The upcoming Creators Update for Windows 10 is a massive one; in the loudness of the big features, however, smaller features go unnoticed. The Creators Update will introduce themes on the Windows Store – where users will be able to download themes and apply them to Windows.
Themes have been part of the Windows environment for generations – going as far back as Windows 95, in fact.
It seems now Windows 10, is perhaps trying to monetize these themes – wouldn’t be a surprise, since the OS itself was provided as a free upgrade for the longest time. It’s like cosmetic microtransactions in a game at this point.
Just to be clear: themes on Windows are not something new, but the ability to distribute and purchase them via the Windows Store is.
These themes include everything – from color schemes and wallpapers, to sound effects and much more.
Microsoft has previously distributed themes online – Windows 7 had a theme store, where people could download theme packs at no cost; the Windows Store integration is simply bringing this feature in a consolidated place.
In fact, the theme store is still online – and the themes even work on Windows 10 – so users technically have this feature available in some capacity already.
Some of the themes that are going to show up on the Windows Store have already started popping up – below is a list of the themes you can download from the Windows Store right now, but only if you are a Windows Insider.
- Surreal Territory (Chuck Anderson)
- Cats Anytime (Microsoft)
- Dogs in Winter (Microsoft)
- Australian Landscapes (Ian Johnson)
- Alaskan Landscapes (Kyle Waters)
- German Landscapes (Mathias Rehberg)
- Beauty of Britain 2 (Sean Byrne)
Though, there’s one problem: even as a Windows Insider, once downloaded, Windows Store won’t apply or install the themes as the feature isn’t quite baked yet.
If you are brave enough, you can browse to the WindowsApps folder and find the theme in its appropriate folder, then double click the ‘.themepack’ file; doing so will install the theme.
Also, there might be a few more themes available on the Windows Store that are yet to be discovered – keep an eye out for that.
For now, all the themes are available for free; being on the Windows Store, however, gives these themes a chance to monetize themselves.
If artists – or developers – build some unique themes for Windows 10, it would be a great feature for Microsoft to boast about, while users can easily customize their OS with some resemblance of a standard.
The move to monetize customizations will likely face some backlash, but it’s a move Microsoft has waited long to make.
Image Credit: MSPowerUser.com