Windowblinds 5

Just got my hands on this program and thought I’d share my first reactions to it.

Simply awesome… That really says it all. I’m using the VistaXP visual style made by Kol and the effects that have been used are simply cool. Hopefully you notice the transparent taskbar and the new start button that goes above the top of the taskbar. Those are the kind of things windowblinds 5 is capable of. It basically allows the artists that make visual styles to do just about everything they want.

Here’s some features of Windowblinds 5, straight from the site:

*Excellent application compatibility. Because Stardock has had years to tune WindowBlinds for compatibility, WindowBlinds has excellent compatibility. How good? Ask Microsoft, Nintendo, nVidia, ATI, and many others who have licensed WindowBlinds to release additional visual styles.

* Top Notch Performance. WindowBlinds uses the graphics acceleration features of today’s video cards to accelerate visual styles.

* Tight Integration. WindowBlinds 5 doesn’t need to any dedicated process in order to run, it runs as a native Windows XP extension.

* Native. WindowBlinds DOES NOT “skin over” the existing user interface. It works by extending the existing painting calls with newer, faster, more feature rich ones.

* WindowBlinds skins virtually every aspect of the Windows GUI that one can imagine. And in fact, the enhanced visual styles used by WindowBlinds can skin things previously not thought to be skinnable such as logon/logoff dialogs, the “please wait” dialog, backgrounds in the Control Panel and other special folders, and more.

* WindowBlinds also comes with clean and easy configuration dialog. Users can still control their WindowBlinds enhanced visual styles from the display properties dialog, but the WindowBlinds configuration makes it easy to manage dozens of skins, sort them by category, and configure it to their liking.

* WindowBlinds comes with tons of configuration options for users.

* WindowBlinds 5 skins support per-pixel alpha blending on nearly all controls including the title bars, borders, menus, and other major elements. That means no “jaggies”, semi-transparent elements, and just plain cooler looking user interfaces. And best of all, it does this using DirectX acceleration so for most users, it actually increases performance over standard Windows.

* and much more…

Check out Windowblinds 5 if you’re into desktop customization.

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~ by Steve L. on November 29, 2005.

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