By , Forbes
What if operating systems got the remaster treatment just like classic video games and albums? A modern reimagining of Windows 7 gives us a beautiful but bittersweet glimpse into that possibility.
Following the bloated disaster that was Windows Vista, Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system was a breath of fresh air for PC users, and those users spoke with their wallets. Within six months of its 2009 release, Windows 7 had 100 million licensed installations, and by 2012 that number ballooned to 630 million. In fact, it remained the king until January of this year when Windows 10 finally surpassed it in global desktop user market share.
Windows 10 is the new king by the numbers, but Windows 7 holds a steady second place nearly nine years later and remains the dominant OS for desktops in Asia and Africa.
What would it take besides aggressive Windows 10 Update routines, endless prompts to try Cortana, and a host of built-in spyware to convince users to roll back to Windows 7? This, as first spotted by BetaNews, would be a compelling start:
Sadly, what you’ve seen above is purely cosmetic and not an actual product or existing skin. It’s a remastering of the Windows 7 interface in concept only by YouTuber Kamer Kaan Avdan. But this person should probably be designing desktop UIs.
I’m enamored by it. Avdan’s reimagined Windows 7 incorporates flat design and minimalism to brilliant effect. The Start Menu boasts a tidy white-on-blue collection of app icons, a dramatic improvement over Windows 10’s busy and multi-size tiles. The same approach carries over to the Start Menu’s most used section and the Action Center.
His modernized Windows 7 also gets treated to dynamic wallpaper for day and night cycles, and of course a Dark Mode. If it happened to ship with DirectX 12, I’d be fully on board.
If there are any Linux desktops resembling this design, I’d even consider dual-booting my work laptop.
Seriously, what an awesome concept. It’s a clean and simple design that’s attractive without being distracting. This reskinning is theoretically possible through 3rd party software like Rainmeter and WindowBlinds. I can only hope they’re paying attention. Perhaps someday they’ll team up for a Windows 7: 2018 Edition skin.
For more modernized takes on older operating systems like Windows 95, check out Avdan’s YouTube channel.