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Poll: Which Shell do you use or support?
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Which Shell do you use or support?

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  #1  
Old 26-03-2009
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Which is the best Windows Shell Replacement?

Not all know that explorer is windows' gui shell and that can be replaced...! There are a lot of shell replacement available for windows' explorer with better visual effects and better speed...! So guys! Vote for the Best performer...!

Aston Shell :

Aston is a shell replacement application, which gives you to get a completely new, powerful and easily configurable desktop, making your computing a more pleasant and productive experience. Aston completely replaces your old desktop with a new one, providing numerous additional features and saving your computer's resources for more necessary tasks. By installing Aston you get a lot more than just a fancy look, you get a more efficient way of using your computer. Aston looks similar to the desktop you're already familiar with, but its components offer more functionality:
Toolbars ((side panels on the left and right sides of the screen) give you easy access to the most needed documents, applications and web links.
Multistate Taskbar buttons let you know exactly if a certain window is active or minimized, they also adapt to the width of the Taskbar and are thus easier to manage: no precious screen space is wasted.
Aston Quick launch can be as small as a single button: easy access to your shortcuts without turning the Taskbar into a garbage dump.
You can hide and restore System Tray icons with a single click or keystroke. This feature even works under Windows 98/Me/2K.
Keep your Desktop clean: use the Panel plug-in to organize your files without turning the desktop into a dumping ground.
Desktop icons can have any size, any form (thanks to alpha-blending) and can be animated as well. Get rid of regular limitations.
Aston Disks and Trash Can let you visually monitor their fill states
A built-in Hotkey Manager makes your work with Aston even more pleasant and effective.
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  #2  
Old 26-03-2009
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Re: Which is the best Windows Shell Replacement?

BB4Win :

The original of the blackbox-work-alike shell replacements for Windows. Blackbox is a manager written for Posix systems using X-Windows (like Gnome or KDE, but small and fast). Saying it is Spartan is an understatement. It was written to be as little as was needed to work self-contained and self-sufficient, but leave customization as an option. Someone decided this type of environment was needed as a shell replacement for a PC running Windows, instead of the default (convoluted?) shell/manager/browser hodge-podge provided by the manufacturer. BB4Win is the first one of these shells.

bbLean :

bbLean is a shell replacement for Microsoft Windows. It is a development branch of BB4Win, and like that shell, it has a minimalist look. bbLean deviates slightly from the minimalist intent of its parent by offering added functionality while retaining the basic simplicity of BB4Win.

Despite this added functionality, the stated goal of the developers is to produce a lean shell (the name is an abbreviation for "Blackbox Lean"), one that offers more core features than the parent shell while improving shell speed and restraining system overhead. As a result, bbLean has gained a reputation as a shell that works better than BB4Win or Xoblite on older PCs and older versions of Windows.

The shell is extensible by the myriad of plugins that exist, and some extensive mods have been created. bbClean is a rewrite of former mod bbLean 1.16 along with improvements upon 1.16's operation, it includes several new features (e.g. volume bars, menu icon support) and customization options (e.g. expanded transparency options and text shadows); there is a fork of bbClean called utbox. Another such mod is bbLean Mod, which adds aesthetic elements such as new bullets and text shadows.
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  #3  
Old 26-03-2009
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Re: Which is the best Windows Shell Replacement?

SharpE/SharpEnviro :

SharpE, sometimes shortened as #E, is an open source shell replacement for Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP, released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). SharpE was originally developed by members of Low Dimension International, many of whom are no longer involved in LDI but are still involved in the project. SharpE split from LDI in summer 2005 and is under continued development. The latest stable build available is from August 2006. Starting from 2008, SharpE is now known as SharpEnviro.

LiteStep :

LiteStep is a Windows shell replacement licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), for Windows 9x and up. It was inspired by AfterStep, which in turn was inspired by Nextstep. LiteStep was initially developed by Francis Gastellu as a closed source project until April 1998 (version b23), and was then entirely rewritten (versions 24 and up) by the newly assembled development team. LiteStep later inspired DarkStep, which supports scripting, and PureLS. It also inspired Phil Stopford in 1999 to start LDE(X), which is a complete and production-stable LiteStep-based Windows interface replacement.

LiteStep is one of the oldest remaining Windows shell replacements. Over time, and due to the rise of popularity in freeform skinning, LiteStep desktop designs have tended to drift away from the AfterStep layouts seen under pre-24 versions.

Like most of the commonly known Windows shell replacements, LiteStep is based on the idea of a small core that loads configurable modules (DLLs). LiteStep has the biggest number of modules and this allows all Windows users to configure their environment to be rich and full-featured or minimalistic. When needed, additional modules are now downloaded and installed automatically from the Internet.

A theme for LiteStep is a collection of configurations, scripts and images stored in a .zip or .lsz file that, when installed, change the visual style of the desktop. When using recent themes with a recent version of LiteStep, installation is automatic.

LiteStep may appeal to people who like their desktop to be visually appealing, people who like to configure their environment, Unix/Linux users, and people who find the Start button interface that comes with Windows to be less than ideal.
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  #4  
Old 26-03-2009
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Re: Which is the best Windows Shell Replacement?

Talisman Desktop :

Talisman Desktop is a configurable Windows shell replacement introduced in 1997 by Lighttek Software. It is available in a number of languages including English, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Russian and Italian. Talisman Desktop is shareware, available as a free trial download that expires in 30 days. The registration fee for continued use is 25 USD.

The Talisman interface is freeform skinnable, and uses downloadable themes. Several themes are included with the download and more are available from the manufacturer's website and various other websites. Users can also create and edit their own themes. Customizing the Talisman interface is somewhat easier than most other shell replacements, as it uses a paged configuration dialog rather than forcing the user to edit hidden scripts. Talisman is unique in that it can also be configured as a shell extension within Windows Explorer (much like a highly configurable launcher) or as a GUI replacement within Explorer (similar to WinStep or HoverDesk), although it is much more powerful as a shell replacement.

Lighttek's flagship application has always remained out of the limelight occupied by better known rivals like the freeware shells LiteStep and Blackbox. However, the freeware status of those products will always promote greater distribution over commercial shells like Talisman and rival Aston Shell. Despite this obstacle, Talisman has maintained a userbase adequate to support continuous development since the software's introduction. Its limitation to the Windows OS is sometimes seen as another obstacle, but it is the only Windows shell replacement that is fully compatible with all versions of Windows from Windows 95 onward. The current version, 3.0 (build 3006) was released in December 2008.
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  #5  
Old 26-03-2009
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Re: Which is the best Windows Shell Replacement?

Explorer gained the ability to understand the metadata of a number of types of files. For example, with images from a digital camera, the Exif information can be viewed, both in the Properties pages for the photo itself, as well as via optional additional Details View columns.
A Tile view mode was added, which displays the file’s icon in a larger size (48 ? 48), and places the file name, descriptive type, and additional information (typically the file size for data files, and the publisher name for applications) to the right.
The toolbars can be locked to prevent them from accidentally being moved. This same capability was also added to the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, as well as to Internet Explorer’s toolbars.
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