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Winstep Xtreme v17.12 Released!

December 28, 2017




An integrated workspace environment, Winstep Xtreme is a powerful suite of applications that merge incredible usability and performance with breathtaking eye candy.

Windows 10 Ready Winstep Xtreme runs on the 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8.x and 10.

v17.12 brings a ton of improvements for Windows 10 users, support for laptops (e.g. Surface Pro) featuring the InstantGo/Connected Standby power saving mode, new internal commands, delayed capture settings for the Capture Desktop feature, even better high-DPI support, plus many other performance and stability improvements.


What's New? Highlighted Features:


  • Many improvements and fixes for Windows 10 users.


  • Until Microsoft came up with Windows 10 and the notion that RAD (Rapid Application Development) was a good idea for an OS (it's not, it's terrible!), application developers and users alike could rest safe in the knowlege that until the next Windows version came out - something that would usually take a couple of years or more - things would remain pretty stable.

    Windows 10 changed all this: the OS is no longer stable for long, Microsoft keeps adding and changing stuff (and, of course, introducing new bugs). Unless you are a vanilla application (and sometimes even then), every single Windows update now has the potential and the ability to break stuff that was previously working fine.

    Such was the case with shortcuts dragged from the Windows Start Menu and system pop-ups such as the Windows calendar, the tray volume mixer, etc... At some point after the latest Windows 10 updates, system pop-ups no longer appeared where they should - if at all - and shortcuts were not being automatically resolved when dropped into Winstep applications. This release fixes all those issues and brings many other improvements for all Windows users alike.


  • New Apps menu and Shelf tab (Windows 10).

  • Under Windows 10 the 'All Programs' sub-menu of the main NextSTART menu now has a new 'Apps' entry. Clicking this entry opens a sub-menu displaying all your installed Windows 10 Universal Apps listed in alphabetical order, for quick retrieval. You can run them directly from there or drag & drop them into other places (such as the Desktop, folders, dock, the Shelf, taskbar, or other NextSTART menus).


    The Shelf now also features a new 'Apps' tab type. You can add this new tab type to the Shelf to quickly access your Windows 10 Universal Apps from there.

  • Most Used/Recent Programs menu and Shelf types now also display Universal Apps (Windows 10).

  • First Introduced in v15.9, this tab and menu types display a list of your most used applications. Under Windows 10 Universal Apps are now also included in this list.



  • Fixed freeze after Sleep in Surface Pro laptops.

  • Surface Pro laptops - and some other newer laptops - support a new power saving mode called InstantGo (previously known as Connected Standby). InstantGo is a proprietary Microsoft standard that allows devices to be turned on or off instantly as well as allowing the operating system to continue performing background tasks.
    The problem is that this mode did not notify Winstep applications that the system was about to enter a power saving mode, thus preventing the application from preparing for it. Upon returning from sleep, the Winstep application would thus become 'frozen' for a period of time, proportional to the amount of time spent in sleep mode.

  • Speed copy.

  • Drag and Drop file operations are now performed in the background, allowing the application to remain responsive even while the operation is still taking place.


    When you drop files into a folder shortcut in the dock or Shelf or into a Folder tab in the Shelf, those files are copyed or moved into the target folder. While previously you had to wait for this file operation to complete - which could take some time when moving or copying very large files - the application now remains fully responsive even when copying or moving hundreds of multi-megabyte files.

  • Launch multiple instances from list of running applications.

  • You can now launch a new instance of an application appearing on the dock as running, but not pinned to it, either by pressing SHIFT while left clicking the icon or by double clicking the icon.


  • New Alarm Manager and Hide All internal commands.

  • Internal commands are special commands that you can add as shortcuts to docks, Shelf tabs and to Winstep Xtreme's NextSTART menus, hotspots and taskbar: Hibernate, Power Off Monitor, Empty Recycler, Show Start Menu, Language Bar, CD Control, Lookup IP address and over 80 more!


    The built-in alarms allow you to display pop-up reminders, wake you up with music or run programs at specific times, once or periodically. Unfortunately there was no quick way to access the Alarm Manager other than via Preferences or a right click context menu, which is exactly what the new Alarm Manager internal command does. The balloon tooltip of this internal command will also tell you which alarm will fire next, and, if there are no active alarms, the icon will be displayed in grayscale.

    Hide All simply provides a quick one-click way to hide all docks, fade out all open desktop modules and collapse the Shelf.

  • New Capture Desktop settings.

  • Capture Desktop is one of many available internal commands that can be added to docks, the Shelf and NextSTART menus and taskbar. Its simple purpose is to take a quick screenshot of your current desktop and save it in a folder of your choice.


