First things first, I use Windows XP (also use Ubuntu) which means that I won’t be saying a lot about customizing Windows Vista because most of the applications that work on XP works on Vista as well. World might have adopted Vista but I am happy with XP and I keep experimenting and customizing my system primarily to keep it appear kick-ass and secondarily to outshine the systems of my peers.
There are quite a lot of applications to change the way your Windows system looks but following are some of the applications which I use quite regularly along with ones which have launched in the year 2008.
Winstep Xtreme is perhaps the best thing that has ever happened in the niche of user-interface and visual style to the Windows Operating Systems like Windows XP, 2000 and Windows Vista. It completely transforms your system and adds a unique raw appeal to it. This software makes your system appear like one of those machines you see in Hollywood Sci-Fi movies. It adds a dock on the top along with a Clock, CPU meter and Weather widgets. It also adds a tabbed dock which makes reaching any place or starting an application be it Control Panel, Movies folder, System Information quite easy and intuitive. I particularly liked the sound effects you hear when you move your cursor over its dock seated just above the Windows taskbar. This has to be the the best eye candy software ever made for general users because unlike others you don’t need to download and configure some skins and stuff in order to get an enviable desktop.
Rainmeter is an application which can add zing to your desktop without much effort. It is essentially a system meter which can measure basic system statistics such as physical ram, virtual memory, swap, and hard drive space etc. It allows you to customize the way system specs appear on your system. Click on the image below to get the following skin.
Windowblinds is a favorite application of many people to pimp their Windows XP or Window Vista. The best thing about Windowblinds and many other applications like this is that it has the support of many geeks who continue to create new skins which keeps such applications sexy and happening. Click on the image below to get the theme.
Bumptop is said to be a new way to interact with your widows system which is less like a customization software and more like an application which parallels your desk. It contains your files on desktop like you do on your desk in 3D manner which makes for a fun user experience. The app is still in private beta stage so not all of you’ll be able to experiment and tweak your Windows XP/Vista with it. You might like to see a video regarding Bumptop demo which provides all the information about it and the fact that how cool it is. Another great eye candy application.Â Click on the image below to get the theme.
CD Art Display has to be in your desktop if you like to listen to music as you can control the music with this nifty application and at the same time have the album art displayed on your desktop which to me looks pretty chic. CD Art Display was originally made for Winamp but now it is compatible with all major media players like iTunes, Winamp, Windows Media Player, MediaMonkey AlbumPlayer, Helium Music Manager and partially supports qmp, MP3Toys, musikCube and foobar2000 (Winamp API Emulator plugin). Click on the image below to get the following skin.
Rainlendar is the sister of Rainmeter and does the simple task of showing you date, calendar along with ability to save events and tasks. There are lots of skins made for Rainlendar which makes it worth a try and keep in your desktop. It adds functionality and the visual appeal both in a same shot. Click on the image below to get the following skin.
Samurize is also a system monitoring and desktop enhancement application like Rainmeter.You can find a variety of Samurize skins on the web on sites like Deviantart and Customize.org. Some of the features of Samurize make it much better than Rainmeter but it’s essential that the skin or theme you are using looks well with your wallpaper and the XP theme you use. Click on the image below to get the following skin.
Yahoo Widgets has a huge library of widgets which you can use for functional and display purposes or the way you like it. The beautiful little apps as Yahoo likes to call them certainly add useful features to your system which are pretty accessible as well. Needless to say that you should have ample RAM in your system if you wish to flaunt these widgets without any system crash.
Avedesk Widgets is the widget thing for you if you something against Yahoo for any reason. The difference however is that they call is desklets rather than widgets and it consumes less system resources and thus keep sanity on the slow machines.These desklets can let you know your system performance along with weather and other routine stuff while adding certain aura to windows appearance.
Rocketdock brings a Mac like dockbar for your windows operating systems which many users completely love. Rocketdock doesn’t essentially make Windows better as it tries to copy a certain element of Macintosh. I hesitated to include it into my list but then it does add some value to Windows XP or Vista by making things appear prominently and accessible.