A Component of ObjectDesktop

WindowBlinds Version 4

Info & Requirements

Developed by: Stardock Corp. (www.stardock.com)

Price: Trial version is free for unlimited time. Enhanced version is $19.95. Can also be purchased as part of Object Desktop suite ($49.95).

OS Compatibility: Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME, or Windows 98

Home Page: http://www.windowblinds.net

More Skins Available at: WinCustomize.com, deviantART, LotsOfSkins, SkinBase, XPThemes.com


WindowBlinds is a program that that enables Windows users to completely change the look and feel of the Windows user interface.  It does so by natively extending the user interface features of Windows to support enhanced visual styles.

If you have Windows XP, you're already half-way there. Windows XP includes a basic visual style engine that WindowBlinds is able to extend and accelerate to provide more features, optimize its memory usage, and improve its performance.

If you have Windows 98, ME, or 2000, WindowBlinds delivers full visual style capability to those OSes.

WindowBlinds is part of Stardock's Object Desktop suite of desktop extensions. It is also available stand alone at WindowBlinds.net.

Features of WindowBlinds


Before & After. Same applications. WindowBlinds can skin non-theme aware applications.

WindowBlinds works by extending the drawing APIs of Windows to support additional features. These features are designed to provide new functionality, improve performance, and be seamless. WindowBlinds does not hack any system DLLs, it doesn't replace any system files. It follows the Windows programming guidelines which is why Microsoft awarded it its designed for Windows XP logo certification.

(WindowBlinds is certified by Microsoft for use with Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME, and Windows 98).

WindowBlinds in action

See how WindowBlinds has been used by millions of individuals and corporations as well. Here are some examples of WindowBlinds in use in the real world...

Microsoft licensed WindowBlinds to create an X-box visual style. If you would like to try this visual style, visit Microsoft's Xbox website.

Warner Bros. licensed WindowBlinds to promote Terminator 3 on their website. Professional design ships such as The Skins Factory, Pixtudio, SkinPlant, and have strong businesses creating custom WindowBlinds visual styles for companies.

Microsoft recently licensed WindowBlinds to help promote their hit strategy game Rise of Nations as well as Age of Mythology and Combat Flight Simulator.

The Recruit Desktop for WinStyles (Movies

Touchstone pictures licensed WindowBlinds for the computer interface scenes in The Recruit.

nVidia licensed WindowBlinds to provide an nVidia UI for their customers. Additionally, nVidia partners such as ABit, EVGA, BFG, and others also licensed WindowBlinds to include with their video cards.


Nintendo is currently using WindowBlinds to promote the Nintendo Gamecube and their games such as Super Mario Sunchine, Pikmin, Legend of Zelda, and others.

Today, WindowBlinds has an estimated installed base of over 8 million users worldwide. It is one of the most popular programs of all time time on C-net's Download.com (the world's most popular download site) and the world's most popular desktop enhancement program. It has over 2000 visual styles (skins) created for it with new ones appearing every day from people from around the world. It is used both by consumers and corporations alike. For consumers, it lets them personalize Windows to their needs. Corporations use it for branding or to extend the Windows GUI to have additional features needed by individual companies.

Its website is http://www.windowblinds.net. It is $19.95 stand alone but is free to try with a download available on the WindowBlinds website. It is also part of Stardock's Object Desktop suite of desktop enhancements which is $49.95.

If you're a commercial software developer, you can make your application skinnable with DirectSKIN.

WindowBlinds 4 runs on Windows 98*, ME*, 2000, and Windows XP.

The Advantages of WindowBlinds vs. The XP visual style engine

If you're running Windows XP, WindowBlinds provides significant advantages over the bundled visual styles system.

Advantage Description
Uses fewer resources The bundled visual style engine consumes RAM and GDI resources (just as WindowBlinds does). However, WindowBlinds visual styles use considerably less memory than the bundled visual style system. That's because Stardock has had years to optimize the memory usage of WindowBlinds visual styles.
Explorer Views, Command Prompts, and much more are skined Because WindowBlinds skinning uses the native XP theming APIs, it not only skins the Explorer views, but it goes beyond that to skin the command prompt, "please wait" dialog, dialog backgrounds, log off dialog, and much more. Only WindowBlinds provides a complete skinning solution for Windows XP users.
Outstanding Application Compatibility WindowBlinds provides identical application compatibility to Windows XP's own visual styles. But it can also go beyond this by providing the option to skin even non "theme aware" programs. Only WindowBlinds can do this.
Integrated into .Suite files The most popular format for putting together sets of themes and skins is the .suite format. With a .suite file. With it, you can change all your icons, GUI, Windows Media Player and third party programs such as Trillian, Winamp, Hoverdesk, NeXTStart, CursorXP, and much more. WindowBlinds is natively supported by the .suite format.
Hardware acceleration WindowBlinds makes use of today's video cards to accelerate the painting of visual styles. As a result, every posted independent test shows that WindowBlinds version 4 is significantly faster than the bundled visual styles.
Fast System Hooking Some people mistakenly believe that the visual style engine does not use hooks. But in fact, it does. WindowBlinds is able to make use of the same system hook to deliver very low level integration with the operating system.
Multiple Font Sizes, Colorizing, and more. WindowBlinds can work at any DPI, any font size, and supports users changing the color of the visual style on the fly. Only WindowBlinds can do all this.
Enhanced GUI controls WindowBlinds supports third party extensions to the title bar and borders. For example, users can add roll-up buttons, always on top buttons, MP3 controls, etc. to the title bar as part of their visual style.
Integrated into Theming APIs Microsoft has added a new theming API to Windows XP.  WindowBlinds supports the Theming APIs of Windows XP. In addition, it supports the DirectSkin API that is used by many companies to develop skinnable programs.