Winstep Xtreme

Winstep Xtreme

Enhance and customize the look and feel of your desktop
4.3  (29 votes)
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Winstep Xtreme is a collection of tools that allow you to customize not only the way your Windows desktop looks but also the way you work with it. The suite comprises four main applications: WorkShelf, NextSTART, Start Menu Organizer and FontBrowser.

Workshelf is intended to manage docks and shelves. A dock lets you launch your most frequently used programs, and you can have different docks depending on the work environment. It can also provide valuable additional information, such as system time, network traffic and hardware usage. Luckily, you can easily customize a dock to automatically check for new mail and monitor weather changes. It comes with lots of nice visual and sound effects. Shelves, in turn, are very similar to pinning your favorite applications to the taskbar, but with the advantage that you can organize them in groups. Although you can personalize the look and feel of each of the components separately, using one of the built-in themes is probably a better idea if you want to attain a more coherent result.

Another of the programs, called NextSTART, is meant to substitute Windows Start Menu and Taskbar. A NextSTART taskbar contains various independent sections, the Start Button, the Quick Launch area, the Tasklist area, the Workshelf modules area, the System Tray area and the Taskbar Collapse Handle, which makes far more versatile than the system built-in taskbar. The Start Button shows the menu, a solution for those users who do not like using tiles to launch applications; and, luckily, there is an application called Start Menu Organizer to customize program groups and shortcuts. Again, the application uses very nice effects and lets you use themes. Finally, FontBrowser is a very simple tool with the sole purpose of customizing font packages.

To conclude, although I am not a fan of desktop customizers, I admit Winstep Xtreme can certainly change the look and feel of your Windows desktop and, at the same time, provide new functionalities. The downside of this type of products is always the same: they represent an extra demand on your hardware resources and make the startup process take longer. So, they are most adequate for those users who are willing to sacrifice performance mostly for the sake of visual appeal. Luckily, the product can be tried without limitations for 30 days.

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary


  • Nice visual design and effects
  • Various themes available
  • Quick application launch
  • Highly customizable


  • Extra demand of system resources
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