New Windows themes: kittens, puppies, and a world in color

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but there are days when I envy my cats. Every morning, I head out the door thinking about everything I need to get done at work that day, whereas the only item on their agenda is to get in some serious napping. Cats elevate rest and relaxation to an art-form – they nap like it’s a calling. Well, maybe I can’t spend all afternoon slowly following a ray of sunlight across the carpet, but I can get myself some vicarious repose with the sleepy kittens in our new theme, and so can you. Conked out or half asleep, purring, dozing, curled up in circles, or tucked warmly under blankets, they’ll lower your blood pressure and may make you want to take a little catnap, too.

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Kittens are not the only great sleepers. There are few things more adorable than the trembling of a sleeping puppy’s paws as he dreams of playing and running. Our next new theme features puppies living out their doggy dreams – playing with balls, chewing rawhide bones, chasing each other, rolling on grass, and inviting you to play, too. I love the sweet, goofy joyfulness of the pups in this theme!

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Changing gears from lovable pets to beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, the next new theme is the latest in our series of panoramic themes for Windows 8 and Windows RT, designed to seamlessly span dual monitors. This theme features some of the world’s most stunning shorelines, from Australia to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and more.

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The next three themes all take a smaller, closer view of life – specifically the life of plants and flowers – all with photography from our Open Call. The first set, by Edian Annink, explores the secret world of mushrooms, hidden among the moss and undergrowth of the forest floor.

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Photographer Chris Chung brings us the next two themes. The first is an exploration of the flora and foliage of award-winning Hong Kong Park.

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Chung’s other new theme is a rainbow of fantastic flowers, ranging from hot pink through fuchsia, flame, orange, gold, lemon yellow, and back again to rosy pink.

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Seeing life through rose-colored glasses can be great, but for a slightly different twist, our new Life in Lavender theme explores the world through a lilac-colored lens. From sweeping sunset landscapes to small, unfurling crocus buds, enjoy all the purple-colored beauty nature has to offer.

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If you have ideas for other colors you’d like to see a similar theme of, let me know in the comments!

If you have an older version of Windows that can’t use themes, or if you prefer to use a single desktop background, be sure to check out the fresh wallpapers. Here are just a few:

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As I mentioned in a previous blog post, you can also use these wallpapers on your Windows phone and on your Windows 8 or Windows RT lock screen.

And as always, I hope you’ll keep checking back on the Personalization Gallery, as we will continue to bring you new themes and wallpapers to keep your desktop fresh.