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Stardock has a new killer app: Groupy - organize your windows together

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by Draginol | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

From the people who brought you Fences, Start8, ObjectDock, DeskScapes, and countless other amazing programs comes a new one that will transform the way you use your PC: Groupy.

At any given moment, people have a lot of windows open. 

Maybe it's a few Explorer windows, a couple of Excel spreadsheets, maybe a a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation.  Maybe they're working with Adobe Premiere and After Effects and a few other windows.  In any event, dealing with all these windows can get to be quite a mess. So what's the solution?

The answer is: Stardock Groupy, the program that lets you treat all your windows the same way you are now used to treating browser windows -- put them them together with each window given its own tab.

Example 1: Got lots of Explorer windows?


No problem:


Example 2: So many spreadsheets

Lots of people end up with several Microsoft Office apps running that can easily get misplaced, especially if you have multiple monitors.  Groupy fixes that.


Just put them together.


Example 3: For the Adobe power user

Many artists are familiar with working between the various amazing Adobe applications.  Navigating between them adds up over time.


Instead, just put them together.  Now you can switch between tabs with the Win-~ key instantly.


Now it acts as a single app.  If you need to pull them apart, no problem - just drag the tab off like you would with a browser window.

Example 4: Chrome and Edge living together in harmony

Do you find yourself using multiple web browsers occasionally?  Groupy can help with that, too.


Groupy supports tabs within tabs.


Edge and Chrome are now acting as a single web browser.

Example 5: Mix and Match

Maybe you are a power user or developer who has a diversified mix of applications in use to get a job done.  No problem, Groupy will let you group any window with another window.


And to ungroup, just drag the tab off from the group.

It's both the simplest app and most useful app you may ever buy.  Get it now as part of Stardock's award-winning Object Desktop suite of utilities at today.


Are you an active Object Desktop owner?
Get access to the Groupy beta today by logging into your Stardock Account. If you can't remember the email you used to purchase Object Desktop with, check out this helpful post.

More DesktopX content being made.

Friday, January 15, 2010 by Frogboy | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

We’re getting a steady stream of new objects in.  Back when DesktopX was first made, we included a bunch of cool objects made by Paul Boyer.  That was 10 years ago.  So for DesktopX 4 we really want to revisit this with what can be done using today’s technology.

Stay tuned.

Some thoughts on DesktopX 4 and beyond

Sunday, December 27, 2009 by Draginol | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

image As the new year approaches, we’re starting to look forward to the DesktopX 4 beta.

So what are the goals of it?  Well, to be honest, the goals are pretty modest: Strip out the parts that are difficult to work with and build it back up.

Stripping it down

First off, DesktopX comes with several plugins that I have asked to be removed:


Any plug-in that doesn’t work on Windows 7 with UAC on would be removed.  The existing DesktopX library would be renamed “DesktopX legacy” and only new creations would be supported.

The source code for our plugins would be made public so that the community could take over their development since, unfortunately, there just aren’t enough development resources available these days to work on such things.

If users wanted to use that code to make weather and other types of plugins to make it easier for people to create new gadgets, that would be great.

The Future: Building it up

Instead, what I would like to see would be Python to be adopted as the means to creating “plugins” that DesktopX could then read in.  Essentially, DesktopX scripting would move to Python and away from JScript or VB Script.

You could still use other scripting languages as well but we would move away from VB Script being the default.

Clicking on the “New” Script would open up the user’s default editor associated with DesktopX (preferably a python editor).

For 4.0

But for 4.0, we’re looking to clean it up. Fix long-standing issues and get to a more solid foundation from which to build on with Windows 7 being the focus for future development.

DeskScapes 3 video tour of animated wallpapers

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 by Frogboy | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

I love using DeskScapes. Even back in my OS/2 days I enjoyed having my desktop background be something more than just an image.

It really wasn’t until the last couple of years that the desktop itself got hardware accelerated and thus could have cool desktop effects without it slowing down your computer.

The video above is a tour of some of my favorite free animated wallpapers (Dreams).

WindowBlinds: A video tour of skinning

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 by Frogboy | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

I’ve talked a great deal about how cool WindowBlinds 7’s new Aero skinning feature is.  But one of the other major new features of WindowBlinds 7 is the ability to tap into the huge WindowBlinds library of skins and make them work on Windows 7 without modification.

But it’s easy to claim how great WindowBlinds is at skinning Windows 7, here’s a live demo of WindowBlinds 7 in action.

The Challenges for WindowBlinds skinning

Sunday, December 13, 2009 by Frogboy | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

Since my return to being the Product Manager of Object Desktop and the programs that make it up in October, one of my jobs has been to re-evaluate where skinning is today and try to take the products in the direction I think skinning is going.

Object Desktop 2010, launched this month, is the result of some of this thinking – at least, as much as we could do in a couple of months.

