IconPackager is a lot tougher because the time versus pay off ratio doesn’t work out.
Does this mean that IP will receive little or no further development? If so that's sad! There are several tweaks that would make it more useful, user friendly and attractive to non=believers. The addition of in-app skinning to user defined desktop and other shortcuts would be phenomenal and make IP almost complete as an icon packaging tool.
Sure, animations and the like would be nice, but I'd rather see IconPackager skinning user defined icons before new stuff is even considered. I mean, how hard could it be when the primary skinning engine is already there?
As for saying that skinning is taking a back seat because Windows these days is nice enough by default, it sounds almost defeatist and like we don't have a great deal to look forward to in 2011. I mean, really, is this the way you'd like to see a company you are a customer of presenting the upcoming year?
I know if it were me, and I developed software for Windows, I'd be thinking more positively than that... and I wouldn't be telling my customers that it's all getting too hard. Nope, I'd be looking for new and improved ways to make my products look more attractive to as big an audience as I possibly could.
For the past few years Stardock has been the only company producing any kind of skinning software that's worth a cracker, but that has gone into decline over the last couple of years (with updates far and few between on some apps, others disappearing and some, like DX 4, plain broke) and that is more likely the cause of downward spiraling sales.
It isn't Windows, because Stardock's hardcore customers still want the customisation apps, regardless of how pretty you say Windows has become. We just aren't prepared to accept the mediocrity Microsoft dishes up in the way of a GUI.
Satisfied customers hang around, pass on their experiences to others, but if there's nothing to write home about (an old expression referring to lacklustre, etc), sales will suffer. I know people who like what they see when I show them my customised desktop, and all that I can do with it, but their interest in getting it for themselves completely evaporates when I tell them how much ObjectDesktop, ObjectDock Plus and CFX Plus cost me.
So for mine, I'd be thinking perhaps a few dollars from a lot of people rather than alot of dollars from a few people... discount coupons for word of mouth referrals, perhaps, loyal customer benefits, even, and maximising customer satisfaction to boost customer loyalty.
I guess what I'm trying to say, is that I am a loyal customer and wish to remain so, but I honestly don't know for how long if things continue along this trend where custiomisation has played second fiddle to gaming. Sure, gaming is where the money is, but if you're not big enough to successfully diversify into both customisation AND gaming, you have to decide to be one or the other. You owe that to your customers, because both markets will suffer unacceptable (to the customer) corner cutting until you do. So which is it to be?
So who am I? I'm the dipshit nobody who plays court jester in the (increasingly dying) WC forums, with the hope of keeping them alive. Am I a businessman with years of experience running my own show? Nope, I'm just a customer who has had experience in retail, promoting the products my employers wished most to sell. And they ignored me at their own peril. It was all well and good being up there high in the loft balancing the books and doing the figures, but when they ignored the down to earth knowledge, considering what ordinary people think/want/need, it was game over.
Anyhow, have a nice day.