any screenshot for full-size version:




The Vista Transformation Pack 7 (Download Mirror) has been released! That’s right, the most popular skinning utility for Windows XP (and also Server 2003 now) has received an even better upgrade complete with a new Vista-like Start Menu. Here’s everything that’s new in VTP 7:

  • Default system font option for recovery
  • Docking support for preview and taskbar replacement
  • DPI auto-detection in Machine Configuration
  • Hiding menubar option for Vista (Styler) toolbar
  • Information about KB925902 hotfix issues and solution on startup
  • Memory requirements checking for 3rd-party applications
  • Resetting DPI options and some extra information in Machine Configuration
  • Screen resolution auto-detection
  • Setting cleartype font automatically after the transformation
  • Vista transformation "Express mode" (Make an appropriate setup configuration in single page!)
  • ViStart (Vista Start Menu port for Windows XP/2003 with glass UI and search function)
  • Uninstalling existing components before updating
  • WindowBlinds detection warning message (for user who is mistaken about glass border skin)
  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 uxtheme patching support

Besides for that there were also a bunch of fixes, including better support for uninstalling the Vista Transformation Pack. There is a small downside for everyone who only loved this program because it was 100% free. If you want the full "Aero" skinning (transparent borders, etc…) you’ll need to have WindowBlinds 5 Enhanced which costs $20 to buy. Luckily I already had the software on hand.

Just like before the installation process walks you through a lot of the different options you have to pick from. The whole process took a few minutes so make sure you set aside enough time to get it setup and configured:

Click any screenshot for full-size version:

Vista Tranformation Pack Setup Vista Tranformation Pack Setup Vista Tranformation Pack Setup Vista Tranformation Pack Setup Vista Tranformation Pack Setup Vista Tranformation Pack Setup

Then after restarting the computer I was presented with a fresh-looking Windows XP. I have to admit that the new Start Menu with the integrated search adds a lot to the Vista Transformation Pack, and the Windows Explorer skin also looks pretty nice. Check out some of the screenshots that I took:

Click any screenshot for full-size version:

Vista Tranformation Pack

Vista Tranformation Pack Vista Tranformation Pack Vista Tranformation Pack Vista Tranformation Pack Vista Tranformation Pack

The only thing that I found it lacking was the breadcrumbs in Windows Explorer, and a blur effect on the border of the windows. Hopefully the blur effect will eventually be added with the help of FastAero which seems to be progressing nicely, and the newest version even lets you minimize the management window to the System Tray (thanks netster007x for the tip!).

So if you’re ready to dive in you’ll find the download link below, but remember, for the full skinning experience you’ll need to have WindowBlinds 5 Enhanced already installed.

Vista Transformation Pack 7 Homepage (Download Mirror)

Update:
The newest WindowBlinds, version 6, will be making XP look eve more like Vista. While it does cost a little money the big benefit is that it supports blurring much like Vista’s Aero.