My mantra for skinning has basically been: Make it useful, target power users.  I’m not interested in making software for grandma or pointless cosmetics which is the direction Object Desktop took in my view for the past few years.

Let me give you an example of the problem with skinning in a Windows 7 world. with plain Aero:

Pros: Perfect compatibility, visually pleasing.

Cons: It’s just AERO, like everyone else.

Next: with WindowBlinds 7 running a UIS 2 skin (Sublime):

Pros: Looks cool, very customizeable.

Cons: Cosmetic glitches can mar functional compatibility.


Next: WindowBlinds 7 running a UIS 0 skin (Aero Clay black)

Pros: Perfect compatibility, customizeable Aero.

Cons: Still basically Aero.


Next: WindowBlinds 7 with a UIS 0 Hybrid skin (Corporate Aero)

Pros: Perfect compatibility, skinned controls and client area, customzeable Aero

Cons: Aero frames limits how much skinning you can do.

Probably the single biggest change that I see coming to skinning is its return to the realm of power users. That means, if it’s a cosmetic only change then it better be 100% compatible and have no downsides. 

Power users might sacrifice something if it increases their productivity or looks significantly better but in the age of Aero, I have yet to see a skin that looks so good that I’d be willing to give up one iota of compatibility and I suspect I’m not alone.

That’s why UIS 0 is so important and moving forward why UIS 0 Hybrid is so important. 

UIS 2 skins, the ones that let skinners go wild, will continue to evolve to be better and better but there will always be apps that do different things that acan’t be predicted.

The upcoming public release of SkinStudio 7 will be crucial because it’ll include easy ways of making UIS 0 skins. I wouldn’t mind there being a SkinStudio 7 Starter Edition that just does UIS 0 to simplify things for new skinners.

WindowBlinds 7: Fast skin changing

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 by Frogboy | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

One of the areas that got optimized that is hard to demo is the speed of skin changing.  While not a huge deal for most people, being able to change skins quickly is something that we’ve been working on quite a bit for WindowBlinds 7.

This video is of the beta that will be going up this week for Object Desktop users. There is no editing. This is how fast it really is.



[Watch Screencast Video]

WindowBlinds skin formats: The right tool for the right job

Saturday, October 31, 2009 by Frogboy | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs

WindowBlinds is the engine.

The skins are the content.

UIS1 and UIS2 were the two skin formats WindowBlinds has supported.  UIS1 for “simple” skins and UIS2 for complex skins.

Both were designed in an age where few people wanted their systems to resemble Windows classic let alone Luna (the Windows XP look) .

Windows Vista’s Aero changed that.  Because (like me) think Aero looks good.  But Microsoft severely limited the customization options of Aero for reasons most of us can’t fathom. 

But we skinners only has UIS1 and UIS2 skin formats.


If making an Aero like skin required lots of work, then skinners might as well spend that same amount of time to make something truly original right?



As a result, nearly all the Aero-like skins were designed by Stardock because skinners didn’t want to spend a ton of hours to make a skin that simply looked slightly different from Aero.

Unfortunately for skinning, LOTS of users wanted looks that were just a bit different from Aero.

This is why the new skin format in WindowBlinds 7 is such a big deal.


Of course, there are color options in Aero but you have no choice but to deal with the default weird texture and other behaviors that you’re still stuck with regardless of the transparency.


But because of all the effort involved in making a traditional WindowBlinds skin, that meant that previously, no one would make simple Aero skins like the one below that can now be done in seconds from within the WindowBlinds configuration interface that are obviously not possible with what’s built into Windows.


WindowBlinds 7 comes out in early November. Object Desktop users can do this now though.

Yes Virginia, WindowBlinds 7 returns skinning to being a killer app again

Saturday, October 31, 2009 by Frogboy | Discussion: Object Desktop blogs


Alas, Poor Skinning. I knew him…

Or so it seemed.  Skinning was huge for awhile. And then it wasn’t. 

What happened?

I’ll tell you: Windows stopped being so ugly and there was no easy way to simply customize Aero(the default glass look of Windows Vista and Windows 7).

Until now.

In the years since Windows Vista, if you wanted to have say a metallic version of the Windows Vista UI, a skinner had to spend as much time making that (i.e. many days) as it would take to create something outrageous. And so, most skinners chose outrageous because let’s face it, people don’t appreciate the amount of effort it takes to make a subtle change.

And so skinning returned to the niche it was prior to Windows XP’s release.

WindowBlinds 7 changes that.  Of course, it still supports all manner of total Windows makeovers. But WindowBlinds 7 also supports skinning Aero itself. That means no worries about compatibility, performance, or memory because it’s still Aero.  And, best of all, the effort involved is dramatically less.

WindowBlinds 7 is due out in early November for everyone but if you have Object Desktop, you can play with the late betas now.