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Releasing Fences 4.21 with Performance Improvements

Download is available now

Monday, July 17, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Fences News

Today we are releasing a new update for Fences 4, bringing with it some significant improvements and enhancements. If you're eager to get your hands on the latest version, the update is currently being rolled out and can be manually checked for by accessing the Fences 4 configuration panel. Simply navigate to "About" and select "Check for Updates."

With this update, one of the notable changes is the faster startup time for Fences 4, making it more efficient and responsive when you use it. Moreover, we've made improvements to the scrollbar within fences, which should result in a smoother and more seamless experience while navigating.

As part of our commitment to delivering a reliable product, we've also addressed several bugs that were reported, ensuring a more stable and trouble-free experience for all users. For a detailed list of all the changes included in this release, you can refer to the complete changelog, where you'll find an overview of the updates and fixes implemented.

Fences 4 is the best way to keep your desktop organized. With powerful features that automatically sort files into a fence on your desktop to Folder Portals allow you to mirror any folder to your desktop, once you experience Fences, it will quickly become a core part of your workflow.

After installing this update, if you run into any bugs, make sure to let us know by either reaching out to support or joining the conversation in our forums.

And if you haven’t tried Fences 4 yet, you can download a free trial or if you are looking for the ultimate Stardock bundle, make sure to check out Object Desktop too.

Start11 v1.46 Arrives with Quality-of-Life Updates

Making it easier to close a window

Tuesday, June 27, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Start News

Today we released Start11 v1.46 with a new feature that makes it easier to close a single window for Windows 11 users. The update is rolling out now and you can check for it manually by opening the Start11 settings panel -> about -> check now.

Currently with Windows 11, by default, when you right-click on a taskbar icon, you have the option to “Close all windows on this display” but what if you only want to close one window, such as when you using a browser? With the update that is rolling out now, we have updated the option, based on the feedback of our users, to only close the window that is actively selected from the taskbar.

         Start11                                              vs                              Windows 11

This is a small change but the feedback from our users was clear that this is the preferred option. This functionality works with any app where multiple windows are open (File Explorer, Paint, Notepad, etc.) and is a small, but meaningful, quality-of-life improvement.

In addition to the new feature, there are enhancements to how the Windows key functions including the ability to enable a block when a full-screen application is running and enhancements for when the foreground app is elevated.

Along with the updates, there are a plethora of bug fixes that address edge-case scenarios too.

If you haven’t tried Start11 yet, you can download a free trial and if you are looking for the ultimate Stardock bundle, make sure to check out Object Desktop too.

Groupy 2 is Ready for Enterprise Customers

New features and advanced licensing management make deployments easy.

Monday, June 19, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: CursorFX

Groupy 2 is the only application that lets you add tabs to all of your favorite applications. From productivity tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, to creative apps like Photoshop, Premier, and many more. And with Groupy 2 freshly minting its general release, it’s now ready for deployment for our corporate customers.

We have heard how Groupy is used in various ways while talking with clients about what features should be incorporated into Groupy 2. We have seen Groupy used to arrange open windows for legal clients to organize a grouping by a specific client or research topic. And in HR, keeping windows grouped that contain sensitive information helps reduce accidental exposure.

Groupy 2’s interface is easy to use and follows the same design methodologies that are used by web browsers. If you know how to use the tab experience in Chrome or Edge, Groupy 2 will be easy to adopt into your workflow.

And like all of our business products, Groupy 2 has advanced tooling to make it easier to deploy our products to your endpoints including silent installs and activations. And on the licensing side, it’s easy to centrally manage your active installs with remote and local deactivation for when you need to free up an activation.

When we revamped our app pages earlier this year, we made it significantly easier to see how other companies are using our products to improve the productivity and functionality of their endpoints. Every business page now contains a “how it’s used section” that best illustrates the various ways our products are being used today.

