Windows Vista screencast: screensavers

Contrary to to popular belief and its name, screensavers don’t save screens at all. Screensavers today are randomly generated abstract images which provide an uplifting viewing experience when we decide not to work for an extended period of time.

Windows Vista will be shipping with a list of new and update screensavers including: 3D Text, Aurora, Bubbles, Mystify, Photos, Ribbons, Windows Energy and Windows Logo. Some of these are even 3D based, so they will give the video card a good workout between boring sessions of word processing and spreadsheet charting. In this screencast, I am demonstrating the Ribbons, Mystify and Bubbles screensavers, but with a twist. In the RTM version of Windows Vista, the advanced options of the screensavers will not be available due to reasons I mentioned before. However these features can still be access through the registry, and they create some pretty cool effects!

Please note, this video does not accurately represent the actual performance of Windows Vista or the screensavers themselves. This is a technical limitation of the screen recording software. In actual use, the screensavers run very smoothly.

[flv:screensavers.flv 640 480]

Update: The registry hacks has been released so you can customize the screensavers yourself.

17 insightful thoughts

  1. .mov…so I need to install quicktime to view something about MS?

    Not everyone bought into the whole iPod (iDontCare) and iTunes thing. If you could consider releasing wmv or even better universally playable .avi (xvid or whatever) formats.

    Anyways, keep up the good work.

    Have a cold one

  2. @Corona: Whats wrong with Quicktime? I put up the movies in Quicktime H.264 because the quality/size is the best for screen content.

  3. Well, what’s wrong with is is that I don’t have quicktime installed. They force me to use their player (and I have to buy quicktime to watch in fullscreen?), i get a reminder every time that I should buy because its oh the best thing since sliced bread. Nah, thank you very much. The only thing worse is Realplayer, which quite frankly should be labeled as Malware by any sensible security suite.

    Why not use somethign that mostly everyone can play (who is visiting your site, which is about MS technology, no?) without installing special software for it. If you specialised in Apple Stuff, I’m sure people wouldn’t be happy if you put up wmv movies, on the other hand, .mov would work great there, because mac people already have quicktime. H264 may be great quality, but I’m sure a bigger audience would watch your stuff if it didn’t require them to install special software for it.

    If you don’t wanna go the wmv route, XVid/Divx of any MPEG4 compliante codec might work true (and they are pretty darn good by now), works on any platform, and I would bet the percentage of people having an mpeg4 decoder installed is a great deal bigger than quicktime.

    Just my thoughts. Awesome blog otherwise, keep it up :-)

  4. @Corona: You could try out the QuickTime Alternative codec pack. It’ll play the files, without bugging you for money, etc. I think it even does full screen!
    (Remember to remove QT first)
    I can’t agree with you enough about RealPlayer. It’s a shame the BBC uses it…means I have to install the Real Alternative codec pack too 😀

  5. Screensavers are useless. Just turn off your monitor when you don’t use it.

    Get ‘QuickTime Alternative’ and ‘Real Alternative’ – look it up. No need for any extra players whatsoever, as these are just codecs.

  6. Thanks for uploading it on youtube for me Long Zheng (wow, I feel so special ;-)).

    Oh, and I’ve heard about those alternative packs, but aren’t they illegal?

    Again thanks guys and keep it up!

  7. the screensaver of the window vista is must clear than the other. you will feel how the window vista if you upload some of the screensaver of this and also the operating system of this is the best.

    it is not easy to copy the operating system of window vista……

  8. LONG ZHENG: Can you please research how to change the logon screensaver (logon.scr)? You can try to use any of the other Vista screensavers instead of logon.scr with some reg hacks, but none of the other Vista screensavers work. I specifically would like to run the PhotoScreensaver in Vista at the logon screen. So far I have not been successful in changing the default logon.scr. I haven’t found anyone else who has actually changed the logon.scr. I have found plenty of people who claim a simple reg hack will do it, but that has not seemed to work. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  9. @Yert
    The following comes from another list. My problem with what follows is that I’m not completely sure what is being said. When I looked in the Registry I did not find the Windows Photo Gallery key as suggested below. If it makes sense to you, please comment. Thanks.
    1. Searched procmon.log to confirm if the FolderPath key (which
    determines the location of the pictures) was being read. The log showed
    that the key that was being searched was:

    “HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-19\Software\Microsoft\Windows Photo

    instead of:

    “HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Window s Photo

    2. Added the “Windows Photo Gallery” registry keys to the Local Service
    (S-1-5-19) and the screensaver started to work

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