When we mentioned the Vystal software a month ago I was pretty excited. It was the first solution to come forward which offered Vista-like visual effects in Windows XP. Now there is another one called FastAero (Download Mirror) which hopes to do the same kind of thing, but it looks much more promising.
On FastAero’s homepage you’ll find several downloads available, with the latest claiming to be pretty unstable. I decided to give build 0510 a go (Download Mirror) on my only remaining XP machine, and getting it to run couldn’t have been much simpler since you don’t have to install it.
Unfortunately it didn’t work quite right probably because my graphics card in this machine isn’t the greatest, but I was still able to see the blurring effects in action. There were no borders to the windows though, so I took the liberty of outlining the borders in red so that they were a little easier to see:
I tried multiple versions of FastAero, and the latest one was the best. None of them put the minimize, maximize, and close buttons on the top toolbar for me though. If you do get it to work properly it would look something like this:
I recommend trying it out just for giggles if for nothing else. A new version is expected next month that takes advantage of the Mirror Driver. This will mean that a direct link can be made between the video driver memory and FastAero, effectively bypassing the CPU for much of the processing.
After you get done trying it out leave a comment letting us know how well it worked.
Note: This will not “skin” windows that you currently have open, instead it will only skin windows that are opened after enabling FastAero. And after closing FastAero, it will automatically restore the normal Windows XP borders so there should be no concern with it screwing up the appearance of your operating system.