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July 14, 2014

Windows themes from dawn to dusk

Do people still read the Iliad? I studied it in school, mumble years ago, and one of the few things I remember about it is that every single time sunrise is mentioned, it is described as “rosy-fingered dawn” or “dawn’s rosy fingers.” I don’t know about you, but I have never once looked at the brightening eastern sky and thought, “Yep, that looks like a pink hand.” But dawn certainly can be beautiful, so I’ve curated a luminous set of misty morning images that I hope will bring a touch of quiet serenity to your desktop. Now you don’t even have to get up early to enjoy the loveliness of sunrise!


Water is beautiful in all its forms, whether in an expansive lakeside view or in the smallest dewdrop. Photographer Shilpa Rao captures the gemlike clarity of water drops in her new Liquid Jewels theme, in which they gleam like amethysts, rubies, garnets, and topazes beading the petals of vibrantly colored flowers.


Photographer Sean Byrne’s new theme, celebrating the beauty of Britain, includes watery seaside views (at Devon, Brighton Pier, Brancaster, and along the English Channel) as well as notable inland sights including Stonehenge, Big Ben, and the Tower Bridge. His images vividly convey the glittering light and fast pace of the city as well as the peaceful quiet of more remote British landscapes.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, photographer Josh Robinson has been documenting the lush and varied landscapes of New Zealand, which you can now enjoy in his new theme. We’ve intermingled panoramic and standard proportion images for twice the immersive drama.


Photographer Rebecca Heigel takes a closer view at nature’s beauty in her new theme, Spring Blooms, which includes gorgeous flowers in all the warmest sunset shades, from brilliant flame orange through gold and rosy pink.


Flowers (and the pretty bugs who love them) appear in our next new theme, as well. Community Showcase: Insects 2 includes delicate dragonflies, spotted ladybugs, fuzzy bees, and one iridescent beetle. This big theme features photographs submitted by 21 contributors to the Open Call, including Alexandra Planet, Gerard Durnota, Ekaterina Kokushkina, and Aarti Bhardwaj. This shot of a ladybug on a thistle bloom is by Bobby Morrison.


Larger creatures, whether feathered, furred, or scaled, take center stage in Community Showcase: Fauna 2. This theme features the best wildlife and pet photography from 20 photographers including Dan Porcupile, Olga Górka, Adrian Maraś, and Meera Sulaiman. This arresting shot of a golden-eyed kitten is by Carly Kaste.


If you have an older version of Windows that can’t use themes, or if you prefer to use a single image, we have new desktop décor for you, too. Here are just a few of our new wallpapers.







I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: You can also customize your Windows 8 or 8.1 lock screen – or your Windows Phone – with wallpapers from the Personalization Gallery. I explained how in this blog post.

That wraps up the latest overview of new themes and wallpapers. I hope you’ll keep checking back on the Personalization Gallery for more great new imagery to keep your Windows PC or Windows Phone looking fresh from sunrise to nightfall and all the hours in between.