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View Full Version : Why does Microsoft care if I change my theme?



swoll1980
June 10th, 2009, 10:20 PM
Why is it that Microsoft seems to go out of their way, to make sure I can't easily change my theme. The whole theming engine in Microsoft is simple to customize, if you can get past their deliberate attempts to keep you from doing so. Why does it matter to them if we change our theme, or not?

meho_r
June 10th, 2009, 10:27 PM
Well, they like it so, so much and because of that you shouldn't change it, but love it as they do :)

pwnst*r
June 10th, 2009, 10:30 PM
Why is it that Microsoft seems to go out of their way, to make sure I can't easily change my theme. The whole theming engine in Microsoft is simple to customize, if you can get past their deliberate attempts to keep you from doing so. Why does it matter to them if we change our theme, or not?

i think you need to go back to smoking.

Pogeymanz
June 10th, 2009, 10:34 PM
That was an interesting response...


I'm interested. How does Microsoft make it difficult to change themes? I have never tried to make a new theme or anything, I just used to change XP's theme to classic.

pookiebear
June 10th, 2009, 10:34 PM
branding. So if you take your computer into a classroom or on a plane. The people sitting next to you will recognize it as "windows"

One big ad for them.

But like you said it is easily changeable, but you have to research how.
My XP laptop ( the left side bar auto hides)

pwnst*r
June 10th, 2009, 10:37 PM
That was an interesting response...




perhaps, but believe it or not, may be totally relevant.

pookiebear
June 10th, 2009, 10:38 PM
That was an interesting response...


I'm interested. How does Microsoft make it difficult to change themes? I have never tried to make a new theme or anything, I just used to change XP's theme to classic.


You have to get a program that overrides the theme manager that is built in. It is kind of a pain. The built in themes all suck as you can imagine. ITs more of a registry hack than a program too.

WatchingThePain
June 10th, 2009, 10:40 PM
Why is it that Microsoft seems to go out of their way, to make sure I can't easily change my theme. The whole theming engine in Microsoft is simple to customize, if you can get past their deliberate attempts to keep you from doing so. Why does it matter to them if we change our theme, or not?

Well on Vista just changing the taskbar was a mission.
It was edit XML or use something like Stardock Window Blinds which was about 50.
I suppose they see it like if you buy a Rolls Royce you can't "Guild the Lilly" by putting a body kit.

Pogeymanz
June 10th, 2009, 10:40 PM
That's a good point. I guess they really want anybody to be able to recognize Windows. But that just doesn't seem like it matters that much. I just can't think of any other reason.

benj1
June 10th, 2009, 10:41 PM
thats nothing.
on windows 7 basic you won't be able to change the wallpaper.

NCLI
June 10th, 2009, 10:42 PM
At least they removed the 3-app limit...

Screwdriver0815
June 10th, 2009, 10:43 PM
Microsoft cares, because the system is theirs, not yours. If I would give you my car, I also would not allow that you paint it red.
If you would have read the EULA, you would know that with the install cd you only have bought the right to use the system. Not the system itself.
So Microsoft has the right, to forbid changes or at least make them really difficult.

Thats why I do not understand why people actually love and defend Windows... but anyway.

pwnst*r
June 10th, 2009, 10:43 PM
That's a good point. I guess they really want anybody to be able to recognize Windows. But that just doesn't seem like it matters that much. I just can't think of any other reason.

probably because most people don't care about doing anything more than changing the wallpaper.

ghindo
June 10th, 2009, 10:46 PM
thats nothing.
on windows 7 basic you won't be able to change the wallpaper.[citation needed]

swoll1980
June 10th, 2009, 10:49 PM
probably because most people don't care about doing anything more than changing the wallpaper.

That explanation would make sense if they only refrained from any extra work to make it more convenient, but not only did they not do that, they put in extra effort to make it harder than it has to be.

Tipped OuT
June 10th, 2009, 10:56 PM
thats nothing.
on windows 7 basic you won't be able to change the wallpaper.


That explanation would make sense if they only refrained from any extra work to make it more convenient, but not only did they not do that, they put in extra effort to make it harder than it has to be.

Wait what? That sucks.

