Audi oddity

Don't bother with this desktop-cluttering application.

We've seen our fair share of ridiculous software--especially when it comes to desktop enhancements--but we're pretty sure that Audi Screenmate takes the cake. We can't imagine that even the most die-hard Audi fan would find anything useful about this program.

Audi Screenmate consists of a small animated graphic with some shooting lines and fog; every few seconds "A4" becomes visible through the haze. This is a reference to the Audi A4 sedan. This graphic is visible on your desktop but also stays on top when you're using other programs. Clicking on the graphic takes you to Audi's United States home page, while right-clicking displays a menu with six other Audi sites that can be selected. Strangely, the program launched our default browser and loaded these pages, but when our browser was already open, it didn't do anything. And that's a pretty big criticism for a program that hardly does anything anyway. It's true: linking to various Audi Web sites is the full extent of Audi Screenmate's features. We can't imagine why anyone would want such a thing cluttering up their desktop; just bookmark the Web sites if you need to visit them that frequently.

In addition to having almost no features, Audi Screenmate comes as a ZIP file and leaves a Start menu icon behind upon removal. We do not recommend this program.

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