Fun with Dreamscene

If you have Windows Vista Ultimate, one of the cool features is Ultimate Extras and in particular, Dreamscene:

Windows Ultimate Extras are add-ons that extend certain capabilities of your operating system or just make using your PC more fun. Windows Ultimate Extras currently available include:

  • Windows DreamScene, an Extra that enables you to use looped, full-motion video as your desktop wallpaper instead of a static image.

Well, since I installed Vista Ultimate in April, I’ve never seen any Extra available for download through Windows Update, and certainly not Dreamscene.

It often made me wonder whether this was one of those ‘over promise and under deliver’ instances that Microsoft has been known to do in the past. Even, perhaps, the ultimate con.

But today, finally, Windows Update alerted me to the availability of Dreamscene. So I downloaded and installed it.

And it is indeed very cool!

What is it? you ask. Take a look here:

(Incidentally, I shot this video with my Nokia N73. It’s a great video camera. Oh, and it’s a phone.)

Since I made that quick first-impressions video this morning, I’ve discovered a bit more about Dreamscene.

For instance, Stardock – probably best known as the developer of WindowBlinds, a product I used pre-Vista – has a new site, Dream Wincustomize, they’ve developed in conjunction with Microsoft to offer a range of video and other visual content to run on Vista Ultimate including a free add-on called DeskScapes.

Stardock’s description of content is terrific:

Dreams are high quality animated wallpapers that run exclusively on Windows Vista Ultimate and transform the static desktop users spend all day looking at into a world of motion and activity. Dreams are subtle, looped motion videos or animations that bring new life to the desktop without slowing down your PC. Watch a serene nature scene while you type an email. Glance at a meteor shower as you work on a document.

Emotive words that sell.

You can also use your own video content – videos you’ve shot yourself, for instance, or any other video you happen to have (WMV and MPG formats only).

While an Extra like this is hardly reason enough to go for Windows Vista Ultimate, I do think it’s a useful and fun feature for your daily interaction with your computer screen.

And what of other offerings for Windows Ultimate Extras? Language packs, for instance, promised since Vista Ultimate shipped?

Barry Goffe, Microsoft’s Director of Windows Vista Ultimate, has some explanation and forecasting.

His are also emotive words, but they probably won’t sell.