There’s a lot of buzz around Windows 8 right now and there’s a lot of talk around new Windows 8 features like the Metro UI, for example. Here’s your chance to get a peek at how it will be using Windows 7. Check out the Windows 8 transformation pack.
Thanks to Windows X Live, this application is available as a free download here.
Installation of Windows 8 Transformation Pack:
I was very much surprised to see that the size of the Windows 8 Transformation Pack was 53 megabytes. And in addition, it is recommended that you also download .NET Framework 4.0 whose file size is another 48 Mb. 100 megabytes just for a transformation pack and my expectations were high.
The best part of the transformation pack is its easy and safe installation. You get a single EXE file which when run gives you the following dialogue.
In order to get an experience of more of the Windows 8 UI, I suggest that you check the Metro UI checkbox. You might want to, however, remove the tick mark from the “Set Window X’s Live as default homepage” option.
Click on the ‘Install’ button once you are done and the installation of the Windows 8 Transformation Pack will begin. Your screen will eventually turn black and white and the Windows 8-like theme will be applied. Restart your system for the rest of the modules to finish their installation.
Note: If Explorer crashes and your system becomes super slow, don’t get scared. Simply click on the Cancel buttons repeatedly and things will be back to normal.
Upon restarting Windows 7, the first thing you will notice is the startup screen which is still black, but has some added design that makes it look better. We are not exactly sure it this will look the same in the final release of Windows 8.
What comes next is the new login screen, with the Windows 8 Ultimate logo. A similar design is applied here and it looks quite great. The power options are available at the bottom right of the screen with the big button, which cannot go unseen. I also noticed that the blue is mild when compared to the default login screens in previous versions of Windows and it looks soothing.
Once you’ve logged in, the first things that you’ll notice are the new wallpaper and widgets. There is also a sidebar which provides you options like Search, Share and Settings.
The Windows 8-like Metro UI (which is called Zetro) is not enabled by default and you need to go to Personalize > Installed Themes and pick Zetro UI to activate it. Once done, you get to see an interface that looks much cleaner than the normal UI. You also get functionalities like Aero auto-colorization, user tiles in the taskbar, etc. The Metro UI looks more similar to Windows Phone 7 Mango.
The guys at Windows X have even managed to change the About window in Windows 7 to resemble as if it’s from Windows 8.
Please note that you must have .NET Framework 4.0 installed to make these things work.
The start menu icon is one of the major changes made by the Windows 8 transformation pack. The circular windows icon is replaced by a cool Windows logo.
Another change is a picture tile at the right corner of the taskbar which gives you access to the Control Panel, User Account Control, etc.
The close, maximize and minimize buttons at the top of windows have also been changed.
‘My Computer’ also gets some new styling, thanks to the Windows 8 transformation pack. Memory bar looks more stylish and scrollbars too are prominent in black colour.
Perhaps the coolest thing about the theme is the way things are transparent. You get to see through window title bars, the start menu etc.
Conclusion – Should you install the Windows 8 Transformation Pack in Windows 7?
The Windows 8 transformation pack is the most comprehensive styling option for Windows users. It not just provides support for all versions of Windows – including XP, Vista and 7 but also goes a long way in bringing the Windows 8 experience to users. Although it is not exactly sure whether all these components will remain the same when Windows 8 is launched, it’s a nice way to start. Like promised, Windows X guys have made installation and uninstallation simple enough. Great effort overall!