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I don't like what Windows 8 and Windows 10 did to theming...

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
This is Windows XP out of the box in 2001.



And THIS is what XP could have looked like with custom desktop environments.





Software like Litestep, and LDE completely replaced the Windows Shell, allowing you to use completely new and custom desktop environments that you could also customize to your liking. That's what resulted in the themes you see right here and how much of a DRASTIC change they are from regular windoinks. The sheer variety and crazy stuff you could do with different windows themes was fucking insane, and if there was anything about the existing desktop you don't like (and let's be real, the Windows desktop environment, as good as it is, has a LOT of fucking problems) you could easily just download a different shell and customize to your hearts content. Even if you didn't want to do that, Windows XP also just... came with different themes out of the box. you had color themes like Luna, Royale, Zune, and Royale
Noir.


not only that, but you had a CLASSIC theme that you could easily use with windows XP and Windows 7 in the coming years, that looked a lot like 90s windows.


Windows 10 does have alternate themes, but they've regressed to just color changes, no classic. not to mention how fucking BASIC they are. You can change the system color, the sounds, the background, and the cursor. No icon change, no taskbar change, Nunavut. I wouldn't be that bothered, but Windows XP just looks better in different colors than Windows 10. Would rather have a bright blue with gradients than just a bright blue- and even then, Windows XP had better theming capabilities.

The issue is that Windows 10's shell is so completely and utterly secured and locked down that you can barely customize any of it. ESPECIALLY the fucking metro apps. your start menu, settings, Xbox app, all that crap is now hardcoded to be in metro, and that means that you can't change icons, or color theme, gradients, anything. Windows XP and 7 let you poke around in the operating system because it's YOUR OS, so you deserve full control. If that means dressing the interface up to look like Hannah Montana, so be it. But now... you can't do JACK SHIT. You're stuck with this OS the way it looked, and the only way you're gonna change that is if you purchase Windowblinds 10, which is a fine customization tool and all, but like I'd prefer if Windowblinds theming functionality was just hardcoded into the system. I want the ability to select past windows versions as the theme, let me relive the XP and 7 nostalgia Microsoft! Not to mention that Windowblinds still doesn't let you customize the look of the metro apps, let alone overhaul the interface like LItestep did back in the glory days of XP.

Windows 11 marks a new era for Windows. I think Windows 11 is the best looking windows we've gotten since 7, on the visual front. The glass themes really show how MS's visual style has evolved and progressed since the days of 2015. But I'm still gonna want more than that. I'm gonna want the ability to make 11 look like a god damn Spaceship interface. I'm gonna want the ability to make it look like the innards of a peeled grape. I'm gonna want the ability to make it look like Windows 3.1. I can't do that when MS has hardcoded the OS to such an extent that I can hardly customize jack without proprietary paid software from years ago that has questionable compatibility on modern operating systems.

Anyways... let me set a timer for how fast this will get to Page 2.
 
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Husky

THE Prey 2 fanatic
The first modified XP looks like the sort of Rainmeter theme I used to avoid, before I decided all I wanted on my desktop was a recycling bin called "GTFO."
I don't like that Windows 8, 10 and 11 pushed a desktop OS towards touchscreen optimization. I just want everything to be Windows 7 again. I just want Windows 7 back. I just want Windows 7.
 

Rest

All these years later I still chuckle at what a fucking moron that guy is.
I can't believe you give a shit. This is the kind of thing I worried about when I was 12. Now I just want the machine to do the tasks I require. Windows has never gotten in the way of that.
 
I can't believe you give a shit. This is the kind of thing I worried about when I was 12. Now I just want the machine to do the tasks I require. Windows has never gotten in the way of that.
I disagree, windows 10 and 11 have forced updates that get in the way of being productive. Also other issues such as worse UX requiring extra clicks than older windows and dumbed down overall.
 
I remember using themes to make XP look like Vista's Aero. Good times.

It would be nice to have some more customization, especially since MS likes to mess with layouts and features often. I'm pretty happy with the state of 10 though.
 

Soodanim

Member
The screenshots take me back to when I used to like customising XP, trying out different themes and loving the different software you could get. I loved Royale when that released.

Now I couldn't care less if I'm honest, because I'm happy with a clean taskbar/theme. All I ever want is dark mode, so I'm all set. Windows isn't perfect, but it does the job I need it to and looks neat while it does it. It's probably because I'm older, but the overall Windows look is much more appealing now than XP was, even if we lost theming ability. Most that still want themes probably use Linux these days, I'd guess.
 
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Drew1440

Member
Who could forget those Plus! Windows 98 themes, especially that space or underwater theme.

Windows 7 and Vista did allow you to change the colour scheme and opacity of the task bar and windows, which is allost people really want. Completely custom themes look awful and remind me of those horibble custom dashboard people used to make for the OG Xbox.
Still Microsoft offer themes for Windows 10 on their Windows store, but these are just wallpaper packs. The custom themes they did for Windows 7 were better, some even had sounds like the Halo Reach theme, or the Gears of War one.

As for XP, I wish they included more colours for Luna out of the box, there were only three options to choose from.
 
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64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
I can't believe you give a shit. This is the kind of thing I worried about when I was 12.
I'm a teenager so I'm not that far off.
Now I just want the machine to do the tasks I require. Windows has never gotten in the way of that.
That's the thing though, windows hardly gets in the way of the things I wanna do. It plays games, it let's me watch YouTube videos, and it let's me to onto neogaf. It's done everything it needs to, so that gives me leeway to worry about the infinitesimal stuff like "how good can I make my start menu look" and "how can I make my OS resemble that of a sketchbook owned by a 5 year old?"
Windows has worked for me and it will continue to work for me so I'd like improvement in the smaller, more personal areas.
 
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daveonezero

Member
I feel like it is just a novelty that changes the loon of something.

I don’t want to see the desktop environment. I want it to work and to disappear. Also not to take a lot of resources.

Unlike say a Linux shell which does things act and do slightly different things depending on preference.
 
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