Screwdriver0815
June 10th, 2009, 11:01 PM
That explanation would make sense if they only refrained from any extra work to make it more convenient, but not only did they not do that, they put in extra effort to make it harder than it has to be.
did you read my post - it is the answer. If you like it or not ;)

Marlonsm
June 10th, 2009, 11:05 PM
At least they removed the 3-app limit...

It's that an Windows Starter "feature", not Basic?

benj1
June 10th, 2009, 11:08 PM
citation

http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/05/30/windows-7-starter-edition-details-confirmed

http://www.withinwindows.com/2009/03/28/surprise-you-cant-change-your-wallpaper-in-windows-7-starter-edition/ (http://www.withinwindows.com/2009/03/28/surprise-you-cant-change-your-wallpaper-in-windows-7-starter-edition/)

is that ok for ya ?

pookiebear
June 10th, 2009, 11:11 PM
It also keeps the spyware, hacks, and malware from changing your theme too. It is a feature not a bug! (sarcasm)

swoll1980
June 10th, 2009, 11:17 PM
did you read my post - it is the answer. If you like it or not ;)

I read it, but it still doesn't make sense. My landlord owns my house, but he lets me paint it any color I want, as long as it is something that can be covered later. This is not even a good comparison because the landlord has to take possession of the house after I leave. Microsoft doesn't have to deal with the changes I make to my theme, yet they are unyielding. The branding theory seems to make the most sense, but doesn't 90% of the population assume I'm using Windows, simply because to them, no other alternative exist? As open source picks up momentum, will Microsoft end this policy of there's to retain more customers?

KiwiNZ
June 10th, 2009, 11:21 PM
thats nothing.
on windows 7 basic you won't be able to change the wallpaper.

clipped

aysiu
June 10th, 2009, 11:34 PM
As someone else mentioned, part of it is a branding thing.

But it also is just a straight-up money thing. If went to the theme properties in XP and tried "more themes online," you eventually ended up at some Windows Plus site asking you to basically buy theming capability. Now that site has been discontinued, and instead you're urged to get (i.e., buy) Windows Vista.

It's frankly not that different from Wordpress' business model, so I don't see anything wrong with it. They give you basic functionality, and if you want something more complicated, you pay for it or you do it yourself (uxtheme in Windows or your own MySQL server for Wordpress).

ghindo
June 10th, 2009, 11:37 PM
citation

http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/05/30/windows-7-starter-edition-details-confirmed

http://www.withinwindows.com/2009/03/28/surprise-you-cant-change-your-wallpaper-in-windows-7-starter-edition/ (http://www.withinwindows.com/2009/03/28/surprise-you-cant-change-your-wallpaper-in-windows-7-starter-edition/)

is that ok for ya ?I'm not sure if I believe that. I thought the "three app limit" rumor had been debunked? If so, I would think that the wallpaper rumor may also be just that - a rumor.

Polaris96
June 10th, 2009, 11:41 PM
maybe too much individual expression would violate their ISO9000 mission statement. We need to achieve dynamic synergy in administration through firm and definite adherence to procedural paradigms. oh, and document too ... where's my damned ubuntuforums checklist...

meeples
June 11th, 2009, 12:06 AM
i quite like the zune theme in xp sp3 if im honest.

benj1
June 11th, 2009, 12:16 AM
I'm not sure if I believe that. I thought the "three app limit" rumor had been debunked? If so, I would think that the wallpaper rumor may also be just that - a rumor.

well lots of web sites are quoting it (admittedly not particularly pro windows web sites, but then i dont frequent them).

ironically this may be less biased

http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/05/29/let-s-talk-about-windows-7-starter.aspx (http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/05/29/let-s-talk-about-windows-7-starter.aspx)
i know it mentions the 3 app limit, but that has only recently been dropped, and only because of the fuss made.

do i win ?

ghindo
June 11th, 2009, 12:20 AM
well lots of web sites are quoting it (admittedly not particularly pro windows web sites, but then i dont frequent them).

ironically this may be less biased

http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/05/29/let-s-talk-about-windows-7-starter.aspx (http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/05/29/let-s-talk-about-windows-7-starter.aspx)
i know it mentions the 3 app limit, but that has only recently been dropped, and only because of the fuss made.

do i win ?It's not about "winning" - I'm just trying to get the facts straight here. ;)

benj1
June 11th, 2009, 12:33 AM
It's not about "winning" - I'm just trying to get the facts straight here. ;)

losers always say that :p

there there, its the taking part that counts :)


EDIT: i do agree there is a large amount of crud out there, but ive seen this 'feature mentioned in multiple blogs and webs sites, non of them seem to make a big deal about it, using it as an example of how rubbish windows is, a la 3 app-gate, so in the balance of probability i think it probably is true, i don't believe everything i read though.

days_of_ruin
June 11th, 2009, 01:31 AM
i think you need to go back to smoking.

