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What Is WindowBlinds?

WindowBlinds from Stardock Corp. is a skinning engine that enables you to customize the Windows GUI by loading visual styles. Remember that Microsoft developed the uxtheme.dll skinning engine so that only digitally signed visual styles (.msstyles files) could be loaded. WindowBlinds uses its own custom skinning engine and visual style format, but it is still tightly integrated with Windows XP (and the interface APIs) and certified by Microsoft.

Note

WindowBlinds 1.0 was released in 1999, so it has been around the longest in terms of skinning software. WindowBlinds uses its own file format for visual styles. However, you can import .msstyles visual styles into WindowBlinds by double-clicking any .msstyles file. We talk more about the skinning language and file type used by WindowBlinds when we discuss SkinStudio, WindowBlinds’ companion visual style editor, in Chapter 9, “Creating Windows XP Skins with Stardock SkinStudio.”



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