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Company Information

Stardock was founded by 20 year old college student Brad Wardell to help pay for school. Incorporated in 1993, Stardock focused on developing software for IBM’s OS/2 operating system. Wardell wrote the OS/2 game Galactic Civilizations  between taking electrical engineering classes and teaching digital logic lab, and helping run the university Macintosh lab.

Galactic Civilizations was released in Fall 1994. The game was a critical success and convinced Wardell upon graduating from college to make Stardock his career.   By 1996, Stardock has grown to being a multi-million dollar corporation. By teaming up with fellow OS/2 developers such as Kurt Westerfeld (lead developer of Object Desktop for OS/2) it had become the leading software developer for IBM's OS/2. Its influence on OS/2 was so great that IBM asked Stardock to be closely involved with OS/2 Warp 4 (the default OS/2 Warp 4 desktop layout was designed by Stardock along with elements of its GUI).

In 1997, Stardock began to transition its software development to Windows. The "OS Wars" between Windows and OS/2 were drawing to a close with the world largely standardizing on Windows for the desktop.  Because Stardock has historically not been venture capital funded, the company had to find ways to fund its new Windows software products. It found two ways to do so.

The first way was creating software as a subscription in the form of ObjectDestop.NET. Users would be able to purchase the new Object Desktop for Windows as a subscription. Since it would take nearly a year for the basic parts to be completed, users would in effect have to pay for features that wouldn’t be delivered for many months. Stardock's loyal customer base saved the day as thousands of them immediately subscribed to the fledgling service.

Secondly, Wardell and his game development team wrote the game Entrepreneur. Part strategy game, part satire, the game was loosely based on what they had just witnessed - start a company and try to monopolize a market by ruthlessly destroying your competitors. The game was a hit and combined with Stardock’s Object Desktop subscriptions allowed the company to release the core set Object Desktop features by the end of 1999.

Object Desktop on Windows became far more successful than anything Stardock had ever previously done and by the end of 2001 Stardock had surpassed the sales they’d ever seen in the OS/2 market. Fortune 500 companies down to individual developers licensed Stardock's technology to create custom environments for their employees and customers. Millions of individual consumers and corporate desktops would use parts of Object Desktop (such as WindowBlinds) to customize Windows to suit their needs. 

As Windows became more dominate, the desire for the ability to customize and personalize it to match specific usages of it grew. Stardock's software has helped fill this growing niche and helped create awareness of the usability benefits of customized desktop environments.

In early 2001, the collapse of the dot-com’s created a vacuum in desktop theme distribution sites (known as “skin sites”). Stardock  proposed the creation of a website called WinCustomize.com that would be easy to use, have community features (message boards, reviews, commenting on news items, etc.), and most importantly, be a reliable place for artists, users, and developers to visit. Within a year, WinCustomize.com had become one of the most popular sites on the Internet with over a million monthly visitors and becoming an increasing source of revenue for Stardock through the sales of subscriptions and other merchandize.

Today, Stardock is spread across the globe. It looks for the best and brightest from around the world. This team works together via the Internet. While the core of Stardock is located in an office complex in Livonia Michigan, nearly half the staff is located remotely. This team continues forward on creating PC software that allows both corporations and consumers to customize their Windows PCs. It occasionally still releases a new PC game now and then.

Stardock's subscription networks continue to be the primary source of revenue for Stardock and it has plans to expand its services into information environments and web services over the coming years.


Stardock
Livonia MI 48152
Phone: (734) 762-0687
Fax: (734) 762-0690 Email:info@stardock.com
Orders: 734-762-0687
Orders: 734-762-0687  
Incorporated 1993  

 

 

© 2002 Stardock Corporation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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