We've looked at and reviewed Windows and Firefox themes before at CNET Download.com, but after getting a new computer at home, I figured it was time to revisit new themes. Though a Firefox theme is hardly a must-have Killer Download, I would argue a working (or nonworking) environment in which you feel comfortable makes all your computing more enjoyable. Once I got the new system online, along with my usual security downloads and other useful utilities, I decided a little browser customization was in order.
Most of my regular computing at home including e-mail, writing, and other work-related stuff is done on my Mac. Since I designed my Windows machine from the ground up for gaming, it seemed fitting to me I would give it a gaming feel when it came to themes. Many gaming sites, including our very own GameSpot, have a darker-themed look to set off the graphics of the hottest new games. That's why I decided to cross over to the dark side when it came to choosing my Firefox themes. I should note dark themes are not for everyone, so only download these if you like the dark look.
Here are a few of my favorite dark themes so far, but I'm hoping readers will add more in the comments so we can all check them out. As with most Firefox themes, these themes are easy to install. After downloading, simply drag the .JAR file onto Firefox's theme dialog, select "Use theme", and restart your browser. You're new look should load right up.
Aquatint Black is a dark grayish theme with glossy blue interface buttons. I like the look of this one mostly, but it does something weird with the graphics in my All-in-one Sidebar Firefox extension. Maybe this is an All-in-one Sidebar specific problem, but it also leaves all my bookmarks a much lighter color. All pull-down menus are the same dark gray color with a glossy-blue highlight running down the left side. If you're not sure about having a dark theme, this is the lightest of this group so you'll know immediately if it's your cup of tea.
Aero Fox does a great job of emulating the look and feel of Vista. Though Vista hasn't really caught on for a lot of Windows users, the glossy buttons in Aero Fox contrast perfectly with the darker overall theme. The glass-like quality of the interface looks great. They left the pull-down menus a pleasing dark gray (without the gloss) for better readability. Even if you're not a Vista user yet, this theme is definitely worthy of a look.
NASA Night Launch is probably the darkest theme of the group, but it's also my favorite. The flat buttons look great on the dark interface, and a few other extras make it a nice-looking choice. As you load Web pages, you're treated to an animation of the Space Shuttle taking off in the throbber on the upper right. Window backgrounds include a larger picture of a night launch as well. Though the shuttle pictures are a little hokey, I like the overall theme the best out of this group.
If you're looking for a dark Windows theme to complete the look, try the Zune Theme we reviewed recently in the Daily Download. Got a dark theme for Firefox or Windows you like better? Let me know so I can check it out!