Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on May 4, 2008 By Draginol In Blogging

image There's so much going on that I have no life. Life at Stardock is changing so rapidly. It was just a couple years ago that Stardock was an $8M company.  This fiscal year ends on June 30th and it's looking like Stardock is going to break the $20M mark. If all goes well, we'll double that again next year once certain big projects get launched this Summer.

The skinning world I know and love continues to evolve. The "power user" market for skinning has pretty much peaked. That is, at this point, most Windows power users know about our stuff and have either decided they want it or don't. Revenue continues to grow but at a much lower rate. The real increases are coming from more casual users. That's one of the big reasons why Object Desktop 2008 was split between the standard edition and the Ultimate Edition. 

Let's talk about Object Desktop Ultimate for a sec.

One of the things that has been really slowing down things with Object Desktop is support. That, in turn, has made us less able to release some of the more cutting edge things sitting in our labs. You wouldn't believe some of the cool desktop enhancements that we have written but put on the shelf over the years because of some limitation in the program that would have caused too much support. I think the last thing we released that fit that description was IconX and we have regretted it ever since.  Whether it be skinnable command line shells, desktop "docks", new explorer views, mouse gesture based programs, or 3D virtual desktops, they're floating around in the lab somewhere. At one point, we had a compositor up and running on Windows XP (Microsoft hired him to work on - wait for it - the compositor in Vista). 

So with Object Desktop Ultimate, we are starting to look at being able to make some cooler stuff that might be termed experimental. That is, it might simply have some limitations with it that a consumer would not accept but power users would understand.  I almost wish we could require some sort of tech test before you could buy Object Desktop Ultimate so that we could eliminate the casual computer users who get lost in ObjectBar.

Loved in the gaming world, despised in the tech world

It's ironic that in the gaming world, Stardock is very popular. Whenever a new announcement is posted on the various game related websites, positive comments pour in.  By contrast, when one of our skinning programs is released, which tend to cost less than half as much as the games, we get tarred and feathered on the net - even on our own sites.

WinCustomize subscriptions about to get sweeter

The budget has been approved to start giving away quite a bit of content to WinCustomize subscribers. None of this 2 suites per year stuff but rather a fairly steady trickle of content. The stand-alone subscription price is gonna end up like $29.95 but there will be bundles with our various programs at a steep discount for WC subscriptions.

So basically what I think you'll start to see are skins and icon packages released onto WinCustomize first, then turned into MyColors themes. Not every MyColors theme will show up on WC but quite a few of them will. At first they'll be in their own section but eventually they'll be like Master skins in the gallery except called Subscriber skins that are free for download to subscribers. After a year, the subscriber skin will turn into a Master skin (to reward long-time subscribers).


Comments
on May 04, 2008
I've been wondering. Is there any particular reason Object Dock isn't included in either of the Object Desktop Suites? Does it's exclusion mean it's meant to be replaced by Object Bar?

Object Desktop Plus is my favorite Stardock product (even beating out GalCiv) so I'd love to see it get updated more frequently. And yes, I did purchase the plus version. Now that I've got a setup I like, I can't live without the multiple docks.
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