Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Mar 2007 22:11 UTC, submitted by Island Dog
Graphics, User Interfaces "It's been awhile since I've done one of these but this is certainly a pivotal year in skinning. The term 'skinning' has really expanded in what it means. Today, skinning is loosely used to describe customizing in general. From phones, to PDAs, to computer cases, skinning has become an all purpose term. But for our purposes, we're going to stick with customizing the user experience of personal computers (primarily PC and Macintosh). This article will give a head's up on where I think, in my highly biased way, things stand and where I think they're going."
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by jrronimo on Thu 8th Mar 2007 22:58 UTC
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The thing that has always miffed me about Skinning is Windows XP's theme system.

1. It exists! A whole system that can recolor and make Windows XP look really good.

2. There are no themes that you can (officially) use!

Okay, 2 is a lie: there are three: Luna (inbuilt; looks like play dough), Energy Blue (which is only supposed to come with XP MCE, although the files work on normal XP and it looks A LOT better), and the Zune theme, which isn't that great since the 'main' wallpaper is 1024x768 and yet the widescreen is like 1600x1200 -- how hard is it to crop the big one so someone at 1280x1024 (arguably the most common current resolution) has a nice-looking screen. And yes, of course, you don't have to use the Zune wallpaper and instead can have a black & orange taskbar/start button.

But that is a disgrace! Considering how much better Energy Blue looks compared to Luna, it is absolutely BEYOND me why Microsoft didn't offer it even as an optional Windows Update.

Or, better yet, why not open a website and allow user-submitted themes? Microsoft can dedicate a small team of it's 70,000 employees to go over skins and verify they won't completely mess up a system and then 'certify' them so that they /can/ be used. It's a great opportunity that they COMPLETELY missed.

It'll definitely be worse for Vista since I doubt they'll open up the API for Aero or whatever they'd need to do.

It's a sad state of affairs since there could be so much opportunity for a wonderful-looking Windows... and yet there isn't.

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