If you could jump into a time machine, back to about 2006-ish, you would find me in college dorm room building Media Center PCs with Hauppauge tuner cards. Once the hardware was assembled, the next step was installing ObjectDock so that the Windows desktop could easily be navigated from the couch using a media center remote.
It was around this time that I met Brad Wardell and began to understand what was possible with Windows.
Many of us, especially if you are reading this, likely played around with skinning your PC; sometimes to extreme levels, other times with minimal tweaks that improved the baseline that Microsoft had created. It’s the desire to customize, improve, and evolve the OS that has kept me in the Object Desktop ecosystem for nearly two decades.
Everything from WindowBlinds to Fences has been actively used on my machines for years - and then Windows 11 happened. Despite Microsoft initially signaling that Windows 10 would be an evolving landscape and the future of Windows, Windows 11 is launching in a few days, which presents another milestone for Object Desktop.
Windows 11 creates a unique opportunity for Stardock and the suite of tools in the Object Desktop portfolio. And when Wardell called me up in July asking if I would like to help shape the future of tools that I have been using for years, it was nearly impossible to say no.
So, who am I exactly? Well, I am another Brad, but one you may recognize if you have been hanging out in the Microsoft ecosystem. I am an avid Surface hardware fan, I use Windows obsessively, and I grew up tinkering with the OS to make it adapt to my workflows instead of Windows telling me how to operate – and that’s what I love about Windows, you can tinker with it.
Now I am at Stardock, leading the team that builds my (and hopefully, your) favorite applications and I couldn’t be more excited. Right now, we have an early beta of Start11 that restores classic functionality to Windows 11, but we have bigger and more comprehensive plans for making Windows 11 more personal and more productive.
I have only been in this role for a few weeks and with Windows 11 officially releasing on October 5th, there is a lot of work to do to bring the Object Desktop Suite into the Windows 11 era. There are new challenges this OS presents, but that also means new opportunities to put our vision together about how we think 11 should evolve.
At the end of the day, it’s about the extensibility of the operating system. Windows, at its core, makes the world turn, but it’s also built to appeal to more than 1 billion monthly users. This means that if you want to deviate from that path that Microsoft believes fits the general population, that’s where Stardock comes in. I couldn’t be more excited to help shape the future of the tools that I have been using for decades.