EDIT: smilies system must be messed up:|

geoken
June 11th, 2009, 02:08 AM
EDIT: i do agree there is a large amount of crud out there, but ive seen this 'feature mentioned in multiple blogs and webs sites, non of them seem to make a big deal about it, using it as an example of how rubbish windows is, a la 3 app-gate, so in the balance of probability i think it probably is true, i don't believe everything i read though.

I've never seen any of the more official sites say that the ability to change wallpapers is gone. They typically say something about the personalization control panel applet being removed.

That, in and of itself, doesn't completely remove the ability to change wallpapers. It only removes the most common method of doing so.

swoll1980
June 11th, 2009, 02:14 AM
i think you need to go back to smoking.

Like I need another hole in my head.

benj1
June 11th, 2009, 02:23 AM
I've never seen any of the more official sites say that the ability to change wallpapers is gone. They typically say something about the personalization control panel applet being removed.

That, in and of itself, doesn't completely remove the ability to change wallpapers. It only removes the most common method of doing so.

im only relaying what i read in muliple articles, and all make it pretty clear (to me atleast) that ability to change wall papers has gone.
from windows web site (my last link)

windows 7 starter does not include ... Personalization features for changing desktop backgrounds, window colors, or sound schemes.

anyway changing wallpaper is a pretty basic thing, whats the rationale for removing that kind of functionality?
"i can't change wallpapers, i know lets spend an extra 100 /$/galatic credits for windows 7 ultimate"

swoll1980
June 11th, 2009, 02:55 AM
branding. So if you take your computer into a classroom or on a plane. The people sitting next to you will recognize it as "windows"

One big ad for them.

But like you said it is easily changeable, but you have to research how.
My XP laptop ( the left side bar auto hides)

You see all these noobs trying to make Linux look like Windows. I try to make Windows look like Gnome

drawkcab
June 11th, 2009, 03:05 AM
whats the rationale for removing that kind of functionality?

"i can't change wallpapers, i know lets spend an extra 100 /$/galatic credits for windows 7 ultimate"

Exactly.

Win7 starter is going to be a cheaper version of Windows aimed at the netbook market. Since they cannot expect to charge netbook manufacturers what they would like, the idea seems to be to put a crippled version of Win7 (starter) in consumer's hands at a low price and then give them the option to pay the rest of the way to upgrade to win7 home premium.

So MS will either get the money they think they are entitled to after all or they will strangle the netbook craze with a crippled version of win7. I'm guessing either way, it's win/win for them. Their marketing dept. knows that the eeepc and Xandros put Linux in the hands of millions of regular folks looking for an inexpensive alternative to a full-blown laptop.

And yeah, MS was originally going to set a 3 app limit in starter but were forced to rethink that because of the uproar from manufacturers and consumers.

pwnst*r
June 11th, 2009, 03:21 AM
Like I need another hole in my head.

lol

your threads have seemed rather angry lately =)

days_of_ruin
June 11th, 2009, 03:30 AM
Like I need another hole in my head.

How'd you get the first one?

swoll1980
June 11th, 2009, 03:30 AM
lol

your threads have seemed rather angry lately =)

I have been rather cranky lately. I guess there might be a connection. I even snapped at the mods, and I've never done that before. I didn't even realize that the episode with the mods could have been related to the smoking thing until just now. I will have to watch what I say.

swoll1980
June 11th, 2009, 03:31 AM
How'd you get the first one?

I have 5 of them. I was born with them.

Screwdriver0815
June 11th, 2009, 09:29 AM
I read it, but it still doesn't make sense. My landlord owns my house, but he lets me paint it any color I want, as long as it is something that can be covered later. This is not even a good comparison because the landlord has to take possession of the house after I leave. Microsoft doesn't have to deal with the changes I make to my theme, yet they are unyielding. The branding theory seems to make the most sense, but doesn't 90% of the population assume I'm using Windows, simply because to them, no other alternative exist? As open source picks up momentum, will Microsoft end this policy of there's to retain more customers?
maybe its branding but the landlord comparison is also valid. Because your landlord could forbid that you paint the house where you live.

