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Spice Up Windows XP

Posted in Design | Tools and Software at Friday, January 06, 2006 6:35 PM W. Europe Standard Time

XP in Windows XP stands for experience. Microsoft added a whole bunch of new user experience features to their now almost 5 years old client OS, for example Fast User Switching. They also incorporated a new icon design. I like the appearance very much, apart from the fact that there are resources and dialogs that date back to Windows 3.11. The font installation dialog is a good example. I hope such dialogs are revamped before Windows Vista ships this year.

Windows Font Dialog

For now there's actually a solution to replace old-style icons as presented in the internet options dialog without having to install a theme.

Internet Explorer Home Page (Old Icon) is replaced by Internet Explorer Home Page (Replaced Icon)

XPize patches system files containing such ancient icon resources and replaces them with "XP-ish" counterparts. Windows loads these new resources without even noticing that they have changed. This works absolutely transparent and the UI features will look more consistent afterwards.

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