WindowBlinds

WindowBlinds

Editors' Rating:
3.5
Very good
Average User Rating:
3.6
out of 710 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
7.40
File Size:
49.98MB
Date Added:
June 21, 2012
Price:
Free to try (30-day trial); $19.95 to buy (Buy it now)
Operating Systems:
Windows XP/Vista/7
Total Downloads:
18,293,365
Downloads Last Week:
2,954
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' review

Skins let you totally change the look of apps like media players and image editors, but you can do the same and much more to Windows with Stardock's WindowBlinds. This program makes it easy to change the look of Windows without having to change everything manually in Appearance and Personalization. With preconfigured skins you can customize, WindowBlinds lets you create and customize Windows in ways the built-in tool could never match. WindowBlinds is free to try for 30 days, with a few options disabled.

WindowBlinds' user interface resembles a Windows feature, but with its own touches. It displays available skins with previews in a horizontally scrolling lower panel. The program opened with an introductory tour in the optional tool tip window. WindowBlinds comes with lots of available choices; although the Fonts and Explorer Background tabs were inactive, we could choose from numerous options on tabs for Styles, Colors, Textures, Wallpapers, and Transparency. Clicking on any choice applies it to the sample window borders, toolbar, and dialogs in the program's main window. We chose one Wallpaper style at random, a cool abstract design called Recycled. Clicking Apply Changes on the toolbar applied the design to our Windows desktop, and WindowBlinds followed with a small nag screen reminding us how much time remained in our 30-day trial. Returning to our skin job, we found we could customize the design in various ways, such as changing its primary color with the color picker or altering its transparency with slider controls. The Textures tab offers an impressive array of designs, too. A tab labeled 1-Click lets you add skins for quick changes.

You can spend a lot of time playing around with WindowBlinds before you find a look that suits your mood and style; we know because we did just that. It would take an array of tools to duplicate what it does with a few clicks. If you use it for 30 days and find you just can't give up its quick-change act, it's not expensive to buy. Thousands more skins are freely available online, too. WindowBlinds also works with a separate tool, SkinStudio, to create skins.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of WindowBlinds 7.4.

Publisher's Description

Screenshots

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    3.6

    out of 710 votes

    • 5 star: 270
    • 4 star: 190
    • 3 star: 80
    • 2 star: 60
    • 1 star: 110
  • Current Version:

    4.5

    out of 2 votes

    • 5 star: 1
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-1 of 1

  • 5 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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