Another way to dramatically change how the Windows desktop works is to use a desktop extender. A desktop extender program allows you to extend and modify the basic Windows interface. You aren't necessarily re-creating the basic GUI; you are just customizing and extending it.
Desktop extenders enable you to place custom objects on your desktop that provide access to Windows programs. Desktop extender programs, such as Stardock's DesktopX, also allow you to create custom objects called widgets, which are executable programs that can run on the Windows desktop. Because DesktopX is compatible with the WindowBlinds skinning software, you can create custom tools on the desktop while also skinning the desktop. This enables you to create a truly custom Windows environment.
DesktopX allows you to create themes. These themes can include any number of desktop objects. Let's take a look at how you get DesktopX and then look at some of the things it can do to the Windows desktop.
DesktopX isn't the only desktop extender available. Check out SysMetrix (http://www.xymantix.com/sysmetrix/), which provides desktop widgets and a skinnable desktop environment.