Maybe its a mixture between Eula and branding. Maybe they want to have the branding and use their right as owner of the system to avoid changes.

Tipped OuT
June 11th, 2009, 09:47 AM
You see all these noobs trying to make Linux look like Windows. I try to make Windows look like Gnome

That's far from Gnome.

meho_r
June 11th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Of course the branding is at stake here. Saying of which, I just read an interesting blog from "another party's" perspective (http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2009/06/building-brand-together.html) and about setting unified look and feel. Naturally, it matters only for "defaults" and won't try to prevent or limit users to change anything, unlike Windows. And for Windows, I really don't care anymore.

swoll1980
June 11th, 2009, 12:54 PM
That's far from Gnome.

Far from your Gnome maybe. Looks just like my Gnome. You have to understand that not all Gnomes look the same.

Tipped OuT
June 11th, 2009, 01:18 PM
Far from your Gnome maybe. Looks just like my Gnome. You have to understand that not all Gnomes look the same.

Then your Gnome looks like Windows. I see nothing similar to Gnome in your screen shot. Sorry.

mcduck
June 11th, 2009, 01:22 PM
Why is it that Microsoft seems to go out of their way, to make sure I can't easily change my theme. The whole theming engine in Microsoft is simple to customize, if you can get past their deliberate attempts to keep you from doing so. Why does it matter to them if we change our theme, or not?

Simple. Because it allows Microsoft to sell you a small extra software package that allows you to change the theme.. ;)

edit: At least that was the case with XP, they had extra app for sale to enable themes. I don't know about Vista as I haven't got any personal experience with that one.

swoll1980
June 11th, 2009, 01:39 PM
Then your Gnome looks like Windows. I see nothing similar to Gnome in your screen shot. Sorry.

Windows looks like this

http://speckyboy.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/windows_xp_2001.png

I'm not going to argue about something, so stupid. If you want your gnome to look like that then fine. My gnome looks like the pic I posted. Which is a ported gtk theme, and the same theme I have in Ubuntu.

Tipped OuT
June 11th, 2009, 02:05 PM
Windows looks like this


I'm not going to argue about something, so stupid. If you want your gnome to look like that then fine. My gnome looks like the pic I posted. Which is a ported gtk theme, and the same theme I have in Ubuntu.

Your screenshot of your "Gnome" theme.

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9203/winders.jpg

Windows desktop.

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/8581/winxppro.png

Gnome desktop.

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/1924/techrepublicgnomedefaul.jpg

Yeah, okay. ;)

Giant Speck
June 11th, 2009, 02:08 PM
:facepalm:

Are you two really going to argue about this?

Tipped OuT
June 11th, 2009, 02:09 PM
:facepalm:

Are you two really going to argue about this?

Yep. :D No, I was trying to make a point. I'm done.

swoll1980
June 11th, 2009, 02:11 PM
:facepalm:

Are you two really going to argue about this?

Nope

pwnst*r
June 11th, 2009, 05:13 PM
Your screenshot of your "Gnome" theme.

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9203/winders.jpg

Windows desktop.

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/8581/winxppro.png

Gnome desktop.

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/1924/techrepublicgnomedefaul.jpg

Yeah, okay. ;)

lol, A for effort.

swoll1980
June 11th, 2009, 05:16 PM
lol, A for effort.

If only he could use those powers for good, instead of evil...

cb951303
June 11th, 2009, 06:18 PM
AFAIK MS makes money from themes, I always thought that's why you have to crack some dlls before using custom themes in XP

omar8
June 11th, 2009, 06:49 PM
The most likely reason is so that all software will work on all computers without people having to ensure their program looks right on dark themes or green themes, etc.

aysiu
June 11th, 2009, 06:51 PM
The most likely reason is so that all software will work on all computers without people having to ensure their program looks right on dark themes or green themes, etc.
Really?

Isn't the onus on the theme developer to make sure things look right when people use her theme?

In any case, if that were the primary reason, instead of preventing you from installing themes, they could just add in a disclaimer that certain themes may not look right.

I've never heard any Linux user complain about Gnome or KDE allowing you to install themes that don't look right.