Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on October 6, 2010 By Draginol In OS Customization

This Fall I’m starting to get back into skinning.  For the past 8 months or so, I’ve been the interim Project Manager on Elemental: War of Magic to get that game ready for release – which I failed spectacularly at. Sometimes, the answer is not to “work harder”. But I digress.

The problem I’m seeing with skinning is business vs. passion.  That is, Windows XP users still represent a near majority of the people using our skinning programs. The problem is, Windows XP is dead as a technology base. I don’t want to even support it any longer.  I want us to make cutting edge technology using WPF and Silverlight and other things that can show what is possible.

A lot of the new Windows technologies have been under used which is a real shame because there’s some great stuff there.

My main worry right now is that WPF is not being well supported by Microsoft and I don’t want us to get into a tech that Microsoft is going to abandon (GDI+, cough cough).

See for my concerns.

Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 06, 2010

Now that's some GREAT news! I hope we can see some good (new) stuff from now on

on Oct 06, 2010

XP as a dead technology has some advantages. For one thing hacking into the OS to create effects wont upset any service packs or upgrades into the future. I would not be surprised if some bright spark comes up with something like Compiz. XP might become the hobbyist OS.

Its important you make cutting edge technology, keeps the punters happy and brings new blood into skinning.

Two separate packages for two OS could be a good way to go.




on Oct 06, 2010

I wonder if they will really abandon WPF. I worked for a company that used WPF for a client front-end and it was pretty solid. Some people within the company wanted to use AIR instead, but AIR seems like such a resource hog.

Look at it this way Brad: Yes, your user base is heavily invested in XP. Because your skinning products are held back by your commitment to XP support, these products fail to wow Aero/whatever users. If you want non-XP users, you'll have to take the leap and produce a cutting-edge product. So, in other words, XP support leads to skinning products that are hard to market to non-XP users, and leaves you with lots of XP users. By moving on, you will lose those XP users but you will gain new customers and hopefully a lot of good press for doing something new and exciting.

on Oct 06, 2010

which I failed spectacularly at

Takes a big man to admit something like that...


and an even bigger man to eat that man


Glad to hear it Brad, I will be keeping up with what your doing as u move on this.



on Oct 07, 2010

Glad to have you on this side of the fence for a while!!


on Oct 07, 2010

Coool.. cant wait to see whats in store..

on Oct 07, 2010

XP still represents a huge portion of the market share, so I would continue supporting it.  It's never going to generate long term growth, but can be a nice cash cow in the interim.

on Oct 07, 2010

There's probably a whole bunch of regular skinners out there who didn't even know Frogboy didn't 'just' run Stardock and provide the 'skinnables', but also skinned [skun] like the rest of us.

Back when it ALL was a hobby [other than the CEO-ing, of course]....when skinning was everyone's "diversion".

Lately I've been getting 'back' to it....though this time delving into the GUI 'interface' of an aeroplane in a Flight Sim..... loads of coding and trial-and-error.... and getting all anal over every last pixel....


Good to see the skinning end of the world coming to the fore again....

on Oct 07, 2010

And this means ? Anything getting better regarding the desastrous state of Object Desktop ? Or is this just another of Your countless 'Oh, I will do something.' threads again ? Sorry Brad, but You have lost my personal trust over the last 1-2 years completely...

on Oct 07, 2010

Lately I've been getting 'back' to it....though this time delving into the GUI 'interface' of an aeroplane in a Flight Sim.

Stalking Piper Cubs and Airliners. Shame on you.

Glad you're getting back to skinning, Brad. I hope that'll bode well for the software.

I like c242 and understand where he's coming from, but you return here and despite unhappiness from the past, don't lose hope for the future, mate.

on Oct 07, 2010

I had a longer post but it kicked me out and I had to log back in, wtf.

is this just another silverlight push?

right or wrong, I equate silverlight with flash. Idisable flash so why would I think silverlight is a good thing?

on Oct 07, 2010

Good to hear Brad!

on Oct 07, 2010

on Oct 07, 2010

i for one am looking forward to you creating new skins. welcome back, brad.