Ready to give Groupy 2 a try? Head on over to the app page where you can learn more about Groupy 2 and also download a free trial. And if you need help with a larger deployment, we are here to help.

 

 

Stardock Releases Groupy 2, Bringing Tabs to All of your Favorite Applications

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 by redskittlesonly | Discussion: Software Blog

Stardock released Groupy 2, an app that brings a universal tab experience to Windows 10 and 11 today. Groupy 2 is a powerful tool for Windows 10 and 11 that keeps information organized by allowing users to drag and drop multiple applications and documents together which combines into a single window, with tabs showing in the title bar.

Get it Now

The new Groupings feature allows the user to save a group of applications together, pin them to the taskbar, and then launch them all at once – tabbed together and ready to go – with just a single click. The new Accents feature simplifies the process of adding a touch of color to a tab, making it easy to associate a specific task or assignment with a particular color.

 

Multiple tab designs take personalization another step further, allowing users to stylize their experience in a way that best suits their preferences. Groupy 2's updated design matches the Windows 11 interface, providing a sleek and modern look, and its enhanced functionality supports seamless integration with File Explorer.    

 

 

"After releasing our first beta of Groupy 2, we have been listening to our users and adding new features like the ability to hide the Groupy icon in the tab bar and enabling the mica effect in more locations" said Brad Sams, Vice President of Stardock Software. "Groupy 2 is the easiest way to organize the windows on your desktop and has become an essential part of the modern desktop experience."

Starting today, Groupy 2 for Business is also available. Groupy 2 for Business includes advanced distribution tooling and centralized licenses administration for easier management and deployment. 

 

 

Groupy 2 is available for $9.99 for use on up to five devices; it’s also included in Object Desktop which includes all Stardock’s productivity applications, for $39.99. To learn more, visit the Groupy website.     

 

Groupy 2
Groupy 2
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Groupy 2 Beta 2 Arrives with New Features

More refined, more options

Thursday, June 8, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: CursorFX

Today we are releasing the second beta for Groupy 2. With this update, we have introduced a couple of new options, smashed some bugs, and are marching toward the official 1.0 release later this month.

If you have already purchased Groupy 2, you will be prompted soon to upgrade your build to the latest version. If you have yet to purchase Groupy 2, you can learn more about the app on our page here.

So what’s new in this release? You can view the full changelog here but there are two specific items I want to highlight as they were updates based on direct feedback from our users.

The first new feature that is now available is the ability to adjust the tab background bar colors for focused and unfocused views. This is my favorite update as the Mica style looks fantastic and with this feature, you can now make it so that the tab bar always shows the Mica style rather than it only showing when the window is in focus.

To customize the tab bar, click on Tab colors from the settings panel -> Tab and background bar colors and then configure the options to your desired preference.

The second new feature with Groupy 2 is that you can now disable the Groupy 2 icon in the tab bar. To do this, in the settings panel, click Tab appearance -> Advanced tab settings and the toggle will be the second from the bottom option.

If you haven’t given Groupy 2 a try yet, I highly recommend that you do. Once you experience the ability to group your applications by task (such as different email inboxes) or type (all your Office apps grouped), you will never be able to live without it.

And as always, if you have any feedback about features you would like to see come to Groupy 2, make sure to let us know as we have already included several updates based on your suggestions.

Coming Soon: A New Theme for WindowBlinds 11, Fluent Luna

A fresh take on a classic Windows XP style

Thursday, June 8, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: WindowBlinds News

When we released WindowBlinds 11 last year, we knew that retro themes would be a popular style for many of our users. After all, we now include several out of the box like a Windows classic design, a Windows XP style, and even a throwback Macintosh style too.

But what would a fresh take of Windows XP look like, one with modern design elements applied but to that the classic OS? Enter, Fluent Luna.

Fluent Luna takes our classic Luna skin for WindowBlinds 11 but enhances it in all the right places with gradients and updated elements to make it look a bit more modern but without sacrificing the core characteristics that make Luna a favorite skin of our community.