    By popular request, you can now specify image quality (i.e.; compression ratio) and also a delay between clicking the Capture Desktop internal command and the actual screenshot being taken. If you specify a delay, a countdown will be displayed in the icon itself and you will be able to hear a ticking sound every second. The countdown can be aborted at any time by pressing ESC or clicking the icon again. When a screenshot is taken, you will now hear a shutter sound - you can disable all sounds, if you want, or customize the shutter sound by modifying the sound file associated to the new 'Take Picture' event in the Sounds tab of Preferences.

  • Precise positioning of desktop modules.

  • Desktop modules can now be positioned on the screen with pixel precision by clicking on a desktop module and moving it with the arrow keys.


  • Fixed Email Checker module problem accessing AT&T email accounts.

  • The Email Checker module/widget can monitor multiple POP3 or IMAP email accounts and report the number and total size of pending messages for each of these accounts, both visually and through voice notifications. It allows you to access mail servers using non-standard ports and fully supports SSL v2.x (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypted connections.


    Unfortunately the AT&T mail server was responding to POP3 connections in a way unexpected by the Email Checker module, causing the connection to fail with an error.

  • Added missing ex-Yugoslavia countries to the weather codes database.

  • The locations database for the Weather module now includes hundreds of cities for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.
    Initial automatic Geo Location based on the user's IP address has also been improved.

  • Control media players via Media internal commands or Media menu.

  • The Media Control internal commands Previous, Next, Play, Pause, Stop, Mute, Volume Up and Volume Down should now also work with media players other than WinAmp and Windows Media Player.


    Please note: some media players, such as VLC and Gom Player, must first be configured to accept global keys, i.e.; accept the keys even if the player window itself does not have the focus.

  • Window preview thumbnails, document preview thumbnails in menus and image thumbnails in balloon tooltips now scale according to screen DPI.

  • Docks reserving screen space and respecting reserved screen space no longer overlap when docked perpendicular to each other.

  • Fixed issue where the available screen space would be resized twice if items were added to or removed from a dock and the dock was being forced to automatically reduce icon size in order to fit on the screen.

  • Many other performance and stability improvements! Please see complete change log below...



WorkShelf v17.12 complete change log:


