It’s no secret that Stardock products make your Windows desktop a more personalized space - and, in many scenarios, a more productive experience overall. From Fences 4 to Start11, our products make your devices fit your workflows instead of you having to adapt to what Windows has decided works best for their more than 1 billion users.
This past week, Microsoft has started to introduce new features into Windows that are designed for tablet users that will shrink or hide the taskbar. This update should make using Windows on a tablet a little bit easier but one of our challenges is that every time there is a major change like this, we have to re-test all of our applications to certify that new features don’t break what we are shipping today.
This type of testing is common in software development. But it also presents unique challenges for Stardock as we implement products based on how Microsoft is shipping their OS.
We have noted previously that the best place to utilize our applications is on the release builds of Windows 11 and not on the dev channel. While we do actively run insider builds at Stardock to make sure our applications work with what’s coming down the pipeline from Microsoft, we cannot actively support the dev channel. It takes us a lot of time to review the changes, see how our applications are impacted, scope an update that addresses the changes, validate that our implementation addresses the issue, beta test the update externally, and then, finally, ship an update.
All this being said, as Microsoft looks ahead to shipping 22h2, we believe our applications are ready for that major release. We are now entering a cycle where dev and beta updates for Windows 11 are going to be bigger changes as the company starts to prepare for its release next year. The company typically ships larger updates around this time of the year so that they have a long runway for validation before the update is pushed to the general population.
We are preparing for an upcoming release of Start11 that will introduce some new functionality and we are looking forward to sharing more about it here in the near future. However, keep in mind that as Microsoft continues its gyrations in the dev channel, there is greater potential (short-term) for impact to Start11.