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Stardock Decor8 - Custom Start Screen Backgrounds Finally!

decor8 stardock windows8

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#16 George P

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 15:31

I just wonder why MS didn't give us this option OOTB, maybe in the next big update but for now if you have the same background set on the start screen that you do on the desktop then flipping between the two feels more natural/smooth, though a blur effect helps the tiles stand out more.


#17 OP Detection

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 15:52

I just wonder why MS didn't give us this option OOTB, maybe in the next big update but for now if you have the same background set on the start screen that you do on the desktop then flipping between the two feels more natural/smooth, though a blur effect helps the tiles stand out more.


Yea I was wondering that, I guess its the whole experience thing they don't want people seeing 'Metro' look bad if someone sets a more crappy background than are stock

#18 LaP

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 16:06

Windows 8 is certainly great for Stardock ;)

#19 Osiris

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 16:15

surely there's a 'skins' file or something that must store these or point to where they are stored...im surprised there isn't a quick free solution for this yet?

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 16:29

surely there's a 'skins' file or something that must store these or point to where they are stored...im surprised there isn't a quick free solution for this yet?


I think the default win 8 images are stored inside imageres.dll, there are a couple of homebrew apps floating around that claim to be able to change them too

#21 TheLegendOfMart

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 16:36

Neat app! One item of functionality I'd love to see is a gaussian blur effect that could automatically be applied to the chosen background picture.

Couldn't you just add the effect manually to the desktop wallpaper you are using and tell Decor8 to use that???

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 16:47

Couldn't you just add the effect manually to the desktop wallpaper you are using and tell Decor8 to use that???

Yes, of course. :) Takes a lot more time to experiment with multiple wallpapers that way, though.

Windows 8 is certainly great for Stardock ;)


That's for sure! I already bought Start8. Might end up buying Decor8, too. Windows 8 is getting more expensive by the day… :p

Here's a better (png-)version of the blurry background by the way. The other one had pretty visible compression artifacts...

Attached Files

  • Attached File  blur.zip   1.23MB   56 downloads


#23 George P

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 16:56

I think the default win 8 images are stored inside imageres.dll, there are a couple of homebrew apps floating around that claim to be able to change them too


That's probably part of it for sure but the bigger issue is that depending on the background the tiles borders can get lost in there. Maybe if MS does allow us to set our own pictures in the future they'll compensate with adding a thin border or drop shadow to the tiles so regardless of the image in back they don't get lost.

#24 AsherGZ

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 18:59

It's cool for a while, but now I see why Microsoft didn't include this feature by default. But now it seems like I'm stuck with this because I can't see a 'restore to default' option anywhere. And even though there are the default textures to choose from, they don't really restore your original background but instead replace it with some messed up zoomed version of it. I want my good ol' Start screen back. :(

#25 MorganX

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 19:05

I just wonder why MS didn't give us this option OOTB, maybe in the next big update but for now if you have the same background set on the start screen that you do on the desktop then flipping between the two feels more natural/smooth, though a blur effect helps the tiles stand out more.

I thought I wanted this, but having used 8 for a while now, I don't. You would really have to have the perfect background for it not to be a distraction and I'm not there long enough. I think the plain options available OOTB are best for usability. JMO.

I'll have to give this one to MS. I'm sure they tested it thoroughly. IMO you have to add way too much blur and/or opacity to make it viable.

#26 George P

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 19:08

I thought I wanted this, but having used 8 for a while now, I don't. You would really have to have the perfect background for it not to be a distraction and I'm not there long enough. I think the plain options available OOTB are best for usability. JMO.

I'll have to give this one to MS. I'm sure they tested it thoroughly. IMO you have to add way too much blur and/or opacity to make it viable.


That could be it, still, no harm in having the option for those who want it.

#27 Neil Banfield

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 19:22

It's cool for a while, but now I see why Microsoft didn't include this feature by default. But now it seems like I'm stuck with this because I can't see a 'restore to default' option anywhere. And even though there are the default textures to choose from, they don't really restore your original background but instead replace it with some messed up zoomed version of it. I want my good ol' Start screen back. :(

Select no background and it will use your OS settings.

#28 Neil Banfield

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 21:15

You may also find more simplistic wallpapers rather than photos work better and for 1.0 we plan to include a number of enhancements to reduce any distraction while at the same time allowing you to customize what you see.

I will add that some of the Microsoft defaults are far from non distracting though!

#29 +Livin in a box

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 21:19

I can imagine Microsoft adding in this functionality into a big update in the future, but if they don't then this looks a great program. I would buy it but with Start8 I don't really use the Metro Start Screen that often so it'd be a bit of a waste :p

#30 TCA

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 21:53

Now I know what Sekyal was talking about in the Window Like/Hate thread...I didn't know it was a stardock app. so, I Googled "decor8" and this is what it gave me.

http://www.decor8blog.com/

Sooo I thought, "wtf does crafts have to do with Windows?" until I looked here instead. I may have to give the trial a shot. But I feel really stupid right now :blush: