Stardock Central is a front end that provides real time updates to all of Stardocks products and services. With it, a user of Object Desktop or Drengin.net or WinCustomize or CursorXP or whatever can receive instant access to the latest/greatest versions of the software they've purchased. Additionally it integrated chat, news, and direct access to the latest available documentation on each of the programs. Stardock expects to expand it to allow users to organize Stardock affiliated software, suites, game add-ons, and more.
In the summer of 1999 Stardock introduced Stardock.net. This was nearly a year before Microsoft announced its .NET initiative. The goal of Stardock.net was to deliver a set of services on-line to users via a subscription. The first product that used this technology was Object Desktop. With Object Desktop, Stardock was able to provide a product where the user not only received the software that was already available (and keep that software forever) but receive timely and meaningful updates for an entire year afterwards. It became a tremendous success.
To interact with the Stardock.net back end, the company provided Component Manager for its users.
Component Manager for Object Desktop
In 1999, Component Manager was pretty state of the art. A user having entered in their Object Desktop serial number was greeted with a listing of all the available parts of Object Desktop along with its current updates. It could even backup and restore previous versions of those components. But Component Manager was also rather difficult to use and required re-downloading the entire component whenever a new version came out. Documentation and help were not integrated leaving many new users wondering what the heck to do next.
Stardock has been working for the past two years to create a next generation way of interacting with not just Object Desktop but all of Stardock's various products and services. The result: Stardock Central:
Here are some of the advantages of Stardock Central:
Consolidation. Whether you've purchased just Galactic Civilizations or Object Desktop or just CursorXP, you can from this interface install the latest version and run it from here along with access free and premium extras for these programs.
Smart updating. You won't have to download the entire component over and over again. Instead, you'll only have to download a compressed version of just the files that have changed in a new version. If you're on a dial-up, this is a pretty big difference.
Better interaction. So that Stardock can better serve users, it has built chatting right into it. So if a user has a question or suggestion, they can visit and talk to other users or even a Stardock developer. Stardock Central really lets us deliver new software technologies on a much more rapid basis than previously possible.
Documentation. Now users can instantly access the latest versions of the documentation. No more fumbling around trying to figure out how things work.
Consolidation of News and Articles. Want to learn how to skin stuff? Or want to find out how the economic engine in GalCiv works? It's all available in a single place updated on the fly.
New products. When new products from Stardock or products of interests from third parties that are related to products you've already purchased, you can find them and download them from Stardock Central rather than having to search the net.