  • Updated the Portuguese language file.
  • Updated the Portuguese (Brazil) language file.
  • Updated the Farsi language file.
  • Updated the Chinese Simplified language file.
  • Updated Hungarian language file (inc.).
  • You can now drag & drop PNG, ICO and TIF files into folders in a dock or Shelf as if they were normal files by pressing either SHIFT or CTRL while dragging. This allows you to move and copy those files as normal instead of them being used as icon replacement images.
  • Added new 'Take Picture' sound event, and default camera shutter sound file, played when the user clicks on the 'Capture Desktop' internal command.
  • Added new picture quality, delay, and sound settings to the 'Capture Desktop' internal command.
  • New 'Alarm Manager' internal command, opens the Alarm Manager window.
  • New 'Hide All' internal command, hides/collapses all docks, the Shelf and desktop modules.
  • You can now launch a new instance of an application appearing on the dock as running, but not pinned to it, either by pressing SHIFT while left clicking the icon or by double clicking the icon.
  • Added the 'Windows10Nx' Nexus/dock theme to the default themes collection.
  • Added missing ex-Yugoslavia countries to the weather codes database. Automatic geo-location via IP address should now work with the new countries too.
  • Added many new Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia locations with associated weather codes.
  • Desktop modules can now be moved with pixel precision by clicking on them and using the arrow keys.
  • Internet/URL shortcuts are now automatically resolved into internal 'URL' type items when dropped into a dock or a Regular tab on the Shelf. This allows the source shortcuts (e.g.; shortcuts to Steam games or websites) to be later deleted from the file system without the entries in the dock or Shelf stopping to work.
  • The Media Control internal commands Previous, Next, Play, Pause, Stop, Mute, Volume Up and Volume Down should now also work with media players other than WinAmp and Windows Media Player. Please note: some media players, such as VLC and Gom Player, must first be configured to accept global keys, i.e.; accept the keys even if the player window itself does not have the focus.
  • Environment variables such as %ALLUSERSPROFILE% are now automatically expanded when launching an item.
  • Sub-docks now appear next to the parent dock and always above it when magnifying.
  • The first weather forecast icon now always shows the max temperature for that day, regardless of current time.
  • Added 'Opaque Icon Labels' setting to the Shelf transparency dialogs.
  • Window preview thumbnails now automatically scale up on high DPI systems.
  • Thumbnail images on balloon tooltips now now automatically scale up on high DPI systems.
  • The icon label for a sub-dock icon now immediately fades away when a sub-dock is automatically open on mouse-over.
  • Drag & drop file operations (i.e.; dropping files into a folder tab in the Shelf or folder icons) are now performed in the background, which makes the application remain responsive even when copying or moving multi-megabyte files.
  • Added more WHOIS servers to the Active Connections dialog, and WHOIS information is now properly retrieved from the root registar.
  • UWP (Universal Windows Apps) in Windows 10 are now labeled as such in the balloon information tooltips.
  • When dragging & dropping an executable file directly from an Explorer folder the name of the resulting shortcut is now automatically retrieved from the file description (e.g.; iexplore.exe now becomes 'Internet Explorer' instead of just 'iexplorer').
  • Windows 10 supports setting PNG files as the current desktop wallpaper, which was previously not supported on the panels in Preferences that displayed the current wallpaper as a background image (e.g.; Themes tab), resulting in a solid white background.
  • Added new 'Apps' tab type to the Shelf which displays all the installed Windows UWP Apps in Windows 10.
  • Improved weather module GeoLocation for when Maxmind returns a city name not in the Weather codes database but MSN returns a different city name for that same location, which already IS in the database.
  • Under Windows 10 the 'Frequently Used Programs' tab in the Shelf now also displays UWP apps.
  • Added 'Apps' tab to the default Shelf under Windows 10.
  • The balloon tooltip of the Capture Desktop internal command now displays a thumbnail of the last screenshot taken
  • Nothing would happen when trying to hide multiple docks sharing the same activation keyboard shortcut with toggle mode on.
  • Clicking in the Themes tab in Preferences and very rapidly clicking on another tab before the Themes tab finished displaying completely could result in the Themes tab getting 'stuck'.
  • The 'Tilt moon based on observer's location on earth' setting now makes the moon module appear in exactly the same position angle as the real moon, i.e.; as seen by the observer if he looks out the window (topocentric view). In contrast, the Moon Calendar always shows the geocentric position angle.
  • After 12 PM (Noon) the sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset hours displayed were those for the following day instead of the current day.
  • Hotkeys assigned to Battery, Calendar and Moon module items in the Shelf and docks were being ignored.
  • The currently selected day on the calendar desktop module would sometimes remain highlighted after the mouse pointer left the module.
  • Fixed retrieval of current weather conditions for when Weather.com does not provide valid current conditions information.
  • The Email Checker module should now work properly with ISPs (looking at you AT&T) that do not follow the correct POP3 protocol (RFC 1939).
  • Midnight in 12 hour format was being displayed as '0 AM' instead of '12 AM' in the Alarm Manager and Alarm Reminder dialogs.
  • The ' Messages Unread' report of the Email Checker on an IMAP connection was not being translated into the currently selected language.
  • Information regarding the latest Email Checker connections was being incorrectly reported when opening the Email Checker Settings dialog from a context menu.
  • The application could freeze for several minutes after returning from Standby on Surface Pro laptops because of the 'Connected Standby/InstantGo' power saving feature used in those laptops.
  • The Shelf's active tab was always opaque if the 'icons remain opaque' setting was enabled.
  • Fixed glitchy resize of the available screen area which could happen when a dock was set to reserve screen space, the dock was forced to automatically reduce the user preset icon size in order to fit on the screen, and a new dock item was added or removed.
  • Fixed several issues related to reserving screen space, respecting reserved screen space, and the interaction of docks using these mechanisms (e.g.; docks set to reserve screen space and respect screen space on different edges should no longer overlap). Also reserved screen space is now automatically returned when a dock is deleted or disabled.
  • The application could crash with an Access Violation error when opening an Item Properties dialog if an URL was associated to a NextSTART hotspot/quick launch item.
  • System tray popups no longer appear at the left of the screen in Windows 10 and should now be correctly positioned next to the mouse pointer.
  • Fixed some issues which could cause the WHOIS right click context menu command to fail on the Active Connections dialog.
  • Microsoft broke drag & drop operations from the Windows Start Menu in one of the latest Windows 10 updates, which caused shortcuts dragged from the Start Menu not to be resolved properly. This resulted in dock items of 'virtual shell item' types with low resolution icons pointing to shortcut (.lnk) files instead of directly to the target files.
  • Immediately after a settings reset to factory default, the weather module tooltip would display 'Location not set'.
  • Showing a balloon tooltip in the Moon Calendar dialog could crash the application with an Access Violation error.
  • Fixed issue which could cause a crash or data corruption while performing a WHOIS in the Active Connections dialog.
  • Pressing the Snooze button in an Alarm was not updating the scheduled alarm markers in the desktop Calendar module.
  • Pressing the Shift key while right clicking on an item in a non-Regular tab would generate an error.
  • Fixed some potential timing issues with Windows systray pop ups under Windows 10.
  • Fixed some issues positioning the Windows clock calendar panel under Windows 10.
  • Fixed issue that could potentially freeze Explorer when clicking on a system tray icon under Windows 10.
  • Fixed issue under Windows 10 where the Windows clock calendar might not pop up if DPI scaling was not set to 100%.
  • Folder type tabs in the Shelf were showing 'desktop.ini' if that file was present in the target folder.
  • Fixed issue were, for some obscure reason, retrieving an icon would cause an interrupt which, in turn, would cause the Shelf to repaint itself while still in the process of retrieving all the icons and generating the internal structure list. This in turn resulted in blank or unknown icons, with a single icon painted at the top left corner of the Shelf.


