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Winstep Xtreme v18.1 Released!

January 20, 2018




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

v18.1 was to be primarily a maintenance release to v17.12, but we just had to throw in a bunch of exciting new features as well, mainly in the look & feel department: besides a new cool slide-in effect for the tabs in Preferences, the whole User Interface can now be made to blend in perfectly with Windows 10 through the addition of two new Black and Gray UI dark modes.

The new release also features an important number of fixes related to the drag & drop background file copy operation introduced in v17.12, the Language Bar not working properly on Windows 10 after a recent Windows update, the recycle bin module not updating consistently, the Moon animation of the Moon Phases module overwhelming slower systems with high DPI settings enabled, modules on secondary monitors not updating when a full screen application is open in the primary monitor, and much more!


What's New? Highlighted Features:


  • Fixed issue reporting the correct number of files in the Recycle Bin.

  • One of the advantages of the Winstep Recycle Bin module over the Windows Recycle Bin is that it lets you know at a glance how many files are in it and how much disk space those files are currently using.

    Actually retrieving the number of files and calculating how much disk space they are occupying can be a very disk intensive and time consuming operation if there are thousands of files in the Recycle Bin, which is why the module relies on system notifications to know when the information needs to be updated.

    Unfortunately under certain circunstances the Recycle Bin module could fail to correctly update its state.

  • New User Interface slide-in animation.

  • Just a little touch to make browsing Preferences a little bit more interesting. The new slide-in animation is enabled by default, but can be toggled in the More Options dialog of the General tab in Preferences.


  • New Dark Mode (Black) and Dark Mode (Gray) User Interface options.

  • The two new modes are another step taken towards the integration of Winstep applications with the Windows 10 look (although nothing prevents you from using them in Windows 7 and below as well).


    If running under Windows 10 and dark mode is enabled, the application will automatically switch to the Dark Mode (Black) look. Both Dark modes will automatically pick your current Accent color for certain elements of the interface.

    You can switch to the standard light interface, or the less contrasting Dark Mode (Gray) look, in the More Options dialog of the General tab in Preferences.


    Although the Windows 10 dark mode is great for Amoled displays and actually looks quite nice, the very high contrast can sometimes make it a bit too agressive to the eye. As such an alternative Dark Mode (Gray) version is also available:


    And here is what the same tab in Preferences looks like using Dark Mode (Black):


  • Fixed modules not updating on multi-monitor systems.

  • When opening a full screen application on the primary monitor, modules on docks placed on secondary monitors would stop updating.

    Surprisingly enough, this was by design, a decision made many years ago to save resources when doing so actually made sense because CPUs only had one core and nobody had multiple-monitor systems. It was a time when 3D accelerated graphic cards were still in their infancy and every little bit of available performance mattered when running a game.

    These days this is no longer true and the full screen application can even be a video playing on Youtube instead of a game. Now modules in docks only stop updating if the dock is actually on the same monitor as the full screen application.

  • Fixed bug where nothing would happen when dropping certain files to the dock or Shelf.

  • The previous version added a feature where Drag & Drop file operations were now performed in the background, allowing the application to remain responsive even while large or multiple files were still being copied or moved.

    Unfortunately the drag & drop operation would fail if any of the files being dropped contained a comma in the filename.

  • New Windows 10 specific icons.

  • While still on the subject of matching Windows 10 on looks, the new version ships with four new 128x128 black & white icons for the Start Menu, Search, Action Center and Task View internal commands.


  • Weather forecast in the Shelf is now shown in a sub-dock.

  • Previously clicking the Weather module icon on the Shelf would open a web page on your browser with detailed weather information. You can still access this page by right clicking on the module and selecting 'Detailed Weather Conditions'.


  • Moon calendar animation could overwhelm slower systems.

  • In order to adapt frame rates to the speed of a particular PC, the Winstep application calculates how long it takes on average to display a single frame of the moon animation and uses that number to enforce a maximum frame rate. This way slower machines should not get bogged down and the animation will still be as smooth as possible.


    To smooth the animation even further, every 10 ms a 'transitional' frame is inserted into the animation, which is a simple rotation of the previous frame without the requirement to perform a gaussian blur of the moon shadow and therefore did not enter into the maximum frame rate cap calculation.

    Turns out that if this is pretty much meaningless on high end systems at 100% DPI, on systems with high DPI enabled the size of the bitmaps can quadruple, which could bring slow machines to their knees and make it impossible to interrupt the moon animation. This is no longer allowed to happen.

  • Fixed language bar not working correctly on Windows 10.

  • Although meaningless to most users, the Language Bar internal command is a fundamental tool for those who need to switch between language inputs or keyboard layouts.

    While on Windows 7 the Language Bar still worked properly, on Windows 10 one of the latest updates had broken its functionality.

    Not only is this feature working again as using it to change the locale of another window now also gives focus back to that window.

  • Fixed broken monthly alarm setting.

  • The Monthly implementation of the Alarms was broken and often failed to correctly set the next activation date. In addition, if the Alarm is set to, say, fire on the 31st of every month, it will now skip over months that don't have 31 days instead of deactivating itself.


