Cannot afford Vista, don’t want the hassle of wrestling with an upgrade in your software (and probably your hardware too), or plain and simple are running an old steamboat of a system that does not cut the ice for a software upgrade, whatever the reason it does not mean you need to have a system that continues to look like it does now. Today, I am going to share with you some GUI enhancers, transformation packs, icon packs, monster packs, or call it what you want, but these softwares will give your system a new look and even make it appear you are running a different software on your system, yes you heard that correct, it will appear that you are running Mac OSX, Linux or even Vista by using any of these transformation packs that I am going to be sharing.
XPize – I will begin with XPize which is strictly not a transformation pack. In fact XPize will leave your Windows XP as is, but give all of your icons, images, backgrounds, screensavers, boot screen, logon screen, animations, etc. a thorough working over and enhance the GUI of XP. XPize will make your XP look glossier and change all the icons beautifying them. XPize has always been my first choice to beautify XP and you will not be disappointed with what XPize does to your system.
FlyakiteOSX – Up next FlyakiteOSX is a transformation pack in the stricter sense of the word and it will transform your XP to look and act like Mac OSX is running on your system. FlyakiteOSX does an amazing job of customizing XP to look and behave like Mac OSX and even moves the Programs Start Menu to the top left hand corner like in Mac OSX from the bottom left hand corner which is the default Windows style. FlyakiteOSX also installs 3rd party software like RocketDock, iColorFolder etc. each of which bring a little bit more of Mac OSX to your system in terms of looks and function.
Vista Start Menu – Vista Start Menu is not a transformation pack and neither is it a GUI enhancer. Vista Start Menu does exactly what it’s name suggests, it adds a Vista Start Menu to replace the standard Start Menu that is found in Windows XP. You end up having a Mac OSX kind of Start Menu (since that’s what Vista Start Menu has come to be) and Vista Start Menu does not make any other changes to the system. Good enough if all you want is a Vista Start Menu, but all other features, form and function of XP left intact on your system.
Vista Transformation Pack – Vista Transformation Pack is what you need if you are looking to go deeper into transforming your system to look and behave like Windows Vista and not limit the changes to the Start Menu or just a few cosmetic changes. Vista Transformation Pack will make your system look and behave like its running Windows Vista right from the boot screen and the logon screen. Changes made are to the boot screen, welcome screen/logon screen, visual styles, desktop and file icons, toolbar icons, progress dialogs, sounds scheme, system tray icons, wallpapers, windows media player skins among many other things. This is a more comprehensive software and comparable with what FlyakiteOSX does in terms of transforming your system into Mac OSX, but only into Windows Vista.
VistaMizer – VistaMizer will transform your Windows system into a machine running Windows Vista and VistaMizer is the most comprehensive and thorough software that works very well in giving your Windows machine a Windows Vista makeover. A thorough makeover inclusive of screen, icons, programs, behavior, customization, etc.
Fedora Transformation Pack – Fedora Transformation Pack does exactly what it sounds like, it will make your Windows look like its running Fedora. It includes all the bells and whistles like icons, screensavers, wallpapers, Fedora-like skins for programs, etc.
Stardock WindowBlinds – At the outset let me mention that this is shareware/paid software and not freeware like all of the others above. Stardock WindowBlinds lets you transform the look and feel of your Windows by letting you change and apply a completely new skin and there are literally 100s of skins to choose from that are freely available from the Stardock WindowBlinds website. With these skins you can make Windows take on the appearance of another OS, or you can limit the changes to just the GUI.
Please note this is a work in progress list and I will add more to the list as time permits. For now I have to rush to work so check out the listed softwares and let me know what you think of them in the comments section. Take care and God bless!