NextSTART v17.12 complete change log:


  • Updated the Portuguese language file.
  • Updated the Portuguese (Brazil) language file.
  • Updated the Farsi language file.
  • Updated the Chinese Simplified language file.
  • Updated Hungarian language file (inc.).
  • The 'Lookup IP Address' internal command is now also available from withing NextSTART. WorkShelf must be running for the IC to execute.
  • New 'Alarm Manager' internal command, opens the Alarm Manager window. WorkShelf must be running for the IC to execute.
  • You can now attach WorkShelf modules to the NextSTART taskbar by right-clicking an empty space on the taskbar and selecting 'Attach WorkShelf module". WorkShelf needs to be running for this option to appear.
  • New 'Hide All' internal command, hides/collapses all docks, the Shelf and desktop modules. WorkShelf must be running for the IC to execute.
  • Added new 'Take Picture' sound event, and default camera shutter sound file, played when the user clicks on the 'Capture Desktop' internal command.
  • Added new picture quality, delay, and sound settings to the 'Capture Desktop' internal command.
  • Internet/URL shortcuts are now automatically resolved into internal 'URL' type items when dropped into menus or the Quick Launch section in the taskbar. This allows the source shortcuts (e.g.; shortcuts to Steam games or websites) to be later deleted from the file system without the entries in the menu or Quick Launch section stopping to work.
  • The Media Control internal commands Previous, Next, Play, Pause, Stop, Mute, Volume Up and Volume Down should now also work with media players other than WinAmp and Windows Media Player.
  • Environment variables such as %ALLUSERSPROFILE% are now automatically expanded when launching an item.
  • Window preview thumbnails now automatically scale up on high DPI systems.
  • Drag & drop file operations (i.e.; dropping files into folder menus or folders) are now performed in the background, which makes NextSTART remain responsive even when copying or moving multi-megabyte files.
  • When dragging & dropping an executable file from Explorer into a menu or the quick launch section of the taskbar, the name of the resulting shortcut is now automatically retrieved from the file description (e.g.; iexplore.exe now becomes 'Internet Explorer' instead of just 'iexplorer').
  • Windows 10 supports setting PNG files as the current desktop wallpaper, which was previously not supported on the panels in Preferences that displayed the current wallpaper as a background image (e.g.; Themes tab), resulting in a solid white background.
  • Windows shortcuts to Windows 10 UWP apps are now automatically resolved when dropping them onto menus or into the quick launch section of the NextSTART taskbar. Previously the items would be left pointing to the shortcuts instead of directly running the UWP apps.
  • New 'Apps' menu type under Windows 10. Displays all installed UWP apps on your computer (for that user). Can be attached to hotspots, added to existing menus, etc...
  • Under Windows 10 the very first item in the All Programs sub-menu opens the new Apps menu, giving the user quick access to all installed UWP apps.
  • Under Windows 10 the Most Frequently Used Programs (Recent Programs) menu now also displays UWP apps.
  • Added a 'Recent Programs' entry below 'All Programs' to the default NextSTART menu
  • Dragging & dropping UWP apps from the NextSTART Tasklist using CTRL + Left click resulted in an invalid dropped object.
  • The application could crash with an Access Violation error if an URL was associated to an hotspot/quick launch item.
  • System tray popups no longer appear at the left of the screen in Windows 10 and should now be correctly positioned next to the mouse pointer.
  • Microsoft broke drag & drop operations from the Windows Start Menu in one of the latest Windows 10 updates, which caused shortcuts dragged from the Start Menu not to be resolved properly. This resulted in dock items of 'virtual shell item' types with low resolution icons pointing to shortcut (.lnk) files instead of directly to the target files.
  • 'Run a Virtual Shell Item' was listed as an Hotspot action available to the user in the Hotspots Wizard.
  • The Hotkey combo box in the Item Properties dialog was empty, which prevented assigning hotkeys to hotspots from this dialog.
  • Fixed small memory leak related to Quick Launch shortcuts.
  • Fixed issue where dropping files to a folder menu would move the files instead of copying them even if the SHIFT key was pressed.
  • Fixed some potential timing issues with Windows systray pop ups under Windows 10.
  • Fixed some issues positioning the Windows clock calendar panel under Windows 10.
  • Fixed issue that could potentially freeze Explorer when clicking on a system tray icon under Windows 10.
  • Fixed issue under Windows 10 where the Windows clock calendar might not pop up if DPI scaling was not set to 100%.

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