Yeah, and that discount is taken from the Master Skinner, not Stardock.
Actually, it's taken off the Gross before any % is calculated, so the % is based on the actual sale, not the "list" price. So, it's a shared discount. However, if you have thoughts on how we can do things so that Master skins can be cheaper and the Master Skinners don't get screwed, I'd be interested to hear that in a private message.
My original questions were more about product lines. DesktopX didn't get sunsetted because we didn't like it, it got sunsetted because MS changed the OS to the point that revenue didn't justify the development costs on keeping it up. If I had $1 for every time FrogBoy brings up DesktopX, I'd be very rich by now. It was a favorite of ours, too. But, we are a business, after all, so we can't keep developing products that don't pay for themselves. Some of the other products have been updated to keep up with OS changes if it is possible, and we are working on bringing back SoundPackager to work on Win10, since, well, Win10 is a pain to change sounds on.
Also, skinning is NOT a trivial thing. The OS is very complex now, and isn't simple to skin as it was 'back in the day', which is probably why we aren't seeing a bunch of new skinners. Anyone who thinks there should be more skins per day for free should try skinning themselves to see how many hours are involved. All the Master Skinners also put out free skins. They also had to earn the ability to be a Master by producing consistent high quality free skins. Unfortunately, most of those skinners are aging and we haven't seen new skinners start, and that has been for quite some time. So, as the older skinners stop skinning, or worse yet, pass away, you see less and less skins. Stardock used to develop our own skins and sell them, but the Master Skinners got so good at it, that we opened it up to having them take that over and share in the profits. If it makes sense to move them into a different category, then we can look into that, but if Master Skins don't get exposure and get sales, then why will the Master Skinners stick around and also create free skins? Seems like that could turn into a death spiral. But, would people be happy with simpler skins that only change bits of the UI versus all of it? Are there ways that we can "lighten" the load for new skinners?
Somebody mentioned IconX no longer being in ObjectDesktop- IconX is, and has been for quite some time, IconPackager. It is alive and well, and also in Object Desktop.
For GUI Championships, we can thank international Gambling laws for making that too overbearing to run. Contests like that, which require skill and judgement are considered gambling in most countries. Trying to apply for international gambling permits would cost just too much.
So, unfortunately, we can't go back to the past. We can't change what MS has done to Windows, either. But, if people have ideas for solutions to the lack of "fun" then I'd be interested in hearing that.