WindowBlinds - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

WindowBlinds

CNET Editors' review

WindowBlinds version 8 brings a couple new features that include a brand new interface, better support for Windows 8, and SkinStudio, a theme designer that lets users create their own customizations.

There are four main aspects of your windows that you can modify: style, color, texture, and background. Styles are preset schemes to make your windows look new. Version 8 includes a couple new styles (including Win8, which mimics the flat style of Modern UI). Each style contains a substyle that'll modify a graphic or tailor your windows and taskbars to be more in line with your current version of Windows: 8, 7, Vista, or XP. You can also add or change a texture overlay to give your windows an even greater visual twist, complete with various color hues.

Version 8's more modern interface has made selecting a style much more intuitive and visually appealing. Preset styles are now showcased vertically on the left panel, with the selectable substyles and descriptions appearing on the right. Gone are the dozen tabs or so from the previous version and settings are now tucked away in a simple gear menu on the upper-right corner, mimicking much of the current progression toward flatter UI design. We actually found the new layout to be much more pleasant to use and refreshing.

Beyond an improved user flow and an ever-increasing library of downloadable themes, WindowBlinds doesn't really bring much to the table in terms of revolutionary features. However its only job is to make Windows look prettier and fancier than the original stock experience. Does it accomplish it? Yes.

A minor note is that though Windows 8 users will especially appreciate the greater control over their OS appearance, the Windows 8.1 service pack is just around the corner, as well. But for anyone running older legacy operating systems, WindowBlinds might just be the fresh coat of paint needed to make your PC look fresh again.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 585

  • 3.0 stars

    "Installing Failure"

    January 2, 2014  |   By christina-atd

    Version: WindowBlinds 8.02

    Pros

    Could not download, cant say anything !! but program description appealing !!

    Cons

    Nothing to say so far !!

    Summary

    Looking at the program description i thought would give it a go. Downloaded and ran the setup but the installation never finished !! so ended up closing the process.... Do not know if its the software issue or soemthing else !!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "I like it, works great!"

    December 24, 2013  |   By HSS300M

    Version: WindowBlinds 8.02

    Pros

    You can try before you buy
    If you buy, the cost is very reasonable

    Cons

    None so far

    Summary

    I did the trial for a week and liked it enough to buy it. I for one really like to be able to customize Win7 for a different look. Off Stardock's WinCustomize website, there are literally thousands of skins to choose from.

    I've had a couple of VERY minor glitches but I'd say WindowBlinds runs great 99% of the time. The very few glitches I've had: 1) When changing skins, the Windowblinds window lost the top of the window so that I couldn't move it or minimize it to the taskbar tray. Had to right-click its icon in the taskbar and select "Close window". 2) Once or twice, a folder was displayed like it is normally in Win7 instead of how it should be when customized with Windowblinds. Switching to a new skin and then switching back solved the problem. I'm not having that problem now, maybe I just needed to clear my cache or something. Like I said, very minor.

    Honestly, I don't understand some of the complaints that I'm seeing here. A few people complained about glitches and problems, then admitted that they went and downloaded a version that was cracked or used a keygen. Duh! That's like buying a TV that "fell off a truck" in a part of town that you're scared to go to at night. You're almost guaranteed to have problems.

    What's even more baffling is the reason they did it: they didn't want to have to buy the program for the whopping $10 that Stardock charges. What's it worth to avoid the trojans, malware, and malicious rootkits that infest keygens and cracked programs? If that stuff crashes your computer or causes you to get your identity stolen, then you'll wish you'd paid for the program, which costs the same as a meal for you and your kid brother at McDonald's. People are willing to drop a grand on a computer and $500 on a cell phone but $10 for Windowblinds is just awful. I'm not getting that.

    I also saw a criticism that you get bombed with ads when you're running the trial version. That's not a true statement. Every 3rd or 4th time that you open the trial version of WindowBlinds, the opening screen asks you if you want to buy the full version or keep using the trial software. A single mouse click makes it go away. Stardock doesn't pound you with e-mail messages or put up random nag-screens all the time. Everybody's got their opinion. I never considered it to be a nuisance and, in my book, their approach does not constitute "inundating" you with ads.

    Some skins on the website look and operate better than others (since they're created and submitted by the program users) but I think the ratings are accurate and everybody can find something that they're very satisfied with. The browsing and trying different skins is part of the fun unless you're a total sourpuss who is sure up-front that you're going to hate it.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Installed trail at the moment, see if I really need it"

    November 30, 2013  |   By riscy00

    Version: WindowBlinds 8.01

    Pros

    Functional on 8.1, no issue. No speed issue.
    Price for this seem reasonable. Not a barrier.

    Cons

    None found yet.

    Summary

    Only barrier to purchase is reputation and reliability, otherwise if proven I buy it.

