Microsoft's latest Windows 8 themes include cute kittens and Watch_Dogs

It's been a few months since we have looked into what new Windows 8 themes Microsoft has uploaded on its official website, but the company has been quite busy adding to its theme library. Some of the latest additions include some great images of the natural world, and one that's definitely from a world that's made by people.

For many people, their summer vacations are coming to an end, but Microsoft now has a new Beaches theme, made exclusively for Windows 8 and RT, that contains nine images of breathtaking beach locations from around the world. They should remind you to take that next vacation when you get a chance. The Beaches theme supports the Panoramic feature in Windows 8 where the images can stretch across two monitors.

The new Sky theme includes 18 images of different views of what's "up there" at various locations, times of day and in certain situations, including a lighting storm over Gladstone in Queensland, Australia. The Sky theme is labeled as "dynamic" which means that people who download and install it can also receive new images automatically via an RSS feed.

Who doesn't like cute, furry kittens when they are asleep? If you are not a cat person, you might want to stay away from the new Sleepy Kittens theme that puts 13 photos of the cutest, cuddliest furballs you have ever seen as part of your Windows 8 experience.

Finally, one of the most anticipated games of 2013 is Watch_Dogs, the open world action experience from Ubisoft with a lot of hacking and cyber crime to go along with the gun play. Microsoft has a Windows 8 Watch_Dogs theme to download featuring 11 screenshots from the game that will appear on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One game consoles (among other platforms) this fall.

Source: Microsoft | Images via Microsoft and Ubisoft

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Agree themes are kind of a stretch even though they do tint the taskbar and windows. It should include lockscreen and maybe tattoo's for the Start Screen to be considered a "theme".
That said, I do like having my background randomly change even though I rarely see it lol.

Teh internets is full of cat pictures and there are aplenty of Watch Dogs screenshots already. Themes have run their course. In the light that they are glorified wallpaper collections, it's time to retire that misleading term.

Relax, if you don't like them then don't use them. Can't really see anything misleading about them. Hell in that case the term wallpaper is misleading being that there are no walls within a computer.

It's worth adding that the, "Dynamic" themes at least have the added novelty of being updated through RSS feeds.

I did not in any way say I don't like them. Everybody likes cats. Watch Dogs is a great premise. I may not use them, because I have, as indicated, many sources of similar and other material that serves the same aesthetically pleasing function.

However:
theme (n.)
[..]
2. a unifying or dominant idea, motif, etc., as in a work of art

As such, this term was spot on in XP days when a theme included a complete alternative appearance of most graphic presentation and navigation elements. It doesn't anymore. Perhaps you didn't experience that or never took part of that scene.

The computer screen is essentially a flat surface if small. Wallpaper originated from simple repeating patterns looking like actual wallpapers. However, wallpapers have expanded beyond their original meaning, now encompassing actual pictures and artworks. Themes have done completely the opposite - regressed from their initial function. Reduction of functionality is the first step towards obsolescence and deprecation.

Thank you for reading.