another OS or something completely different.



DeskScapes 3 isn’t just about animated wallpaper anymore. Now, you can take your existing wallpaper and apply a variety of effects for it. This kind of obvious enhancement to Windows is why Object Desktop has remained so popular. Object Desktop isn’t simply about doing cool stuff to your computer but extending Windows in ways that seem obvious in hindsight.



The Tweak series of utilities (TweakVista and Tweak7) give users streamlined access to underlying capabilities of Windows that normally would require scouring the net for registry secrets.  For example, Object Desktop users were able to alter their UAC behavior on Windows Vista in ways that are now only now coming to Windows in Windows 7 (which means in Tweak7 we’ve upped the features further).


image image

Impulse is the descendent of Component Manager (right image).  While most people were updating programs by sifting through websites looking for “patches” Object Desktop users simply loaded up Component Manager to see what new cool stuff Stardock had developed.  Impulse has been steadily building on to these possibilities (which we’ll talk about more at the end of this document).



Fences, possibly the hottest new desktop utility to be released in the last couple of years.  Screenshots don’t do it justice.  Fences Pro, available only for Object Desktop users right now, has an additional set of amazing features such as auto-fences and more.



IconPackager is another program that seems so obvious that one wonders why there aren’t dozens of programs like it.  But it remains the only program that can take a package of icons and apply them to any version of Windows.  The IconPackager format has become the defacto standard for users to pass around sets of icons.

The latest version of IconPackager (always on Object Desktop) lets users change their Windows 7 icons and modify live folders.



WindowBlinds can apply skins that were made for one version of Windows onto Windows 7 and it will automatically adapt the skin on the fly.



The latest version of WindowBlinds can also add textures to the UI.  Aero never had so many possibilities.



WindowBlinds also lets you have explorer backgrounds


SkinStudio is the only program available that lets users create their own GUIs for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

The Future…

Meanwhile, with the release of Windows 7, Stardock’s labs are full of new features to be added to Object Desktop to take it even further into the future.  Power users will soon be able to greatly extend their windows experience in all kinds of ways that will extend their capabilities.  With more and more users having high end 3D hardware, multiple PCs they have access to, higher resolution monitors, the possibilities are endless and you will find them on Object Desktop.

To learn more about Object Desktop visit www.objectdesktop.com.

Reply #1 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:53 PM

Okay, very nice Frogboy, even some screenshots this time.    

Ahhh, any idea how long of a wait this will be to see the new stuff?  Just asking.

Soon works for me.

Reply #2 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:57 PM
Depends on which new stuff. Right now, I'm really focusing the teams on things that enhance Windows rather than totally changing it.
Reply #3 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5:05 PM

WindowBlinds can apply skins that were made for one version of Windows onto Windows 7 and it will automatically adapt the skin on the fly.

Hold on, you're saying that if I download a skin for Windows Vista (which has the start button sticking out a bit above the task bar), I can apply it to Windows 7 (which has the start button within the taskbar completely) and Windblinds 7 will make it look like a Windows 7 skin? If so then you just made my day.

WindowBlinds also lets you have explorer backgrounds

Well, didn't know that. Always wondered why this part of Windows never had any programs for it. I always wanted to do more than simply add a small image on the Explorer back ground related to the items within the folders.

Fences Pro, available only for Object Desktop users right now, has an additional set of amazing features such as auto-fences and more.

It is already? Where the hell have I been. Gonna check it out tonight.

Reply #4 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5:27 PM

Well, I was already planning on buying Object Desktop soon(just transferred my Deskscapes registration to my dad, THANKS Stardock!) but I think I will tonight as soon as I get home. You've sold me.

Since I've started gaming again after 2 years off, I've been missing all those things I had in Linux (sweet sweet KDE ) that Windows sorely lacks. Fences was already a great start, I've been loving it if only for the fact that I don't lose my precious icon placement when force-quitting an older game.

I only wish Impulse had more deals like Steam has. I much prefer having my stuff on Impulse now.

Reply #5 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5:28 PM



VectorCell, made years ago, works without modification on Windows 7 with WindowBlinds 7.

Reply #6 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5:34 PM

Oh, I liked VectorCell a lot, good to see this.

Reply #7 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5:50 PM



VectorCell, made years ago, works without modification on Windows 7 with WindowBlinds 7.


Hold on there skippy. Will it work with skins made for XP too? (That would seem a fantasy to good to become a reality.)

Reply #8 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:18 PM
Fences is a very cool and useful tool - once you use it you won't go back to an "average" desktop. Regarding Icons, would love to see something along the lines of adding animated icons similar to IconX did , and add it as a feature to Iconpackager. It could be much simpler than IconX and be more similar to this program: http://ubericon.com/ I know I've asked for an update to DesktopFX before- when utilizing Vistas and 7s updated graphics cores, I know effects would be very impressive! Here is a program that is doing some cool things now on XP, Vista and 7: http://www.mynimi.net/ I know Stardock can do much better than them!
Reply #9 Tuesday, October 13, 2009 9:43 PM

So, how do I get fences pro from impulse? dont see it on the list. Also, can I ask about bootskin and logonstudio for Windows 7?

Reply #10 Wednesday, October 14, 2009 4:48 AM
question about iconpackager,will the coloring option go back to how it was like in version 3? I remember back in that version when you change a black/blue icon it would leave the black alone and just change the blue..example:a monitors outer layer remaining black and adjusting the color of the screen would change. With the newer versions the color changes the whole icon,which to me makes changing IP colors to match skins pointless.Everything else is great.
Reply #11 Wednesday, October 14, 2009 5:42 PM
So... 2010... release will be when?
Reply #12 Wednesday, October 14, 2009 6:41 PM

windows 7 bootskin looks kool will there be an app to change it but with the same style as the orginal

Reply #13 Sunday, October 18, 2009 8:16 AM

Hmm, I'm also only seeing "Fences (free)" in Impulse despite being a registered Object Desktop user.


Reply #14 Sunday, October 18, 2009 11:04 PM

Hmm, I'm also only seeing "Fences (free)" in Impulse despite being a registered Object Desktop user.

Reply #15 Monday, October 19, 2009 1:26 PM

I believe Fences is still a release candidate so I guess that's why the free version only is out.

Reply #16 Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11:39 AM

    Yes and it is why they came out with Win 7 to copy U !!!! You have been way ahead of the pack for a few years now.Go Buckeyes even though they lost one still some hope?????

Reply #17 Sunday, December 5, 2010 8:45 PM

we're being flooded by spam...

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