You might receive mixed results with the program below, but I thought this new application was definitely worth a mention if only for the idea that it presents. It is called Vystal (Download Mirror) and its goal is to add an Aero-like glass effect that you would experience in Vista…except now you can have it in Windows XP.

The reason I wanted to point this program out was because it is really the first of its kind, and is free. Other programs that have tried to make Windows XP look like Vista merely make the surrounding border transparent, while this actually adds a blurring effect to whatever is located behind the window:


Unfortunately there is a downside to this program…compatibility. I took the screenshot from the developer’s site because I had a hard time getting it to work properly on my own XP system. The blur effect should work on nearly all video cards but it didn’t want to work correctly for me. The good news is that there is nothing you have to install to try it out yourself! All you have to do is download Vystal, extract the files, run it, and then enable the glass-like effects. You’ll quickly be able to see if it is something you like or whether you should ditch it.

Hopefully the performance is good for you as well, because the anonymous tipster who sent this in said that it worked on their system but ran pretty slow. Again, this is something I am unable to confirm because I only have one Windows XP machine, and it didn’t want to cooperate with the software.

It is also important to note that this isn’t a full-fledged Vista theme for Windows XP, instead it just styles the borders of your windows to be what you would expect in Vista. Full Vista skinning solutions are available and maybe after this is fine tuned a bit more (for both speed and compatibility) it may be included in some of the packages as an optional add-on.

I was skeptical about doing this article because I couldn’t get it to work, and the person who sent me the tip said it worked but ran slow. The main reason that I did want to post about this was to show that people are indeed working on ways to add the blurring effect to Windows XP, and maybe after a little bit of time there will be a more efficient way of getting it done.

For right now feel free to try out the software which I have linked to below, and remember that it doesn’t require any installation which is pretty nice. Make sure to leave a comment letting us know whether you got it to work and what the performance was like!

Vystal Homepage (Download Mirror)
More Vystal Screenshots