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January 13, 2012

Windows 7 themes: In with the new

Happy New Year! Whether you celebrated it on January 1st (with fireworks!) or plan to do so on January 14th or January 23rd or another date, I wish you a wonderful 2012. It’s interesting that most of the world marks the turn of the year around this time. January 23rd brings the start of the Year of the Dragon, for which we’ve assembled a collection of magnificent ancient and modern renderings in stone, wood, and bronze.


I don’t know if you remember this or not, but about twelve years ago the “Y2K bug” was getting a lot of press. Many people thought that technology worldwide would abruptly stop working at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Admittedly nobody has been worrying about a “Y2K12 bug,” but somehow I do have a lot of bugs – actual bugs – for New Year’s this year. I didn’t really plan it this way, but it seems we have a cosmic convergence of insects – dragonflies, butterflies, bees, ladybugs, caterpillars, moths, and other pretty and fascinating little bugs of all kinds. Luckily these bugs should not do any harm to your technology.

The first (and my favorite) is a collection of images by Canadian photographer Hayley Elizabeth, who submitted her delicately lovely, watercolor-like photography of garden life to our open call for user-submitted images.


Next up is our new Insects Dynamic theme, which also features the works of photographers who are participating in the Windows Gallery open call. (This theme is a gift that keeps on giving, too, as the RSS feed that powers it will continue to bring beautiful new bugs to your desktop every week.)


Our third insect theme is Butterflies, a big collection of lovely Lepidoptera.


For a change of pace from all this close-up macro photography, the next theme zooms out – way out! – for a view on the world from the sky. Bing Maps Aerial Images of Europe is a dynamic RSS-powered theme that will bring you stunning new shots of the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the UK, and more every week. It’s a companion to the Bing Maps Aerial Imagery of the United States theme we published last year.


Our other newest themes come from the worlds of movies and television. The Great Happification brings the colorful characters from the award-winning Coke commercial to your desktop.


The Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol theme allows you to preview (or revisit) dramatic scenes from the film while you get your work done.


That’s it for now. In the weeks to come we’ll have even more new desktop décor for you, so I hope you’ll keep visiting the Windows Personalization gallery for new Windows 7 themes and wallpapers. And I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year!