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Microsoft improves Windows 8 themes with panorama wallpapers, new features

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Microsoft has added new and improved theme functionality to Windows 8, adding support for panorama wallpapers and other new features.

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Windows 8 panoramic theme
Windows 8 panoramic theme

If you're anything like us, you'll be making an effort to spend the majority of your time using Windows 8 within its wonderfully-modern Metro interface. Still, the occasional visit to the classic Windows experience will be pretty much unavoidable. It should come as good news then that the company has taken steps to spruce up the appearance of that traditional UI, bringing new and improved theme functionality to Windows 8. The biggest addition is the ability to create panoramic background images that automatically span across two (and only two) monitors — so long as they share the same screen resolution. For non-panoramic themes, Windows 8 will now use a different background photo for each display, whereas Windows 7 would simply mirror the same image on both. If you're limited to a single-monitor setup, panoramic backgrounds will be centered on your desktop.

The new "auto color" feature is a bit more subtle, automatically shifting the translucent color of the Windows "glass" to better match whichever theme background is in use. Those running the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 — and there are many of you — can head over to the Windows Personalization Gallery now to download the first theme built specifically for the new OS. Microsoft says it hopes to add more on a weekly basis.