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Stardock Decor8 - Custom Start Screen Backgrounds Finally!

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CentralDogma    144

$5 :/

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Detection    2,256

$5 :/

Free 30 day Beta trial, but tbh, I reckon I might buy this, the stock backgrounds are hideous and after playing with this for the past 10 minutes, custom backgrounds look sweet

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PGHammer    204

Interesting collection of trial backgrounds.

While I passed on Start8 (unlike some, I have no problems with the Start menu going bye-bye), I'm liking Decor8.

(The reason for the I-word is that the collection of trial backgrounds looks like an archive of Wallpaper From Windows Past - is there a specific file format for the backgrounds, so you can add your own?)

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Detection    2,256

Interesting collection of trial backgrounds.

While I passed on Start8 (unlike some, I have no problems with the Start menu going bye-bye), I'm liking Decor8.

(The reason for the I-word is that the collection of trial backgrounds looks like an archive of Wallpaper From Windows Past - is there a specific file format for the backgrounds, so you can add your own?)

Just hit the "Select Folder" button under the backgrounds, you can pick a folder, it seems to allow everything I have thrown at it so far

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CentralDogma    144

Can you set the background as transparent?

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Detection    2,256

Can you set the background as transparent?

Yep, theres a slider, you can also change custom accent colours, tiles colours, background colours, text colours

Untitled.png

2.png

3.png

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Neil Banfield    4

Interesting collection of trial backgrounds.

While I passed on Start8 (unlike some, I have no problems with the Start menu going bye-bye), I'm liking Decor8.

(The reason for the I-word is that the collection of trial backgrounds looks like an archive of Wallpaper From Windows Past - is there a specific file format for the backgrounds, so you can add your own?)

The backgrounds are included as samples for the beta and I suspect we will replace most of them in 1.0 or at least include some non photographic images as well.

You can use your own bmp, jpg and png graphics as well.

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Active.    1,322

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.

post-5569-0-40193400-1352462731.png

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Detection    2,256

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.

Nice !

Care to share the 2 backgrounds ?

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remixedcat    2,765

i wonder if this works in server 2012. might give it a try when i can fire up the vm or when i get my new system since it will be my main OS on there.

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PGHammer    204

i wonder if this works in server 2012. might give it a try when i can fire up the vm or when i get my new system since it will be my main OS on there.

If you add the Desktop Experience feature set, it certainly should (it's not a ModernUI/RT app, but a ModernUI/Win32 app, like the early versions of MetroTwit).

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remixedcat    2,765

If you add the Desktop Experience feature set, it certainly should (it's not a ModernUI/RT app, but a ModernUI/Win32 app, like the early versions of MetroTwit).

I do have that enabled on the VM and the physical system will as well ;-)

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Active.    1,322

Nice !

Care to share the 2 backgrounds ?

Here you go! :) Not sure the amount of blur is ideal at this point. That could probably still be tweaked a bit. It would be ideal if the app let you adjust the exact amount of course...

EDIT: Zipped up the images, since the forum software reduced the resolution&quality otherwise

startbackground.zip

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Detection    2,256

Here you go! :) Not sure the amount of blur is ideal at this point. That could probably still be tweaked a bit. It would be ideal if the app let you adjust the exact amount of course...

I think the blur amount looks great, thanks a lot :)

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George P    3,455

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.

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Detection    2,256

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

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LaP    1,707

Windows 8 is certainly great for Stardock ;)

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Osiris    802

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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Detection    2,256

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

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TheLegendOfMart    1,558

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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Active.    1,322

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...

blur.zip

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George P    3,455

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.

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AsherGZ    481

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. :(

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MorganX    1,046

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.

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