Windows 11 is all about modernizing the desktop environment compared to Windows 10, but what if you want to go the other way and travel back in time?
You can turn back the clock with various mods, of course, but a new effort transforms your Windows 11 installation to look like Windows 2000, complete with some functioning legacy apps and interface elements – like Clippy. (Yes, the famous paperclip “assistant” with a bad habit of interfering with your work when you don’t need to).
However, there are some major caveats as you would expect…
Windows Central (opens in new tab) reported on this project, which was carried out by Redditor ExoGeniVI (opens in new tab). The main point to be aware of is that it requires the installation of StarDock WindowBlinds, a third-party app for customizing Windows in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways.
It uses a Windows 2000 theme (created by prozad94, a few years ago) to bring that OS back in all its glory – or rather gray dullness – and goes beyond this with a bunch of other tweaks under the hood of Windows to add some previous software versions to the mix (plus some nostalgic icons, like Fallout).
As for the app, we’re talking Internet Explorer 5.5 and Microsoft Office 2000, the latter showing off a working Clippy, albeit with some minor visual glitches (the assistant’s transparency effect doesn’t render properly and converts instead in a pink square background).
Analysis: Windows 11 gray mode
The sheer effort it takes to get all these things to work is impressive, and as ExoGeniVI points out in the Reddit thread showing the project, these apps really do work. For example, Internet Explorer 5.5 loads some websites just fine. However, it’s not recommended for serious use (obviously, given how old it is – the security holes in IE 5.5 are wide enough to no doubt drive a busload of cybercriminals through).
This project indeed belongs to the category of ‘showing that it can be done’ and not so much to something with a real practical application. As one person asked, “Why?” To which ExoGeniVI replied, “Too much time on my hands.”
Fair enough, and with them having to restore their PC twice while completing this endeavor, ExoGeniVI also shows why you most likely don’t want to get involved in this level of tweaking.
The safe thing to do, if you want Windows 11 to just look like Windows 2000, is to just use StarDock WindowBlinds to apply the prozad94 classic skin – without any old apps – and leave it that way. Even if you’re so inclined, we can’t imagine you’d want to live in such a boring, gray Windows environment for so long. Would you?
Via ReviewGeek (opens in new tab)