How To Transform Your Windows Desktop With An Amazing Windows Phone 7-Style HUD

How To Transform Your Windows Desktop With An Amazing Windows Phone 7-Style HUD

Windows: Windows desktop customisation tool Omnimo takes the look and feel of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 user interface and brings it to any Windows desktop in an attractive and functional form that’s fresh, useful and full of eye candy.

(Click most of the images in this post for a closer look.)

When you’re done setting it up, the Omnimo customisation will add Windows Phone 7-style widgets to your desktop that’ll give you quick access to weather, calendars, your favourite programs, your unread email, notes, system monitoring (like CPU, hard drive and RAM use), Wi-Fi signal strength and oh-so-much-more. Best of all, everything’s easily customisable via drag and drop once you make it through the setup, so you can make it look however you want. Here’s a quick sampling of various setups straight from the Omnimo homepage:

Note: Omnimo should work on any Windows system, XP through Windows 7.

Install Omnimo

Before you can get started installing Omnimo, you’ll need to download and install the latest version of Rainmeter for your platform; if you’re running on 64-bit Windows, you’ll want to make sure to grab the right download. Rainmeter is an awesome Windows customisation tool that we’ve featured plenty in the past, but the upshot is that Rainmeter provides the framework for the Omnimo Windows Phone 7-like customisation; the Omnimo download and installation (which we’ll detail below) provides the skins and layouts necessary to transform your desktop.

After you’ve downloaded it, you’ll need to open Rainmeter at least once before proceeding to the Omnimo installation, because there’s a number of first-time initialisation routines that create the appropriate configuration files necessary to install Omnimo. Once you’ve finished installing Rainmeter (a simple installation wizard will walk you through it) and running it for the first time, you can exit Rainmeter via its system tray icon to proceed to the next step.

Now it’s time to download and install Omnimo UI (you can find the download link in the right sidebar on this page).

When it fires up, click on the Custom Install button if you need to adjust where it installs the skins; the Express Install should work for most people (if you installed Rainmeter with all the defaults, for example, you should be fine choosing the Express Install). When the installation is done, keep the Launch Rainmeter on exit checkbox ticked and click Finish (well, there’s a typo, so technically you’re clicking Finnish).

Rainmeter will fire back up, and this time you’re looking at your newly installed Omnimo desktop — which should look very similar to the screenshot below:

Tweaking Omnimo

Once you’ve launched Rainmeter with the Omnimo skin, you’ll be presented with the welcome screen (above), and then the Gallery view (below), where you can choose between loads of different panels, skins and backgrounds.

Simply click the icons to add the widgets to the screen, and then drag them wherever you’d like; the skins change the background colour of the squares, and the backgrounds put an overlay over your wallpaper, if you have one. If you want to get back to the gallery later, you can just click the little plus symbol to open it again.

Using the wrench icon launches you into the EnigmaConfigure utility built into Rainmeter-each widget will have separate configuration parameters that you can set, like this one for choosing your Yahoo! Weather location.

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