"Transform your Windows 7/Vista/XP UI to Win 8"
If you really like the new design of Windows 8, but don’t want to let go of your Windows 7 operating system just yet. Than the Windows 8 Transformation pack may be a decent alternative. To be honest, with all the grandiose claims of customization packs for Windows 7 out there, I was a bit skeptical about how well this pack would work. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the pack came with only one executable file which acts as the installation file and the configuration file. The absence of adware was also a plus, giving the true freeware experience.
The UI features are very clean and slick giving your Windows 7 system a welcomed make-over. Though the Metro splash screen and the charms bar both look fairly accurate to the Windows 8 operating system, without the Windows 8 functionalities they can feel a bit useless. The Metro screen can become a bit sluggish and there is no easy way to add icons to the newly remade start menu, leaving you to use the original Windows 7 start menu. The charms menu doesn’t seem to bog the system down at all, but it lacks the functionality that Windows 8 has, making it a feature that is soon forgotten.
Even though the Windows 8 Transformation Pack doesn’t quite upgrade your operating system to Microsoft’s newest addition to the family, it does still make a refreshing look to your Windows 7 system.
The setup process for Windows 8 Transformation Pack is fairly straight forward. Launching the executable will open a single setup page giving you options for configuring the UI, giving you the option to have the Metro screen or Charms Bar active. There’s no real need to make any changes during installation as you can go back to the executable anytime to change configurations. Be sure to note that if you do not want your current internet home page to change uncheck the bottom option on the setup page. Once configurations are chosen the system will need a reboot before the changes go into effect. If you’re looking for the Metro UI, you also may need to update your .net framework to 4.0.
You can use Windows 8 Transformation Pack on your XP, Vista, or Windows 7.
From the configuration screen to your new start menu you’ll find that each aspect of the Windows 8 Transformation Pack has a slick clean feel to it. Each feature is easy to use and understand. Making it a good choice for any fan of the new look for Windows 8.
- Gives Windows 7 a good looking make-over
- Easy to configure
- Easy to remove
- Metro UI can use up a fair amount of resources for some lower-end machines
- Unable to fully customize the Metro UI
- Charms menu can be difficult to get it to appear on screen
Mosaic developed by CodePlex is an open source project that works to deliver a fully functional Windows 8 Metro screen. Though it’s still in the beta stages it may be a good alternative if you’re looking more for the Metro UI rather than just a Windows 8 theme.
Coming from someone who really loves using Windows 8, I did find the Windows 8 Transformation Pack to make my Windows 7 environment feel a bit more at home. It does a good job making the most of the Windows 7 UI giving an overhaul to nearly every piece of the UI. It’s not quite like upgrading to the newest Microsoft operating system, but it will at least give you the current day look of one.
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