KATHMANDU, April 9: After Windows XP, Microsoft was well receieved only with the release of Windows 7.
With better stability and security, Windows 7 has already turned into a generation defining operating system of our time with sales sky rocketing to 240 million copies in its first year alone, according to Reuters.
Windows 7 is one operating system that offers well-designed programs for customizability and personalization.
With the recent release of the consumer preview Windows 8, Microsoft has focused a lot on the User-Interface and how appealing the software looks. Young users have started using well-designed applications and operating systems which explains Apple’s Mac computers’ success.
The Mac sports well-designed application along with its universal menu and hi-resolution dock. Microsoft countered with well-received Aero interface in Windows Vista which brought into light new concepts in User Interface (UI) design like transparency and light-shadows.
“I used to completely change how my workstation looked by customizing it with various applications ,” says 27-year-old Suraj Shakya, photographer and web-designer at Color Cubes, a media house based in Jawalakhel. “But after I started working, I needed to be more productive and tweaking usually hampers productivity but with better advancements in these eye-candy products, productivity might not be the issue in the future,” he says.
Young people these days look for eye-candy everywhere and catering to this need, newspapers, magazines and business houses have started focusing on the ascetic aspect. Even simple soda and mineral water production companies have started focusing on how their products look.
“I used to customize my desktop because I loved how different I could make it look and how I could turn it into something completely different from Windows,” says 23-year-old Ratna A. Karan, Graphic Artist at Power Communication.
“I still tweak but now it’s more for computer optimization but I agree that how a computer looks or how a product is designed affects young people’s perception to it. They say “never judge a book by its cover” but everyone does it. That is the power of the first impression and because of that, we have started focusing more on the aesthetic side of products,” he adds.
There are ways you can turn your windows into a system that looks completely different than others and here, we introduce you to a few programs that can bring the eye-candy back to your PC helping your productivity as well.
Your desktop is probably the dirtiest screen on your Windows. We tend to save documents, create shortcuts and make notes on the desktop turning it into an eye-sore every time you turn it on. The remedy to this clutter can be easily managed with Fences, a program that helps you divide your desktop into neat little boxes and organize similar icons together. Another nifty feature that Fences adds to your desktop is the hide-icons feature, double-clicking on an empty part of your desktop will hide all icons giving you a clean workspace to work on.
Tired of the bland icons that appear every time you alt+tab to another program? VistaSwitcher is an alt+tab alternative that has a very nice interface that consists of big screenshots of running application. It also lets you easily pick out which applications you want to jump to by using you pointer to click on it, an essential feature that the sock switcher lacks. Apart from switching application, it lets you select applications to stack on the screen, cycle windows of the same application and if you’re a mouse user, you don’t even have to press alt+tab to bring up VistaSwitcher.
Most PC users drool over the Mac’s Dock for its rich big icons and its smooth scrolling effects. This is where ObjectDock comes into play; the ObjectDock is a dock for windows that replaces the taskbar completely. It’s the perfect alternative to windows bland super bar because it provides all the features of the bar and also has an accessible tab-dock with all the system-tray icons in it, something that is offered only limitedly on other docks. The dock performs exceptionally well and looks brilliant. With support for additional plug in, the dock poses a very threatening adversary for Apple’s Mac dock.
Tweaks.com Log In Changer
The stock log-in screen can turn into quite a bore after a while however, changing it is very easy. The Log In Changer application by Tweaks.com lets you change the log-in background to anything you want. Just fire it up, browse to your favorite image and it’s done. Simple as that. What’s more is that Log In Changer even lets you test out you log-in screen before you actually apply it.
Humanized Enso Launcher
If you’re a writer or a coder, it’s a pain to switch to your mouse to launch an application. The keyboard shortcuts for the start-menu aren’t that helpful as well, the solution is simple though. The Humanized Enso Launcher is an application launcher that turns any key, the caps-lock key by default, into an application launcher. With a good looking interface and a smart user-based learning system, the launcher can help you calculate, can help you dock recently used application and perform basic computer operation all from the confines of your keyboard.
There are many ways to bring style into your lifestyle and your desktop is the starting point.
The limitless programs for customizability is probably the best part of having a PC. You can turn your computer into something totally different from your friends on the same operating system. Try out these nice eye-candy applications or hunt down your own . Change the way you work and bring a little style back into your PC.
“I’ve used Macs and I love the way it looks,” says 23-year-old Rajan Maharjan, currently studying Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Technology (BSCIT), adding, “Windows does not come bundled with a very good UI, that’s why, I think, youngsters tweak up their computers. Young people like eye-candy and proving nice exciting UIs are the best way to attract attention.”