The Object Desktop 2008 suite of tools can change almost everything
about how your desktop looks and feels. You can apply a huge array
of downloadable customizations to Windows elements ranging from the
Start menu and task bar to sound schemes and desktop widgets.
Six primary components in the suite handle all the
customizations. WindowBlinds themes can completely change the look
of your Start menu, program windows and task bar, while
IconPackager swaps in new icons for things like the Recycle Bin and
My Computer icons.
DesktopX allows for Vista Sidebar-like widgets such as clocks,
calendars and weather utilities, as well as deeper customizations
(and in Vista, its gadgets can be put into the Sidebar). And
DeskScapes for Vista (only) can turn your static desktop wallpaper
into an animated display, such as an aquarium. SoundPackager, as
the name implies, can bring in new sounds for all the Windows
actions at once.
While digging into these individual applications can take some
time–and prove somewhat confusing for beginning Object Desktop
users–you can use the final MyColors component to easily apply a
single MyColors theme that uses all the other components to
Stardock says Object Desktop users will get at least four
MyColors themes free per year, and can purchase additional themes
for $8 each (or more for themes that use licensed content). You can
also download packages for each individual component from
Wincustomize.com. In particular, there are a huge number of free
WindowBlinds themes available for download.
The company uses a new distribution platform called Impulse to
manage and update the different Object Desktop components. Impulse
installs automatically when you download the Object Desktop
In addition to the standard Object Desktop for $49.95, Stardock
also offers an Ultimate version for $69.95 that includes additional
editors and utilities intended for power users.
If you enjoy changing your desktop’s look and feel, it’s hard to
beat Stardock’s array of tools.