WindowBlinds

That was before the bright people at Stardock released WindowBlinds, and made those who are sick of grey boxes very happy.

WindowBlinds is a 1.37MB download from www.windowblinds.net which allows you to completely change the way that Windows looks, simply and quickly. The self-installing file comes complete with 20 or so themes that make "normal" Windows look very old and sad by comparison. Better still, there are several hundred more themes available on the WindowBlinds Web site for browsing and downloading. Your program windows can now be surrounded by any form of shaped gold or chrome that appeals to you, by carved stone with gargoyles or a suave marble in whatever colour you like.

These new Windows can behave just like the old ones, but some themes add extra features - allowing you to minimise windows to the title bar (just like an Apple Mac), lock the window on top or start the screensaver, just by clicking. These changes affect all Windows programs, but in the unlikely event that you find that you favourite program and WindowBlinds don't agree with each other, you can simply tell WindowBlinds to leave that application alone. If you are really motivated you can even make your own personal Windows skin.

WindowBlinds will even make window backgrounds transparent or textured, and of course can be set up to run when Windows boots. I'll hazard a prediction here. I don't think it will be long before Microsoft casts a very, very acquisitive look at this piece of software.

Stardock WindowBlinds

Price: Shareware, $US19.95

URL: www.windowblinds.net

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