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A quick look back at the launch of Stardock 30 years ago today

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On October 19, 1993, Brad Wardle officially founded Stardock. 30 years later, and employing more than 100 people, the company is still making progress developing software for Windows and PC games.

stardock object desktop os2

Object Desktop for OS/2 from 1995

However, Stardock didn’t start out as a Windows-based company. In a recent interview with Neowin, Wardell told us that in the beginning, he created programs like Object Desktop and games like the original. Galactic Civilizations For IBM’s OS/2 system. “We invested so much in OS/2 at the time,” Wardell told us, adding that Stardock even helped improve the operating system.

However, just a few years after Stardock started, the OS/2 market closed in 1998. Stardock was at its lowest point, according to Wardell, and had to quickly switch to supporting Microsoft’s Windows operating system for its software and games.

to start8

Start8 for Windows 8 from 2012

In the end, the transition from OS/2 to Windows was successful, and Stardock has been releasing new software ever since. One of their biggest software releases was Start8, the Start menu for Windows 8, which Microsoft wisely decided to remove from the operating system in 2012.

Wardell told us that he was approached by someone who told him about the missing start menu in Windows 8. He said at the time “we’re going to fix it now,” and within a day came up with their first test version. Start8 was officially announced in March 2012, and launched into Windows 8 Consumer Preview just a few days later. The first commercial version of Start8 was launched in November 2012, and by January 2013 the Start menu software had reached three million downloads.

When we asked Wardell how Stardock would have been affected if Microsoft hadn’t made so many mistakes with its Windows software, he told us bluntly, “I think that would be the end of our software business.” Indeed, the company has perfected its Start menu software over the years and is now at Start11 for Windows 11.

Galactic Civilizations iv

Stardock isn’t just a Windows desktop productivity and enhancement software company. It’s also a full-fledged game developer. Today, on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the company, it is officially launched Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova. This is the last game in the series of games that has been a part of the company almost from the beginning.

Wardle told us in a previous interview about how players in the game can create their own alien civilizations with just a few text prompts through “AlienGPT.” In our last chat, he told us that AI will be a huge game changer in game development. He feels that while some jobs may be lost to AI, others will also be created. Stardock also works on Sins of a Solar Empire II In Early Access with developer Ironclad Studios.

In our last chat, he also told us that Stardock is also preparing for release The political machine 2024the latest version of the US presidential election sim game. The early access version is currently scheduled to launch in November and will include the primaries for the first time in the game. He also hinted at some possible AI features. We’ll be doing a more in-depth interview with Wardell on The political machine 2024 In the near future. Stardock also has another major game in the works, but Wardle isn’t talking about that title yet.

After 30 years, it seems that Stardock not only continues to develop software and games but looks towards the future by incorporating creative AI and other futuristic features. It will certainly be interesting to see where the next 30 years will take the company.

Disclaimer: Newwin’s relationship with Stardock

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