Low Contrast Color Themes for Windows XP

Erin's XP Color Themes

When Microsoft created the XP operating environments, they seem to have found six year olds to design the new windows and colors. The windows classic "look" was far cleaner and more pleasant to use. This "new" XP, of course, has absolutely no new capabilities; it is basically windows 2000/ME/98/95 with a new "look". This is what Microsoft is selling, a new "look", that's it and that's all.

It would seem that Microsoft wants to turn computers into what Coca Cola and Pepsi has turned soft drinks into, something essentially useless, but that everyone wants to buy. Companies such as Pepsi and Coca Cola have not produced anything of value, they just happened to have enough financial backing to advertise massively and push business to business sales until the entire consumer world was first programmed into accepting their drinks on a mass scale, and then left with nearly no alternative for something more enjoyable to drink. This is precisely what Microsoft is doing with software, and the end result means nothing useful, but lots of fad products. The word I think that fits the idea of these products as well as the Microsoft operating systems is "consumerware". To this day, Microsoft has yet to crack industrial markets to any significant degree. Why? Because Microsoft sells consumerware, not usable applications. Yes, Microsoft sells toys, that's all.

My disappointment with the XP environment was such that I actually had to go take a long walk after installing the "new" XP. It isn't new, it's just junkier with a few of the Windows 2000 and ME bugs fixed. It would seem, however, that it is possible to get something close to the classic look back, if so desired. Of course, Microsoft buries the related "features" deep enough in the system such as to make it nearly impossible for a novice or intermediate user to access and use. This, of course, is part of the ploy to make everyone use the "new look" and thus sell more consumerware. Of course, it's all about money at the consumer's expense. For some reason, consumers just don't realize the power they have over the corporations, and thus give the conglomerates full power over their lives, indeed even over the nation.

In my irritation, I have developed several color themes to my tastes so as to avoid at all cost the XP "look". It is truly a nightmare. I have a preference toward extremely low contrast color schemes, so all the color themes I present below are pretty low contrast. Perhaps one may be of use to you.

The Color Themes

The titles below are organized downward alphabetically and dark to bright from left to right. Because of Microsoft's pompous commitment to backwards incompatibility, I doubt there will be a way to use these color themes beyond XP. However, if someone discovers they can be loaded into another Windows operating environment, please let me know.

Click on an thumbnail to see a larger image for the color theme. Each theme title is a link to a compressed .theme file. To use a given theme, download and unzip the .theme file, then open the .theme file with a double click. The windows XP Display Properties window will appear with the selected theme displayed. If you want to set your windows environment to that theme, then click the OK button. Windows XP saves new themes into your My Documents folder by default, so this would be a good place to store any .theme files you download.

Aqua Marine (Dark)
Aqua Marine (Medium)
Aqua Marine (Light)
Burning Rose (Dark)
Burning Rose (medium)
Burning Rose (light)
Cold Gray (dark pitch)
Cold Gray (dark)
Cold Gray (dark medium)
Cold Gray (medium)
Cold Gray (light)
Dirt Claude (dark)
Dirt Claude (medium dark)
Dirt Claude (medium light)
Dirt Claude (light)
Lilac Rose (dark)
Lilac Rose (light)
Mauve (dark)
Mauve (medium dark)
Mauve (medium light)
Mauve (light)
Moss Gray (dark)
Moss Gray (medium)
Moss Gray (light)
Olive (medium dark)
Olive (medium light)
Overshade (dark medium)
Overshade (dark light)
Overshade (medium)
Overshade (light medium)
Overshade (light)
Rusting Clay (dark)
Rusting Clay (dark light)
Rusting Clay (medium)
Rusting Clay (medium light)
Rusting Clay (light)
Sandstorm (dark)
Sandstorm (dark light)
Sandstorm (medium)
Sandstorm (light)
Shady Skies
Sky (dark)
Sky (medium)
Sky (light)
Sun Fried (dark)
Sun Fried (medium dark)
Sun Fried (medium light)
Sun Fried (light medium)
Sun Fried (light)
Twilight (dark)
Twilight (dark light)
Twilight (medium)
Twilight (light)
Violet (dark pitch)
Violet (dark medium)
Violet (medium)
Violet (medium light)
Violet (light)

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