Hate how Windows 11 looks? Windows 2000 mod (with Clippy) brings the nostalgia

Windows 11 is all about modernizing the desktop environment compared to Windows 10, but what if you wanted to go the other way and travel back in time?

You can turn back the clock with various mods, naturally, but a new effort transforms your Windows 11 installation to look like Windows 2000, complete with some functioning legacy apps and interface elements – such as Clippy. (Yes, the famous paperclip ‘assistant’ with a bad habit of interfering with your work when it wasn’t needed).

There are, however, some sizeable caveats as you might expect…

Windows Central reported on this project, which was undertaken by Redditor ExoGeniVI. 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 couple of years back) to bring back that OS in all its glory – or gray drabness, rather – and goes further than this with a bunch of other tweaking under the hood of Windows to add some past software versions into the mix (plus some nostalgic icons, too – like Fallout).

On the app front, we’re talking Internet Explorer 5.5 and Microsoft Office 2000, with the latter boasting a working Clippy, albeit with some slight visual glitches (the assistant’s transparency effect doesn’t render properly, being turned into a pink square background instead).

Windows 11 with Windows 2000 mod

(Image credit: Microsoft / ExoGeniVI / prozad94)

Analysis: Windows 11 Gray Mode

The sheer effort involved in getting all this stuff working is impressive, and as ExoGeniVI points out in the Reddit thread showing off the project, these apps actually work. Internet Explorer 5.5 loads some websites just fine, for example. However, it isn’t recommended for serious use (naturally, given how ancient it is – the security holes in IE 5.5 are wide enough for a busload of cybercriminals to be driven through, no doubt).

Indeed, this project is one of those firmly in the category of ‘showing it can be done’ rather than anything with any real practical application. As one person asked: “Why though?” To which ExoGeniVI replied: “Too much time on my hands.”

Fair enough, and with having to restore their PC twice during the process of completing this endeavor, ExoGeniVI also shows why you very probably don’t want to get involved in this level of tweaking.

The safe thing to do, if you want Windows 11 to simply look like Windows 2000, is just to use StarDock WindowBlinds to apply prozad94’s classic skin – with no ancient apps involved – and leave it like that. Even if you’re so inclined, we can’t imagine you’d want to live in such a bland, gray, Windows environment for all that long. Would you?

Via Review Geek

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Waze launches a fun nostalgia mode – but is that what we want?

Get ready to jam to some oldies in your car with a clever new event provided by Google-owned Waze navigation. Starting this week, you’ll be able to activate Retro Mode in Waze to change the look of the app and discover music from bygone decades.

In a blog post, Waze cited ‘70s disco, ‘80s Jazzercise, and 90’s computer aesthetics as examples of how you’ll be able to theme your trip. The themes will also come with their own eccentric radio DJ’s to host the radio show and navigate your trip (which sounds awesome or annoying, depending on your mood).

In retro mode, you’ll also be able to change your car’s icon to a flower pot, a 90’s computer, or a Rad Racer sports car for some added fun. 

Waze also partnered with music streaming service TuneIn to provide ‘70s music to the UK, ‘90s hits to the US and Canada, and ‘80s Alive to France. 

To use this new feature, click “My Waze” in the app and tap the “Drive with the ‘80s” banner. The feature is available globally in English, French, and Portuguese. 

Analysis: Some users have other ideas

While this little event seems a fun addition on the surface, many folks who use Waze might prefer some more useful app improvements, instead. The navigation app often does point commuters to shorter routes to get them to destinations faster, but upon browsing the subreddit for the app, we found that some find it a bit buggy, and there are users who believe that development is declining.

A post by a Waze user, though it is a few months old, indicates exactly that. They lament that the app is “progressively worse at routing”, or that the app will change routes mid-drive and add more time to the trip. Users in the comments of the post seem to mostly echo those sentiments, with many others noting that they only use it to “know where the cops and other hazards are”.

This community appears concerned that Google is pushing development aside in favor of Maps, which would make sense given that it is the most popular mobile navigation app in the US. Some users are also dissatisfied with the points system that the app uses to rank reports for relevancy, legitimacy, and to prevent abuse of the system.

So, sure, we'll take a fun ride down memory lane with Waze, but let's also make sure that the old road is the best one – and that it's the shortest distance from 1970s Point A to current 2022 Point B.

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Sony needs to catch up on nostalgia, while Microsoft buys it up for billions

The announcement of Microsoft agreeing to buy Activision-Blizzard in a $ 68 billion dollar deal shook the gaming industry, with many wondering what’s going to happen once the deal closes.

This means that brands such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and True Crime: Streets of LA are about to be the property of Microsoft, alongside other brands such as DOOM, Elder Scrolls, Halo, and more.

But this brings up the aspect of where Sony stands in this. With a rumored service called Project Spartacus offering titles from its back catalog of almost 30 years, there’s going to be franchises, such as Crash Bandicoot, which will need more discussion for them to be allowed on the service.

However, this is also representative of how far behind Sony looks compared to Microsoft’s big news, and what it could mean for future generations of consoles and gaming as a whole.

A Sony and Microsoft agreement?

When the Nintendo Online Expansion Pack service was announced in October, Nintendo surprised many by confirming that Microsoft-owned Banjo Kazooie was about to arrive on the service, now available to play on the Switch.

In retrospect, it wasn’t a surprise, mainly due to the starring titular characters Banjo and Kazooie appearing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as paid DLC, back in 2019.

Also, to see the first game in the series, on the Nintendo Online Service with a ‘by Xbox Game Studios’, will cause anyone older than 20 years old to do a double-take. Especially with the Rare logo appearing once you start up the game. But it shows how far some brands have come since their first outing on other systems.


(Image credit: Rare)

Yet Sony is already on the backfoot. It didn’t help matters when the CEO, Jim Ryan, publicly called out its older catalog as ‘dated’ and questioned why anyone would play them, a comment Ryan has seemingly backed away from since.

To dismiss over 25 years of gaming wouldn’t put anyone in a good light, especially the CEO of Sony. But Project Spartacus looks to reverse some of that ill-will, rumored to include games from the PS1 and PS2 era.

While I’m not expecting Onimusha 2 or Rosco McQueen to appear on the service, at least to start with, seeing games such as Ridge Racer and Tomb Raider 2, ready to play on a PlayStation 5 is immensely appealing.

But we’ve been here before already. Back in 2015, Sony enabled PS2 Classics to run on the PlayStation 4, where you could play Ape Escape 2, Resident Evil 4, and almost the entire library of Rockstar Games’ PS2 releases.

Users were hopeful that this would mean the games that you could play on PS3, PSP and PS Vita would eventually work on PlayStation 4, but this wasn’t to be. The program fizzled out after 18 months, and while you can play these on your PlayStation 5, it nowhere near scratches the demand that’s out there.

But it also goes back to who holds the rights. Sony may have another battle soon, to offer the original Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon games, now that they’re about to be the property of Microsoft. These were once tentpole Sony exclusives, at least in the heyday of their original releases. We may see something similar to the agreement that Microsoft and Nintendo had for Banjo to appear on the Switch Online service.

But time will tell. Nostalgia is a powerful asset in gaming, now more than ever. It brings back memories and good feelings of a time when you enjoyed a game for what it was when it was released, not what it could be, either through DLC content or multiplayer season packs.

After so many years of Sony flat-out refusing to honor the past that so many still hold in a great light, Project Spartacus needs to impress on day one, and not repeat the same tropes that its PS2 Classics series on PS4 brought.

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