And like all of our recent retro skins, this will soon be included out of the box for new purchases of WindowBlinds 11, and for existing users, you can download it here. And if you are using Start11, you’ll be able to choose from Windows 7, Windows 10, and Windows 11 style Fluent Luna Start Menus.

    

WindowBlinds 11 is the easiest way to personalize your desktop. With thousands of skins to choose from and a robust set of customization options, you can stylize any skin to your exact specification. And if there is a skin that doesn’t exist that you want to build, SkinStudio is included with each purchase so that you can build your perfect interface.

If you don’t have WindowBlinds 11, you can learn more about it on the app page and it is also included in ObjectDesktop which is the easiest way to access our best customization and productivity tools with a single purchase.

Groupy 2 is Headed to Steam

Add it to your Wishlist today!

Friday, May 26, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Software Blog

A few weeks back, we announced our newest application, Groupy 2. Groupy 2 is the easiest way to add tabs to nearly every application and it looks and operates like a native Windows experience. While you can download the app today from our store, we know that many of our customers like to purchase our applications on Steam.

Starting today, you can now add Groupy 2 to your Wishlist on Steam for when the application becomes available on the platform in the coming weeks.

Groupy 2 is the easiest way to manage all of your open windows on Windows 10 and 11. By adding the familiar tab functionality that you experience in the browser to all of your applications, it is easy to keep keep your windows organized.

Looking to make it easier to identify an app at a glance? With Accents, you can add a splash of color that makes it easy to identify a tab quickly by type, task, or deadline. Or if you want to rename a tab, Groupy 2’s personalization options let you configure the tab experience that best fits your workflow.

Groupy 2 is in active development and we are working on additional updates for the application. If you have any feedback about what you would like to see in a future release, make sure to let us know in our forums.

Getting Started with Groupy 2

Adding Tabs to Everything

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Software Blog

Last week, we released Groupy 2 and if you haven’t taken it for a spin yet, you can find all the details about the new app here. Getting started with Groupy 2 is easy as once the app is running it’s a drag-and-drop experience but fine-tuning how the application works best for you can be a bit of a journey.

When getting started with the new application, the configuration panel is where you will find the general options for the application. But there is a secondary location that allows you to configure how each group is displayed and this panel lets you easily add Accents to a tab.

After creating your first group, in the left corner of the Groupy bar, you will see a small Groupy 2 icon with a down arrow. Clicking that arrow will let you customize how a specific group can be personalized.

It is from this dropdown that you can add an accent color to a tab, rename a tab, save a group, pin a group to the taskbar, and a lot more. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you add Accents to your tabs as it makes them easy to identify at a glance.

The settings within Groupy 2 are robust but I wanted to call out a couple of them specifically as they are my preferred way of using the application. Of course, how I use it may differ from your desired options, but this is how I get the most out of Groupy 2 for my workflow.

The first option I always change from the default experience is to make it so that Groupy 2 doesn’t try to group apps unless I am holding down a modifier key. I typically use the control button which means that when dragging a window onto another, when I hold control, the Groupy 2 experience lights up and makes it possible to group the apps together.

To enable this feature, in the Groupy 2 configuration panel, go to Grouping settings and the option is under “Manual grouping by dragging settings”.

The reason I prefer this method is that, while the default experience to hold an app over another for a short bit of time to enable the grouping experience is easy, this keeps me from accidentally grouping apps on rare occasions. If you are wondering why we don’t enable this experience by default, that’s because the discoverability of the functionality for onboarding would require more upfront communication.

The other feature that I turn off by default is the “Show a Groupy bar when the mouse moves over the top of a title bar while not in a group”. Keeping this setting enabled is optimal for users who are getting started with Groupy 2 as it notifies the user with a visual cue that the app can be grouped easily but after becoming comfortable with the mechanism, I turn it off.

