For years now, a WinCustomize subscription primarily allowed you to browse the site completely ad-free, gave you fully access to the Skin Browser, and every now and then a free skin from Stardock. In recent months, we've been talking about how to change the site subscription model to make it a better value to users, with the goal obviously to encourage more people to subscribe and support the site.
So today I'm happy to announce a transformation in the WinCustomize Subscription plan. With Object Desktop, you get a year of software updates to some great skinning applications, but what about content? To answer that, from today forward, a WinCustomize subscription will give you access to twelve free Stardock Design skins a year!*
Our first free skin to subscribers comes from one of the most respected and talented skinners in the community: adni18. Stardust is a killer WindowBlinds skin that gives your desktop a modern & flashy look without being distracting or annoying. Glassy edges, cool colors and attention to detail make this a skin every WindowBlinds user needs to run.
Subscribers can grab the skin from the Subscriber Resources page (must be logged in).
Because we are now offering $60 in free skins a year, the pricing of the WinCustomize Subscription is changing. Effective immediately, a WinCustomize subscription costs $29.95 per year and you'll renew on a year-to-year basis (i.e. no more 2 year renewals). You will receive all the old benefits of a WC Subscription, only now for $10 extra you're getting $60 in skins.
Don't have a subscription yet period? Well, we're working on some bundle packs for new users.
Currently, if you buy WindowBlinds Extreme, you can get WindowBlinds plus a WinCustomize Subscription for $39.95 (a $10 discount on the first year of a WC subscription).
We are working on a similar bundle for Object Desktop. Expect more info on that when it's ready.
Now, I'm sure everyone has questions about what this change means for them. Let me quickly cover the high points...
- I already have an existing subscription, do I get these skins too?
Yes, you'll have access to all skins released while your subscription is active.
- How often will skins be released?
We'll release 12 over a calendar year(Jan - Dec). Sometimes it'll be one a month, sometimes more, and sometimes we may miss a month altogether.
- It won't be one per month?
We're not guaranteeing one per month. Sometimes schedules get hectic and projects get in the way.
- What if I don't like the skins, can I get a substitute?
Nope. Think of this as a book of the month club or something similar. Sometimes you get a great skin you love, sometimes it's something you wouldn't be caught dead running. We'll be trying to release skins that appeal to a wide audience, so some months you'll love it, some you won't.
- No more 2 year renewals? What if we've recently purchased renewals?
The change does not affect users who have purchased renewals prior to the change-over. From this point forward you will not be able to purchase additional 2 year renewal.
- Why get rid of the 2-year renewal?
Well, now you're getting essentially $60 in free skins every year for your $30 subscription. That should be sufficient value and not require a discount for future years.
- What if I subscribe two years from now, will I get the last two years of subscriber skins?
No. Subscriber Skins will become Master Skins a year after they're posted. At which point you can purchase them at a 20% discount.
- What is the release schedule for the skins?
We're going to release skins when they're finished and through QA testing. I'll post teasers for upcoming skins as they near completion. But there is no set release schedule
- So some of these skins will be from MyColors Themes huh? Will I get a discount on buying the full theme if I already have the skin?
Yes. We'll be offering MyColors Theme discounts similar to how we offer discounts to Object Desktop users. Full details on the discount will be posted when the first MyColors Theme using a WC Skin goes up.
If there are any other questions about the new subscription plan, let me know either in a comment or via PM.
*a year is a calendar year, January 1st to December 31st. Because this plan is launching in May of 2008, the 2008 skin set may fall short of the 12 target by December