So with Windows 10, Microsoft has pretty much reinvented the definition of a Windows theme, virtually transforming the whole concept to simple packs of wallpapers that users can download from the Microsoft Store.
Funny enough, even Microsoft itself explains that a theme should bring more than just wallpapers.
“A theme is really a mixture of desktop background pictures, window colors, and sounds,” the organization says in the description from the themes it published on its official website.
A similar description is posted within the Microsoft Store as well in the themes category.
“Put your personality inside your Windows desktop. Explore dazzling wallpapers, sounds, accent colors, and much more cool customizations.”
And yet, what we get is really a wallpaper pack, which although includes high-quality photos, is way from what users normally expect from a Windows theme.
Let’s take “Ice Crystals PREMIUM” as an example. Published in the Microsoft Store with the “premium” tag for a reason that I truly can’t figure out, the theme comes with the following description:
“Etch your desktop with frosty swirls and elaborate patterns in these 15 premium 4K images, free for Windows 10 themes. These images are to be used as desktop wallpaper only.”
Back in the days when Windows 7 was still being anything, themes brought so much more tweaks to the desktop, including the customizations that Microsoft itself pointed to above in the description from the theme concept. Sounds and colors were also included in Windows 7 themes, and third-party packs even brought further changes, such as mouse cursors along with other modifications.
In Windows 10, however, themes come down to wallpapers and that’s virtually it.
There are user posts requesting more content in Windows 10 themes all around the web, including in the Feedback Hub, the main feedback channel that Microsoft recommends for sending the company thoughts and recommendations for further improvements.
“I don’t like themes since i expected more than [a] number of wallpapers. I’m able to change my wallpaper,” one user explains.
And honestly, yes, anyone can alter the wallpaper without the need for downloading a pack in the Microsoft Store. I actually do admit the wallpaper packs that the company releases as themes are pretty cool and some from the backgrounds are really awesome, however this doesn’t mean they must be marked as themes anyway. Why not labeling these downloads as wallpaper packs to begin with?
As mentioned in the past, there are other ways in which Microsoft can use to bring the desktop alive, including a discharge of Windows Spotlight to desktop. Spotlight currently uses Bing to replace the lock screen wallpaper with a brand new background every day, but for now, this selection doesn’t support the desktop. With your an update, Windows Spotlight would technically make it possible to achieve the desktop wallpaper refreshed every day.
Around the advantages, let’s not forget that Microsoft has equipped Windows 10 with new visual styles, and in addition towards the dark mode, the most recent feature updates also feature with a refreshed light mode. Both look great and align with the modern push of the operating-system overall, but at the end of the day, there’s still no reason to release a wallpaper pack like a theme anyway.
For the time being, there’s very little we can do about this, other than send Microsoft more feedback in this regard. So if you want themes to incorporate more than just wallpapers, you know what you need to do.