What does Winstep Xtreme do? More like, what doesn't Winstep extreme do? This powerful desktop customization allows users to tweak their computer's appearance in innumerable ways.
Users who are a fan of the Apple dock and widgets will find a functional Windows version of these features in Winstep, but this program is way more than an Apple rip-off. There are themes. There are mouse-over previews of open windows. There's e-mail checking and weather forecasts and a fortune-telling fish called Wanda. The program is jam-packed with features and options. A program this rich in options demands two things: an easily navigated interface, and a well-written, organized Help file. This is where Winstep Xtreme starts to lose us. The program has two components: NEXTStart, the Start menu modification, and WorkShelf, a dock-like workspace manager. Each of these has its own lengthy Help file. Although the Help files are thorough, they're not necessarily easy to access, and beginning users may not be sure which feature goes with which component. The settings for each component are so numerous that it would be almost impossible to find an easy way to organize. It takes a lot of clicking around to find the right menu, and then a lot of fiddling to make adjustments. That said, users who are into hardcore customization should appreciate the myriad functions, even if they're hard to access.
Winstep Extreme has a 30-day trial period. It comes as a ZIP file and installs desktop icons without asking, but it does uninstall cleanly. We recommend this program to intermediate and advanced users, as well as ambitious beginners.