Every time Microsoft delivers a new OS it's possible to get many of the features of a Windows upgrade in the previous version of Windows. Windows 7 is no exception. Here's a roundup of a few things you can do to make Windows Vista as Windows 7-like as possible, without shelling out for the new OS.
We'll start out with a couple tweaks, then tell you about four free apps you can download. And a tip of the hat to the amazing Gina Trapani at Lifehacker, from whom I picked up several of these tricks.
First the taskbar. Windows 7 lets you "pin" apps to the taskbar and we can approximate that in Vista. Here's how.
Right-click on your taskbar.
And choose Quick Launch.
Now drag the icons you wish to "pin" into the left side of the taskbar.
Right click on the taskbar again and uncheck "lock taskbar."
Now click on the three rows of dots, hold down the mouse, and drag the bar over until you see all your icons.
Now, they look a little small like that, so let's make them bigger. Make sure the taskbar is unlocked.
Now right click on the taskbar again.
Select the view menu and choose large icons.
That's OK. But if you want a real Mac-like dock, forget all that and install RocketDock. It gives you a whole new Macish dock that you can put down at the bottom of the window instead of the taskbar.
But your Windows still looks all Vista-y. One more interface tweak before we move on. Download VistaGlazz 1.3. It's a utility that changes some system files to allow you to implement third-party themes on Vista. Launch VistaGlazz and, if you're sure, agree to allow it to modify your system files. I did it, and had no issues. But I make no guarantee.… Read more