    It does what it say on the tin and wished MS give choice to user to use aero or not, rather than deticate us how to use Window 8.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "It is different think its kind of neat"

    August 12, 2013  |   By kingbed42

    Version: WindowBlinds 8.0

    Pros

    Easy to use

    Cons

    None yet so far

    Summary



    Updated on Aug 12, 2013

    Too bad its not free you only get it for 30 days

    Updated on Aug 12, 2013

    Too bad its not free you only get it for 30 days

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  • 1.0 stars

    "hangs and crashes"

    July 1, 2013  |   By Shynnzu

    Version: WindowBlinds 8.0

    Pros

    good interface.. but

    Cons

    installed windowblinds and start8, and i am using vaio duo 11. when i cant seem to customize settings in start8, i try to restart the pc. windowblinds started to generate crashes and hangs right after i log-in. lucky i am just trying it, uninstalled. but the bad news is i bought start8, it is generating hangs too. windowblinds seem to make other vaio app and mcafee software to crash.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great Idea"

    June 20, 2013  |   By McBee5

    Version: WindowBlinds 8.0

    Pros

    When I downloaded Windows 8 I didn't know I couldn't go back to Windows 7. It's hard for me to find what I need. Having this program it gives me the Windows 7 opening window and I LOVE that! I loved Windows 7!!

    Cons

    I haven't found any!

    Summary

    I love this program and would recommend it to anyone who would like to have the Windows 7 start button on the bottom left hand side.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Stuck with it"

    January 16, 2013  |   By SpaceOctopus

    Version: WindowBlinds 7.40

    Pros

    It's the only thing out there of it's kind really, besides much more confusing programs that require much more knowledge to use. It does make things beautiful though.

    Cons

    There aren't enough people making themes for it.
    It doesn't run the best. It's too expensive, though Stardock offers a package deal with it, including Iconpackager and a couple other things that make it much more worth it. Iconpackager is ALSO the only thing out there of it's kind, and expensive on it's own. It also happens to be a great program though.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Very Entertaining and well made too"

    October 6, 2012  |   By chuffmountain

    Version: WindowBlinds 7.40

    Pros

    Enhances the desktop and allows you to choose the best look for the desktop and the windows controls. It is light on resources and needs absolutely no computer skills whatsoever to point and click at what you like and get it working.
    Cheap to buy and also good value.
    It's a program I started using way back when stardock first started out. I think that's more than a decade ago now.
    So the company has a good history and a VERY DEVOTED following and loyal customer base. Plenty of help and support on their website and in the forums. 10/10

    Cons

    If used properly and you take the time to understand why certain programs should not be themed (older games, programs that use their own theme plugins, and some software that is not theme-aware) then you will have absolutely no problems whatsoever.

    No cons at all

    Summary

    It's worth joining the forum at stardock, because although it will work without any fuss and without ruining your windows installation, it can APPEAR sometimes in rare cases to have been the cause of a problem. Notice the word "APPEAR", because appearances can be deceptive. Usually any problems are caused because people dont realise that some programs should not be themed. Having said that, however, you will not encounter many problems at all. Quite a lot of people complaining about windowblinds get a problem and assume it is the fault of windowblinds, they then try very unmethodical solutions to the problem and if only they had bothered to read a help file or go to the forums and do a quick search they would find very easy to understand help and get a solution very quickly.
    It's not an essential program to have, it's some fun, and well worth the money.
    A reliable, honest, and dedicated company with a loyal following. Also just one last thing, anyone saying windowblinds interferes with essential windows tasks doesnt know what they are talking about. I would ignore the reviews where people say "oh it messed up my entire windows installation" because a simple mouseclick will restore windows to it's original theme.
    As I said, buy, install, enjoy, and if by some bad stroke of luck you do get a problem just visit the forum, you will get a solution in minutes.
    There are 1000's of designs to choose from and you can mix and match. you are now in control of how windows looks.
    BUY IT!!!!! it's a great way to have computer fun

    Updated on Oct 6, 2012

    Having read most of the reviews here, it's laughable that most people complaining about windowblinds installed the illegal cracked version which is infested by viruses and malware.
    That is why you pay for software, because installing illegal software using a keygen (key generator) is stupid, the vast majority of the keygens are infested with adware, keyloggers and rootkits.
    Ignore the reviews that say stardock windowblinds is a bad program, it isnt. Stardock is a reputable company with hundreds of thousands of devoted, loyal, and honest users. Their support and their dilligence is second to nobody else. They are excellent

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  • 2.0 stars

    "May look good but not worth bypassing MS "rules" to me"

    April 7, 2012  |   By TravelorTim

    Version: WindowBlinds 7.3

    Pros

    Can make themes look better than default

    Cons

    Slows pc down, "patches" some type of MS system file causing instability, costs money

    Summary

    Not even worth my time with all the cons

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Creative customization for your desktop!"

    February 9, 2012  |   By care-software

    Version: WindowBlinds 7.3

    Pros

    can pick up themes from your favorite wallpapers and have your very own windows skin laid out on your desktop

    Cons

    got my computer hanged for a while during application but anyhow it works great!

    Summary

    Have your very own design,its fun!

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Results 1-10 of 585

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