As a matter of interest you will see that the Sony theme being advertised on the TSF site will include a Winamp skin
That's arguably even worse. I like Winamp and all but the number of Winamp users these days is not what it once was. At least Media Player comes with Windows.
A better solution IMO would be to have a skinnable gadget that can control whatever player you have (iTunes, Media Player, Winamp, whatever).
I've seen Jeff (owner of Skins Factory) complaining about being "attacked". I think he has a persecution complex.
I have no doubt that the themes The Skins Factory puts out will be top notch. As I said elsewhere, does anyone here doubt the quality of The Skins Factory?
The problem is the choice of uxtheme. It's pretty sad that at one time, there were lots of different skinning engines. Chroma, eFX, Illumination, etc. People act like there's either WindowBlinds or uxtheme and that's simply not the case.
Patching pieces of the OS to turn off digital signature checking (that is, what hacking uxtheme is about after all) is not something "professionals" do. Anyone seriously into skinning knows the problems associated with it. Sure, hackers can figure out how to recover their systems when the patch inevitably fails but what about regular folks?
For years I've seen uxtheme hackers argue I'm spreading some sort of "FUD" by pointing out this truism. TGT Soft eliminated their forums entirely. The neowin forums are full of people trying to get support for Style XP these days because guess what? It doesn't work anymore on the latest version of XP.
And when something does go wrong with a uxtheme patch, what are casual users going to do? Sure, techies can go to Neowin and try to find a way around it. But what about casual users? What are they going to do? Will HyperDesk have autoupdating built in? I doubt it.
We work with Rafael who makes the uxtheme patches for Vista. And he would be the first to tell you the issues of patching uxtheme. For instance, a minor update to Windows Vista broke every single msstyles file out there. Every one. If you go to deviantART and try to use the pre-August 2007 msstyles, they won't work because of a change Microsoft made to uxtheme.
My point is that the problem isn't Hyperdesk the concept. Or Hyperdesk the themes. The problem is uxtheme patching. The vendor here has no control over the engine. Does not have the vendor's permission. And will get no support from the vendor WHEN the engine gets broken by an update.
Anyone arguing that a uxtheme based solution is somehow inherently safe and stable for end users is simply not being honest. Unless you have a license and support agreement with the engine provider you're at their mercy and history has shown pretty clearly that uxtheme patching is not a safe and reliable solution for the long term.
Unless The Skins Factory can put in place how they plan to SUPPORT their customers WHEN uxtheme gets updated and their solution gets broken or their themes get broken then how can they reasonably expect industry support?
Let me put it this way: Even MyColors, in which Stardock makes BOTH the engine and the content has a mechanism built in to update the software and the theme automatically should we need to update it and we don't really need that since we control both sides. If Hyperdesk doesn't at least have that feature, then I'd say it's not really something that should be even remotely considered.
Now someone can say I'm biased or whatever but I would challenge them to dispute the accuracy of the facts I present here.