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August 4, 2011

Windows 7 themes: what’s new and what’s popular!

In previous blog posts I’ve mentioned some of my teammates around the world, and this week I wanted to say a bit more about a few of them. Do they spend all their time working on themes? Well, actually, no – their responsibilities are much broader than that. For example, I’ve mentioned Magnus in Stockholm, the mastermind behind the Castles, Winter, Arctic, and Antarctic themes. His “day job” is to manage the Windows websites for Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. But somehow he also finds time to think of and research fantastic new theme ideas – and we have a gorgeous new 14-photo theme from Magnus this week – Lighthouses!


I haven’t introduced Yuki from Tokyo before – she is the Windows site manager for Japan. In collaboration with two Japanese artists she produced the new Calligraphy theme; I think it is one of the loveliest and most unique themes we’ve ever released. The delicate textures of handmade paper, watercolor painting, and fabric motifs in these six wallpapers beautifully complement the traditional calligraphy of kanji characters for “beauty,” “the journey,” “sincerity,” and other concepts.


Yuki also produced the Cherry Blossoms of Japan theme, which features six images of serene springtime photography.


Alessandra and Valentina, located in Milan, are the Windows site managers for Italy. Living as they do in one of the fashion capitals of the world, it’s appropriate that they’ve produced a chic new theme featuring ten of the whimsically unconventional fashion-inspired illustrations of famed Italian artist Maddalena Sisto. Try it on!


I also have some new themes that hail from the United States. Beach Sunsets features the HDR and double-exposure images of Josh Sommers, an astounding photographic and digital artist I discovered on FlickR, and with whom I hope to work on more themes in the future. Trust me – while the Beach Sunsets photography is stunning, when it comes to Josh’s art you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.


City Lights features the vibrant cityscape photography of Talha Tariq, another photographer whose talent I envy. His eleven photographs of the Seattle and Vancouver waterfront and skyline included in this theme are luminously rich and intense.


And, for a total change of pace, we have another fantastic game theme! Thanks to the folks at Twisted Pixel Games and Microsoft Studios, here are six Wild West wallpapers to get you in a macabre but hilarious mood for vengeance, while you wait for the September release of The Gunstringer.


For even more adventure, mystery, and revenge, check out the Naruto Shippūden 5 theme. It features seven gripping images from Blood Prison, the most recent Naruto Shippūden film, which just opened in theaters in Japan a few days ago.


Another change on the themes gallery is a new tab featuring the 20 most popular themes, based on the top downloads worldwide. I want to say a special shout-out to the GTGraphics guys, whose space artwork theme was by far the most popular for two months running! It’s just barely getting edged out of first place now by the Transformers 3 theme.


That’s it for this week. I hope these new themes will help you keep your desktop fun and fresh this summer. For more Windows 7 themes, keep checking back on the Windows Personalization gallery. I add new ones almost every week.