By Terry Currier
From Stardock WindowBlinds will not speed up your computer, canít recover lost memory, and it wonít defrag your hard drive. What it will do however is put a ďskinĒ layer over your Windows desktop and applications. The term skin means that it works with the Windows GUI (Graphic User Interface) to alter the look of every title bar, push button, taskbar and other parts of the Windows interface. It works on all versions of Windows, and especially well on Windows XP. Different users can sign on with Windows XP and have completely different looks.
It is a program that can make your desktop a little cooler looking and actually easier on the eyes. Its fun to go through all the different skins that come with the program to see which you like the most. Then, if you want even more you can go to their web site and look at a few hundred more. It has the ability to add additional GUI effects such as transparent icon text, and apply wallpapers. If you donít want the skin effect on every application you can choose which to skinned, or even to have a specific skin. So for Microsoft Word it could have its own unique look.
With compound skins a used skin can have several different versions of itself included. Skins that support dynamic colorizing in Windows XP allow the user to change the color of the skin. Windows itself allows the user up to three color options. WindowBlinds allows the user to pick from up to 16.8 million colors to apply to the skin. WindowBlinds cost $19.95 you can download a free 30 day trial version from their home web site http://www.stardock.com. If you like it and want to try making some skins of your own download the SkinStudio program. With it you can make your own for any version of Windows. You can even import parts of other skins so you donít have to start over with everything. Authors can associate sounds with different actions. For example when you click the close button it will play a certain wave file. It cost $19.95 also.
Winners is a member of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG) is an international, platform-independent, nonprofit corporation (incorporated in Washington, DC) devoted to helping user groups throughout the world. Almost 400 user groups are members of APCUG.http://www.apcug.net/