One of the neatest features of Windows XP was the ability to customize the interface to any theme you could conceive. You could even do this without special software if you performed a few simple tasks.
When Windows Vista was introduced, it touted a new hardware-accelerated desktop, called Aero (which stands for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open). This new desktop revolutionized how the desktop was drawn as it used your 3D card to render windows, meaning that transparency, textures, shadows and other “bling” came with almost no performance hit.
Unfortunately Aero could not be customized beyond simple color changes. While I missed being able to use custom skins, I stuck with Aero simply because of its buttery smoothness. I hate window jaggies and slow refreshes with what is left of my soul.
Vista was quickly replaced by the new Windows 7, which has the same Aero desktop, but a much improved usability. One of the few things that Windows 7 lacks is the ability to customize the desktop to the extent that Windows XP had.
Stardock Software has offered WindowBlinds as a way to customize your desktop, but their new release supports Windows 7, which means that hard-core tweakers can finally have the desktop their way again.
On the next page we look at the interface and how easy it is to change your desktop…