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Object Desktop 2.0: Conclusions- by Chris Wenham
OS/2 e-Zine!

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Summary: Now that you've seen what Object Desktop does and what's new in 2.0, is it really worth upgrading to?

In almost every respect, Object Desktop 2.0 is a fantastic upgrade. It has surely granted many wishes from owners of the old versions, covering everything from the layouts in the virtual desktops to the network monitor. Cosmetically, Object Desktop has outdone itself with new themes that emulate the looks of the Mac, Openstep and other platforms known for their good looks; perhaps you've noticed some of them being used by contestants in our Screenshot Contest.

Stardock has also claimed that they've improved the stability of Object Desktop with modifications to its internal architecture, something we weren't able to verify for ourselves since it appeared about as stable as Object Desktop Professional was. It doesn't look like the memory footprint has been reduced though, so we still only advise the full suite for those with 32 megs or more. Those with less RAM should leave out modules they think they won't need during installation, such as the Task Manager, Object Security and the Object Advisors.

The question that remains is: Is it worth getting Object Desktop, or should you try getting the equivalent functionality with various shareware and freeware programs. Our opinion is that you should just go ahead and get OD. It's integrated together into one package at one price (as opposed to registering half a dozen shareware programs), the components are highly modular and don't have to be installed all at once, the modules themselves are all very well made and usually can't be matched for elegance. That isn't to say they are the most powerful in their class, however -- the dedicated program will often beat it in one way or another. We just think that at the price Object Desktop 2.0 is now selling for, the value balances out in its favor.

There's still one or two glaring issues not to be ignored though. First and foremost is the virtual desktops bug. If you're a heavy user of virtual desktops then our advice is to wait until the first fix-kit from Stardock*. The remaining problem is the phantom "Name..." option in the Control Center's flyout menus. We've heard from other users that there's a problem with the installation program and Object Advisors, something we've been unable to verify for ourselves.

* - Dec. 21st, Stardock has issued the first "fix-kit" for Object Desktop 2.0 which claims to fix the virtual desktop bug. We have applied and tested this patch and found that it still does not fix the problem. In fact it has introduced a new manifestation of the same bug - making the problem worse.

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Object Desktop 2.0

by Stardock Systems, Inc.
MSRP: $99.95 (upgrade is $69.95)
Copyright © 1998 - Falcon Networking ISSN 1203-5696
December 16, 1998