This is my first posting, so I'm hoping I've put it in the correct forum.
I have some experience making GUIs using MFC, but when you do that, all your applications have a distinctive, rather boring look and feel. Then I look at applications such as RealPlayer that look much fancier, and I'm wondering how they do that. The controls are all equivalent to those present in MFC (eg., buttons, menus, scroll-bars, etc), but their appearance is customized. I think some applications call this a "skin".
I've been assigned to create a user interface for a new product, and I wanted to do some of this custom skinning. Is this something that can be done with MFC? Is there some other package that I should use? I have seen enough GUIs like this that I know there must be a standard, accepted way of doing it.
As an aside, I currently have Visual C++ 6. I am planning to buy Visual Studio 2010 (however, if there's a way to make my GUI with the old software, I'd welcome that- Visual Studio is so expensive!). Maybe my problem is simply that my software is too old. Please let me know.