Trick your ride

Sporting several snappy patterns for your Windows GUI, WindowBlinds lets you fully customize your desktop and add some personal panache to your PC.

WindowBlinds offers a generally compelling way to add some panache to Windows XP or Windows Vista. It lets you skin your graphic interface, offering a number of preconfigured themes that range in styles and change the entire look of your desktop. You also have the ability to make some serious tweaks to each theme, should it be close to what you want, but just not quite right. No matter what skin you choose, though, we doubt you'll have any complaints with the appearance of the polished, attractive themes.

You also choose from several toolbar icon sets to match your skin of choice and tweak settings such as the size of the taskbar. WindowBlinds gets high marks for performance: We found that the skins loaded seamlessly after about 30 to 60 seconds. However, we should note that the program takes up its fair share of system resources, and that load times will depend on your system hardware.

To make more than mere cosmetic changes, you'll have to install the publisher's SkinStudio. However, the latest version of WindowBlinds lets you use your own wallpaper, and being able to see your changes without restarting is a serious plus. WindowBlinds helps liven up any Windows experience for both novices and those advanced users who've got better things to do than hack Windows on their own.

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