This site highlights emerging technologies from Stardock and shows how corporate clients can benefit from these.
Now optimized for Microsoft .NET Framework
Published on May 11, 2005 By koop In OS Customization

CANTON, MI- (May 11th, 2005) – Stardock, a Microsoft Gold Partner and a leading developer of software that customizes the Microsoft Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI), today announced the release of DirectSkin 4.5. DirectSkin is a tool used by software developers to make their applications skinnable, and the latest version has been optimized for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003.


“DirectSkin from Stardock uses the native drawing features of Microsoft Windows XP to make it easy for .NET Framework-based developers to create flexible, attractive user interfaces for their applications,” says Scott Davidson, Great Lakes General Manager, Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners for Microsoft Corp. “This reduces development costs and brings new products to market sooner.”


DirectSkin quickly integrates into third-party software applications, allowing software developers to add a flexible look and feel to their applications. Developers can choose if they wish to lock in a single look or if they want to allow users to select their own look from an extensive library of skins available on the internet.


Adding skinning functionality to applications increases acceptance in the marketplace. Popular applications such as Windows Media Player and Windows XP allow users to choose the look and feel that suits them. Stardock has been involved with the Microsoft Partner Program since 2001 and was recognized as a Microsoft Gold Partner in 2004.


DirectSkin supports all major Microsoft development, such as Visual Basic, C++ .NET 2003 and Visual C# .NET 2003. With DirectSkin 4.5, Stardock is increasing its focus on supporting .NET technologies.


Larry Kuperman, Corporate Sales Manager at Stardock, said “The Microsoft development environment is what drives the market today. From our perspective, there is no operating system or framework that is as customizable as a Microsoft product.”


Neil Banfield, Lead Developer for DirectSkin at Stardock, added “DirectSkin was an outgrowth of WindowBlinds, our software program that changes the look and feel of the entire Windows desktop. Developers began contacting us and asking how they could integrate that same technology into just their programs. We recognized that such a tool might be beneficial for developers and save them time.”


Many of the companies that have licensed DirectSkin agree with the benefits it provides. In a recent Microsoft Case Study, Dale Adamson, Computer Interface Specialist for ATI Technologies explained why ATI selected DirectSkin: “We wanted a solution that placed as much power in the customers' hands as we could give them to configure our product to suit their user requirements or marketing needs without our having to intervene.”


Other DirectSkin clients prefer to use DirectSkin for a single, branded look. Eric Blake, Technical Director for Reuters America explained “Reuters selected DirectSkin for use in our Reuters Plus application and we have been very satisfied. DirectSkin offers many advantages, among these the ability to provide a consistent look and feel across many applications.”


Other clients use DirectSkin to showcase new versions of their software. “We are very excited about the new features in this next version of Map. It was important for us to create more differentiation with the product and generate a new fresh look as exciting as the new features,” says Brett Bloomquist, Map Software Development Manager at Autodesk. “For Autodesk, selecting DirectSkin was a logical choice for meeting this goal. By using DirectSkin from Stardock we were able to get a high level of consistency across platforms and the support from Stardock was exceptional. We could not have done this on our own in such a short period of time.”



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About DirectSkin:


To learn more about DirectSkin, please visit The site offers a downloadable demo of the software, answers to Frequently Asked Questions and much more. Technical questions should be addressed to; while license questions should be addressed to   



About Stardock:


Stardock Corporation is the leader in the development and sales of award-winning Windows desktop customization solutions such the Object Desktop customization suite and the ThinkDesk suite of productivity applications.  Stardock also develops best-selling computer games, including the Galactic Civilizations series. For more information, please visit the Stardock home page at


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