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


WorkShelf v18.1 complete change log:


  • Under Windows 10 'Flip Calendar' is now the default calendar style.
  • The Shelf icon cache is now destroyed every time the 'Show document, image and video files as thumbnails' setting is changed by the user, so thumbnails are retrieved or destroyed as necessary.
  • The Recycle Bin tab in the Shelf is now able to display thumbnails of deleted documents, images and video files.
  • Maximum icon size has been changed from 255 to 256x256 pixels.
  • Changes to the User Interface colors made in the About tab of Preferences can now be canceled.
  • Using the Language Bar IC to change the locale of another window now also gives focus to the window.
  • Clicking a Weather module icon in the Shelf now opens a Weather forecast dock.
  • Added new optional 'Slide' animation to the User Interface. Can be toggled in the More Options dialog of the General tab in Preferences.
  • Added alternate User Interface modes to better blend with Windows 10: Dark Mode (Black), Dark Mode (Gray) and a bonus Winstep theme. Mode can be changed in the More Options dialog of the General tab in Preferences.
  • The 'Number of Recent Documents to display in a Recent Documents tab' field in the Contents tab of the Shelf Properties dialog can now be quickly set via a scroll button.
  • Added new white default icons to be used in Windows 10 for the Search, Windows Start Menu, Action Center and Task View internal commands.
  • The Balloon tooltip now displays thumbnails of animated icon PNG strips as the first frame of the animation.
  • If the Alarm is set to, say, fire on the 31st of every month, it will now skip over the months that don't have 31 days, instead of deactivating itself
  • Under specific cases the Shelf could crash while generating thumbnails for folders when switching tabs very rapidly.
  • The new drag & drop background file copy operation would fail if one of the files had a comma in the filename.
  • Fixed issue where the Recycle Bin image might not update after deleting several files on non-English versions of Windows.
  • When drag & dropping an item into a Regular tab in the Shelf, a 'ghost' icon with text could appear at the top left corner of the Shelf.
  • The Recycle Bin tab in the Shelf was not automatically updating its contents when files were added or removed from it.
  • Fixed potential issues displaying the systray icons if the Windows systray was not accessible at startup.
  • Fixed issue where audio might not stop playing after exiting the application.
  • Modules/widgets on secondary monitors stopped updating when a full screen application was open. Although this was deliberate in order to use as little CPU as possible when a game is running, it should not happen if the module is on a monitor other than the one where the full screen application is running.
  • Couple of User Interface images inside WsUIImageRes.DLL were accidentaly added with an opaque background.
  • Under Windows 10 the Language Bar IC failed to change the current keyboard layout.
  • Fixed issue that could cause a live preview thumbnail from a running application to flicker even when nothing apparently changed.
  • Fixed issue where a sub-dock could go behind the parent dock.
  • Scroll wheel wasn't working properly in the System Tray Exclusion List dialog.
  • Fixed animation issue in the Module preview tab with customized Email Checker animations.
  • The Shelf could get confused about its collapsed/expanded state when clicking outside the Shelf Properties dialog and then quickly clicking the Shelf Properties dialog again while the collapse animation had already started.
  • On slower systems with high DPI settings it was possible for the moon animation in the Moon Calendar dialog to completely bog down the application, making it unresponsive to key presses and mouse clicks.
  • Fixed minor cosmetic problem with the position of the run time text on vertical battery modules due to a previous small change on how outline text is rendered.
  • Light bulb image on the Tips of the Day dialog did not have a transparent background.
  • The Monthly implementation of the Alarms was broken and often failed to correctly set the next activation date.


NextSTART v18.1 complete change log:


  • Added 'Windows 10 style' setting which was missing from the More Options dialog in Preferences.
  • Changes to the User Interface colors made in the About tab of Preferences can now be canceled.
  • Using the Language Bar IC to change the locale of another window now also gives focus to the window.
  • Added new optional 'Slide' animation to the User Interface. Can be toggled in the More Options dialog of the Advanced tab in Preferences.
  • Added alternate User Interface modes to better blend with Windows 10: Dark Mode (Black), Dark Mode (Gray) and a bonus Winstep theme. Mode can be changed in the More Options dialog of the Advanced tab in Preferences.
  • The Hotspots listbox now has immediate focus when switching to the Hotspots tab in Preferences.
  • Added new white default icons to be used in Windows 10 for the Search, Windows Start Menu, Action Center and Task View internal commands
  • The new drag & drop background file copy operation would fail if one of the files had a comma in the filename.
  • Fixed potential issues displaying the systray icons if the Windows systray was not accessible at startup.
  • Couple of User Interface images inside WsUIImageRes.DLL were accidentaly added with an opaque background.
  • Dragging an Internal Command item from the Quick Launch section into WorkShelf resulted in an invalid item.
  • Under Windows 10 the Language Bar IC failed to change the current keyboard layout.
  • Fixed issue that could cause a live preview thumbnail from a running application to flicker even when nothing apparently changed.
  • Scroll wheel wasn't working properly in the System Tray Exclusion List dialog.
  • The Hotspots Wizard did not work properly for URL items.
  • Light bulb image on the Tips of the Day dialog did not have a transparent background.

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