Once you get used to having tabs for every window on your desktop, you will wonder how you ever lived without them. I find them especially useful when working with productivity apps like Word or Excel but would love to know how you are using Groupy 2.

Windows 10 is the New Stable OS

Make an Older OS Look Modern with Start11

Thursday, May 4, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Start News

What feels like nearly an eternity ago (but was really only a couple of years back), Microsoft announced Windows 11 and started shipping it not long after that. One of the big changes, aside from the visual update, was that there would only be one major update per year.

This was a significant change from the Windows 10 era where the company was pushing two major updates per year. For the most part, it was well received within the Windows community - but as we are all now aware, the company has done the exact opposite.

Windows 10 Running Start11

Today, Microsoft is shipping feature updates whenever they want and it’s quite hard to keep track of whether a feature is in the canary, dev, beta, or release preview. If that wasn't tricky enough, they are also enabling users to be the first to receive updates within the stable branch as yet another way to test updates before they hit the wider general population.

Even though the update cadence for Windows 11 is headed towards a more chaotic state, there is a bit of a reprieve if you are ok with running Windows 10. As Paul Thurrott puts it: “Microsoft Finally Gave Us What We Wanted … But With Windows 10”.

Microsoft has stated that Windows 10, 22H2, will be the final feature update for the OS. This means that if you want to run a version of Windows that is fully supported and won’t be updated erratically, then Windows 10 is a viable option until its support ends in 2025.

What if you like the look of Windows 11, but want to stay on Windows 10? That can easily be accomplished with Start11 and WindowBlinds 11 (both of these apps can run on Windows 10). This also works exceptionally well if you are one of the many Windows 10 users who cannot upgrade to Windows 11 because your PC does not meet the baseline requirements.

For those of us who desire a stable version of Windows - without the trouble of trying to run an LTSC branch as your daily driver - Microsoft just delivered a big win for its users. Rolling back to Windows 10 may not be for everyone, as Microsoft will pester you quite a bit to upgrade to Windows 11, but if you truly want a supported Windows experience that doesn’t change, Microsoft finally has an answer for you.

Remove Annoying Ads from Your Start Menu with Start11

Where will new ads show up next?

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 by BradSams | Discussion: Start News

For years, Microsoft has been carefully toeing the line of including advertisements promotions inside of the Start menu, File Explorer, and Office applications. While some may argue that promoting your own products inside of your applications isn’t an advertisement, it’s certainly an annoyance - especially when you do not have the ability to permanently turn off these messages.

As I write this blog post in Word, there is a banner at the top asking me to download OneDrive, which I already have on my mobile device - this very file is even saved there as well! But, let’s not let the semantics of already using OneDrive - which Microsoft knows I am already using - stop them from telling me to use OneDrive.

But why stop at Word? Microsoft has already forced the “recommendation” section inside of the Start menu, and this month it has become apparent that they will continue to push more promotional material into the Start menu experience.

The latest flavor of “ads” that are showing up inside Windows 11 will appear in the shutdown menu. Take a look at the image below. Courtesy of Microsoft, you can see the different ways the company plans to incorporate its new messaging in a place that should not have any messaging at all.

Start11 removes these advertisements - or messaging, or whatever you want to call them - from your Windows 11 experience. While we didn’t build Start11 to be an adblocker, it’s becoming apparent that Microsoft has no plans of slowing down how they will inject corporate messaging into the OS.

So, how does Start11 work? It's pretty simple, actually. Once you install the utility, it replaces the default Windows Start menu with our own customizable version. This new Start menu not only offers a variety of different styles, but it also comes with a bunch of customization options that let you tweak it to the desired specification.

The best part about Start11 is that it completely removes ads from the Start menu. No more sponsored apps or suggested downloads - just a clean, ad-free experience that lets you focus on what's important: getting stuff done.

While we don’t know where the next advertisement in Windows 11 will show up, know that if you are running Start11, you won’t have to worry about it appearing in the Start menu.

You can learn more about Start11 here.




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