Well here we are with a new year which obviously means we left 2014 behind. Some might argue that’s a good thing, but regardless I wanted to take some time and post some of the highlights of WinCustomize from last year. Skinning over the years has always gone up and down, and now has returned to more of a niche in the PC world. While the huge popularity from the Windows XP days are behind us, we still have a large customer base and a solid community here at WinCustomize that still offers fantastic skins and themes, and brings lots of help to people in our community forums. Windows 10 will be released this year, and while I can’t speak of specifics yet, we’ll have some cool stuff to talk about in the coming months.
First, let me give a thanks to some people that help make WinCustomize what it is.
Jafo: If you lookup WinCustomize in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Jafo in there. Seriously, look it up. But really, Jafo takes care of nearly everything whether it’s moderation, forums, or dealing with any issues that may appear. I have a host of other duties to attend with during the day and I never have to worry much about WC because I know Jafo and the folks below keep the site moving along as it should.
Hankers: We get new skins submitted many times a day. Often there’s issues related like copyrights, technical issues, or people just uploading nonsense. The same can be somewhat said for the forums, but fortunately Hankers is always on top of it and goes above and beyond to help everything run smoothly.
WOM: Like I mentioned with Hankers, there’s lots of behind the scenes things going on at any given time. WOM also generously volunteers his time to help out and is an essential part of WinCustomize.
DrJBHL: He brings the WinCustomize the latest in news and keeps the forums updated with relevant tech news and issues that might affect any number of our users. It helps tremendously to have fresh content and keep users engaged, so I’m very happy to have him in that role along with generally helping out in other areas of WC. Also, he picks up my news slack when I go on vacation.
Last but definitely not least I always want to extend thanks to Brad (Frogboy) and Stardock for WinCustomize.
2014 brought around promotions for more than quite a few of our regular contributors – including some new Master Skinners. Basj and Neone6 are our two newest Master Skinners, and that title was definitely earned by both of them. Their contributions to WinCustomize speak for themselves, and I look forward to what they contribute this year along with our other Master Skinners.
We also had a few promotions throughout the year bringing people up to Apprentice, Master Apprentice, and Journeyman. While the overall quantity of skins is down from previous years, the quality of the submitted skins have gone up in my opinion. It’s been great to watch skinners who were “new” just a couple of years ago progress so quickly and turn out such fantastic works. I think this year will be just as exciting!
We only had one contest last year, which was the WC Fun Halloween Contest. Contests are always fun and we get some great skins added to the gallery. The downside is they do take up quite a bit of time to organize and manage, even for small, casual contests. I’d like more community feedback about how you feel about them, if they should continue, and what you’d like to see with them.
New Software and Subscriptions
In 2014 Stardock released a new subscription model for Object Desktop called Object Desktop Infinite. All the same great apps and benefits of subscribing only now in a convenient, small monthly payment.
ShadowFX was a new app introduced that brought customizable drop shadows to Windows 8. You can see more about ShadowFX here.
Multiplicity 3 was also released last year, and you can find that in the Edgerunner store here.
Are variety of apps like WindowBlinds, Start8, and ModernMix were also updated. If you need to download the latest versions you can do so here.
Looking Forward to 2015
There's not much I can say right now about specifics about software and the like. I can tell you with Windows 10 coming later this year it will be an exciting time, and we have some cool stuff we're working on.
Otherwise, I'd actually like to hear what you'd like to see this year on WinCustomize. Community project? More or less contests? Different content? Your feedback is important and we want to hear it. So let us know in the comments below!
The last thing I'd like to say is a big thank you to YOU. Our WinCustomize community is filled with great people. Some skin, some contribute to the forums, some do both. Either way we thank you for being part of this community and look forward to another great year!