For a long time, DesktopX was the only full-fledged widget engine for Windows. Then along came the copycats: Konfabulator (eventually Yahoo Widgets), that ugly "dashboard thing" available to Mac users, Google Gadgets (a me-too product in response to Yahoo's purchase of Konfabulator, or the other way around... who knows), and finally, Microsoft Gadgets (an 'all your base actually do belong to us and if you don't like it you might as well go hug penguins' product). Thus it would seem that there exists today a myriad of powerful UI products, considering the big companies involved, but the truth is that all of these widget engines are extremely lacking because of one thing... they are just about as developer friendly as a doorknob. Serious software developers who try to re-do the GUI of their software using any of the above widget engines (with maybe one or two partial exceptions) will find themselves locked into an archaic scripting engine with limited features and little to no ability to communicate with existing software solutions. In short, the technology which should have been redefining and revolutionizing user interfaces for years has been kept in the dark. But all this is about to change, because there is a new widget engine on the block, and it goes about things a bit differently then do our client-application-based friends above...
DuroBlend is a one-of-a-kind windows class library which provides software developers and user interface designers with a fast, intuitive, unique, aesthetically stunning and altogether seamless alternative to the bland Windows XP user interface. Not only does DuroBlend work on both XP and Vista, but it also allows developers to integrate some of the advanced user interface capabilities of Windows vista applications on the more popular and generally stable XP operating system. DuroBlend lets developers construct alpha-channel-aware, completely translucent user interfaces comprised mainly of PNG files, and in that sense is essentially an unlocked widget engine. It has all the powerful features of the generic widget engines, like DesktopX and Yahoo Widgets (in fact, DuroBlend has several extra graphical features these engines are lacking), but instead of taking these features and locking them down under a draconian scripting library and enforcing the use of a client .exe file, DuroBlend lets .NET developers access all of its core functions from the IDE of their choice.
Because DuroBlend is a Class Library (a .dll file developers can import into their existing programs), it has a huge advantage over its predecessors. Instead of having to import your existing software into DuroBlend, you can simply import DuroBlend into your existing software! This is a surprisingly novel concept (ignoring Stardock's DirectSkin) in the skinning world, and it is a concept which is much more commonly practiced within the programming community, where add-on components are the status quo, and client-based solutions are shunned or ignored. If you are a developer, and you want to make your xp program look like its running on vista, or if you want to give your vista program an AWESOME GUI, then DuroBlend is for you. If you are a hobbyist programmer or aspiring GUI/UI programmer or designer, then DuroBlend is literally your dream come true. If you are a corporation and want your product to become more marketable, (If the ATI Catalyst Control Panel had been made using DuroBlend, it would probably have been the coolest thing ever made), then DuroBlend was designed for you!
And don't worry, hobbyists... there is a free version for you guys, and a professional edition for the software developers... that way everyone's
Please visit www.DuroBlend.com for more information.