One of the most controversial Windows 8 features is its new Start screen – also known as the Metro user interface. New Windows 8 users have problems performing the most basic tasks with the Metro UI. Something as simple as powering down the computer or checking the time seems far more complicated than it should be.
But in addition from those problems, Windows 8 users face another issue: changing the background of the Windows 8 Start screen is perplexingly difficult. In fact, Microsoft has gone the way of Apple and pre-loaded stock wallpapers onto the OS.
Users can choose between 10 stock background images and a handful of color schemes. But beyond that, your computer looks exactly the way Microsoft wants it to look.
It didn’t take long for a third-party to come up with a simple solution to this problem. Stardock – which made a fantastic program that bypasses the Metro UI and adds a Start button to Windows 8 – recently released an application called Decor8 which aims to improve the way Windows 8 users decorate their machines.
Step 1) Download Decor8 from here
Step 2) Install the program
Step 3) Launch Decor8
Step 4) From the main Decor8 menu, you’ll see a wide variety of background images. These images include the ones chosen by Microsoft for use in Windows 8 as well as a number of new wallpapers specially chosen by Stardock. There are also fill, tile, and center options available.
Step 5) You can add your own wallpaper to the list of options by placing them in a folder and adding those folders to Decor8.
Step 6) Once you’ve chosen a custom wallpaper, Decor8 will automatically come up with a color scheme that matches your background image, but you can also create your own color scheme if you’re so inclined.
Step 7) If you want to cycle through desktop wallpapers, you can do that too. You can choose to change wallpapers on a daily basis or every few minutes. Just change around the options located at the top of the main Decor8 page.
What’s the catch?
There’s a catch behind Decor8, and many users will have already figured it out. Decor8 isn’t free. The download link above provides a free 30 day trial, but users who want to continue using Decor8 after that date will need to pay $4.99, which seems like a little more than the program is worth.
But if you’re committed to decor8ing your PC and are willing to shell out a few bucks to do it, then Decor8 is the best option available today.
The problem isn’t that Decor8 costs $4.99. Instead, the problem is the fact that Windows 8 users (who already paid a sizable sum for the OS) need to pay a little more in order to access a seemingly basic functionality. Nicely done, Microsoft.