Pimpin' XP With Zune Theme

As someone who makes their living sitting in front of this silicon and liquid crystal box, I guess it’s little surprise that every few months I get itchy and feel the need to redecorate my system a bit.

It was just this desire for change that led me to skin my Windows XP machine to look just like a Mac OSX system. Largely that depended on WindowBlinds, a program that allows you to do all sorts of creative things to your desktop’s default display.

However, it’s a bit of a resource hog, and eventually my need for function outweighed that of my desire for form. So I ex’d the WindowBlinds, and returned to XP’s rather drab trilogy of colour schemes.

Zune ThemeYesterday, perhaps because Chinese New Year is approaching (traditionally the time of year children get new clothes), I started to get the feeling I wanted to change things up again. After doing a few random Google searches, and nearly surrendering to the fact that I’d need to use a program like WindowBlinds to customize my system, I came across an alternative – Zune.

So most of us know Zune to be Microsoft’s answer to the iPod. However, what many of us don’t know – or at least I didn’t until yesterday, is that it comes with the function to add a theme to your XP machine’s display properties. The look is very Vista-ish, which if you’re not running Vista, you may have seen in the newest version of Windows Media Player. Slick by all counts. And, the real bonus, it doesn’t hog resources. It simply installs a new Theme option in your desktop display properties.

Now, apparently, I’m pretty late to the game with this, as it was “officially” released back in late 2006. However, if I didn’t know it was out there, perhaps a few other folks also didn’t.

To get the Zune theme for XP, you can download it here. Just download the MSI file and double-click it to install.


Zune Theme for XP


NOTE: If you check out that screen shot of my desktop, you’ll notice that despite nixing Stardock’s WindowBlinds, I’ve kept their ObjectDock product. If you like Mac OSX’s dock feature as a quick way to access your most used programs, ObjectDock is a great way to go. The registered version even offers flyout menus, though not still not as cool as OSX, is quite decent.

7 thoughts on Pimpin' XP With Zune Theme

  1. ObjectDock is nice, but is a resource hog and has its own flaws. For speed and efficiency I usually stick with Launchy.

  2. If after speed and efficiency, and especially customisation, go with Linux (Ubuntu is cool, also impressed by Xandros on my new Asus Eee).

  3. @alex: I’d switch from XP to Ubuntu in a second if not for two things:

    1. Intel has very poor support for their video cards used in widescreen laptops. It gets tiring to use a laptop running at 1920×1200 resolution on a 15″ screen. Very tiring.

    2. iTunes is a (somewhat) necessary evil for iPod owners and it doesn’t run on Linux. The alternatives IMO just plain suck.

    @ryan: The zune theme is a great find. I used it for a day and it makes for a nice alternative. The shades of gray fade nicely into the background.

  4. @Alex: I’ve used Ubuntu, but not checked out Xandros. I don’t use Linux for essentially the same reasons Shaun mentioned. Compatibility. I realize there’s a number of ways to “make it work” – but I just need it to work, and don’t have the time to sit and look for alternative programs for all the tools I use on a daily basis. Plus, I REALLY don’t want to develop a new workflow.

    @Shaun: I agree ObjectDock is a bit of a hog (nothing compared to Mozilla products), for me – it’s 15mb is RAM well wasted.

    I’ve had the theme installed for a day or two now and it’s really growing on me. I liked the look of it in Windows Media Player 10/11, and am happy to have it all over my system.

  5. That zune theme is cool.
    I installed it at the office with a OSX background. Beauty…

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