A popular shareware program that lets users customise how Windows looks on their computers and add more functionality has been given a thorough makeover.
Stardock's WindowBlinds version 2.0 acts as a 'second skin' for Windows and every application running under it, allowing users to change colours and add new buttons to the Windows interface.
The program is scheduled to go into beta at the end of September, and costs $19.95 to register for the software. UK pricing information is not currently available.
Some three million copies of the shareware are claimed to have been distributed, including corporate users who have added company-specific buttons to Windows and changed the interface to their corporate colours.
In the past, critics have acknowledged the shareware's appeal and ease of use but denigrated it for slowing down Windows. However, alpha testers of the software say Stardock has solved much of these problems.
New features in WindowBlinds 2.0 include buttons that optimise window size depending on what screen resolution is being used and the ability to change interface fonts.
Version 2.0 will support Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition (ME), Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows Whistler.
Stardock said it is investing a lot of development resources into adding functionality to the shareware to try to lose the "visualisation toy" tag attributed to it.
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