All Windows Vista Users Get Animated Wallpaper With New Program from Stardock

Published: 07 May, 2008
Animated wallpaper is now available to all users of Windows Vista as Stardock has released DeskScapes 2.0 today. DeskScapes allows users to display video as well as dynamic content on the Windows Vista desktop.

DeskScapes 1.0 was released in conjunction with Windows Vista Ultimate, but Stardock's DeskScapes 2.0 adds support for all versions of Windows Vista. The free edition includes several animated wallpapers to show off what is possible; the premium edition is priced at $19.95 and supports adding third-party animated wallpaper (hundreds are available) and includes additional premium content.

What makes DeskScapes special is the ability to make use of the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) in Windows Vista to enable animated wallpaper to run on the video card instead of the CPU. As a result, animated wallpaper can use virtually no CPU. Even video-based wallpaper only uses the CPU needed to decode the video files.

Stardock also provides a free animated wallpaper creation program called DreamMaker which allows users to insert video files, triggers, credit info, and more along with a website (dream.wincustomize.com) to submit their creations to share with others.

"This is truly a spectacular way to harness the power of Vista," said Brad Wardell, president and CEO of Stardock Corporation. "Because of the Windows Vista DWM, animated wallpaper can be made that uses virtually no CPU. So even if you don't look at your desktop 99 percent of the time, there's no reason not to have it there."

Examples of what DeskScapes animated wallpaper might do include animated 3D rendered scenes that change based on weather conditions, time of day or time of year, desktops that stream live video from a remote location, or real-time displays of company information as a live desktop background.

DeskScapes 2.0 requires DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum), Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel.