John Peddie’s TechWatch: […] Over 600 million PCs shipped in the last 3 years, and are still in service. These are the ones that are most logical to upgrade with the new Vista operating system. However, because of the low graphics performance of integrated graphics chips found in most of the PCs, they would not be able to take advantage of the richness and benefits of Vista’s new Aero Glass GUI and the graphics-based operating system would be unusable on most of them.
I for one will definitely upgrade to Windows Vista when it appears later this year (I’m in the current beta programme).
Peddie’s article, though, raises a key question – what if your computer just doesn’t have the muscle for taking advanatge of some of Vista’s advanced features, such as the gorgeous new interface known as Aero which offers spectacular visual effects such as glass-like interface elements that you can see through?
Well, short of upgrading or buying a new system, you can get close to the look-and-feel of much of Vista with Windows XP if you skin the operating system using a tool like WindowBlinds version 5 (the latest version).
There’s a great community of developers who create imaginative WindowBlinds skins you can freely download from places like Wincustomize and DeviantART. Already there are quite a few that give you some of the elements of Vista’s Aero, eg, the glassy look to the black taskbar icons, the red highlight when you hover your mouse over the X you click on to close a programme, real-time shadows, transparency, pleasing-on-the-eye typefaces, etc.
While you’ll never get the exact Vista Aero look-and-feel with anything less than Vista itself, this is not a bad workaround to consider.
(Link to Peddie’s article via Tech Memeorandum)