One of the first things I do when sitting down at a Windows machine is to switch the appearance to Windows Classic. The default theme is too unimaginative, and looks like a candy shop. I do use Windows, especially at school where they use Visual Studio to code. I like Windows and I know my way around it quite well, but it’s no OS X and I use it as little as possible. Therefore, the look and feel is quite important to me, even if I’m only using it for a small percentage of the time.
On more than one occasion, I had seen a theme that was strikingly similar to the default Luna theme, but much more professional looking. It was glassy; more Aquified if you will. There was only one problem. I had no idea what the theme was called, and no way to start looking for it.
Enter Ask Metafilter. Metafilter is a sort of community blog. Members are allowed to post once a week, and are expected to post to some of the most interesting sites on the web. The idea is that the community will filter the web so that only the great and interesting things are posted. AskMeFi is a subset of this community; members can ask any question they like and normally have an answer within a few hours.
I asked the question What theme is this? and had my answer in less than three minutes. Absolutely amazing. I even had someone come and comment on my last post to tell me the answer to my question. Thanks, guys!
It turns out that the theme is called Royale, and it was available through the Windows Media Center edition. Fortunately, a site had hosted a ported-to-XP version of the theme. Later it was found that Microsoft had officially packaged and released the theme, but in order to download the theme, one must go through Windows Genuine Advantage verification.
The theme is no Aqua, but it’s much better than the Windows Luna default. It’s glossy and the colors are not quite as loud; in turn, that makes it less obtrusive and easier to use. This should be the Windows default theme without a doubt.
Thanks again, AskMeFi, for making the view out of the Window just a little bit brighter!