Enhance Windows XP Look & Feel the Easy Way

This is a guest article by Ghaus Iftikhar Nakodari from AddictiveTips.

If you are tired of the monotonous looks of Windows XP and even jealous of your friend’s Windows Vista, then there are some easy ways you can transform your Windows XP visually to something that is more appealing and interesting.

We have selected some of the best software that can change the visuals of Windows XP entirely into something more appealing and interesting.

Editor’s note: These “theme packs” will automatically make a large number of changes to your system, including hacking Windows to enable custom themes. You should make sure you have backed up your system before attempting any of these, and they aren’t for everybody – advanced system tweakers only.

You’ll also want to note that they are sometimes flagged by certain spyware/anti-virus applications, and we can’t necessarily vouch for them, although they usually are false positives.

Vista Transformation Pack

The Vista Transformation Pack is for Windows users who want to replicate the look and feel of Windows Vista on their Windows XP. After using this desktop enhancement to modify your Windows interface to look like Windows Vista, no one will notice that you’re using the same old Windows XP operating system. That’s great!

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The current available Version 8.0.1 includes the ability to save transforming information and to detect the strength of your machine to give suggested setup configuration, it is better to remove obsolete dialogs and MSN skin and other improvements. Since this software is a visual enhancement, it will greatly reduce your PC’s performance, if you don’t mind lagging your PC performance a bit, this is the best visual enhancement you could find.

The main updated features of this software are:

  • Added TrueTransparency 0.8.5 to bring Aero glass-like transparency effects
  • Added WinFlip 0.42 to emulate Vista Flip3D
  • Added CPU speed to welcome center
  • Updated Vista Sidebar to version 2.3 Lite

And it changes the looks of the below mentioned features.

  • Boot screen
  • Welcome Screen / Logon Screen
  • New msstyles files (visual styles)
  • New desktop and file icons
  • New toolbar icons
  • Progress Dialogs
  • Sounds scheme
  • System Tray icons
  • New Wallpapers
  • Windows Media Player Skins
  • And much more

Download Vista Transformation Pack from softpedia.com

FlyaKite OSX

Previously mentioned Flyakite OSX transforms your Windows XP visually into Mac OSX, including cursors, sounds, visual styles, login screen and other details. The software bundles a variety of individual tools to add additional Mac functionality such as colored folder icons, taskbar, dock and much more.

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If you are a fan of the Mac interface but prefer the Windows operating system, this should be in your must-try list of software. This transformation pack offers:

  • WinRoll programs for extra elements of Mac OSX
  • Object Dock
  • New boot/login screen for Windows
  • Changes the icons in the Start Menu
  • Converts the font and icons for Windows.

Download FlyakiteOSX from osx.portraitofakite.com

BricoPack Vista Inspirat Ultimate 2

Vista Inspirat Shell Pack is a complete custom shell pack for all Windows XP, consisting of modified icons and a new themed appearance for Windows XP.

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During the installation, it is possible to choose specific objects to be installed. Its your choice to install the customized version of MSN Messenger, Outlook Express, or Windows Media Player 11 or not.

Note: Before launching the installation you must restore Windows XP original state/dll (Without any shell packs). For example, if you have the Longhorn Transformation Pack, you must uninstall it before installing a new BricoPack.

 

Editor’s Note: These theme packages will typically only work on XP Service Pack 2, so if you’ve upgraded to SP3 already you’ll need to wait until the authors update their packages.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.