Windows Vista's not due for a few more months—the BETA notwithstanding— but that doesn't mean that you can't add all those spiffy, new age visual effects to your current Windows XP system. With a combination of several software tools, some elbow grease and a little bit of luck, your XP box can look just like the screenshots we've all seen. Because as we all know, a PC really isn't complete without a sidebar that takes up one-fifth of the screen's real estate.
To give your PC an Aero look, download the Vista Combination Pack 3.6 from joejoe.org.
Remember WinFX? Bring back its functionality with this search tool from Copernic.
The open source MediaPortal replaces Windows Media Center.
Want your icons to look all Vista-like? StyleXP from TGTSoft takes care of that.
To give your system that visually impressive gimmicky 3D window flip functionality, grab the TopDesk demo from Otaku Software.
Finally, the Desktop Sidebar. How you ever managed to live without it is a mystery for the Ages, but you can get the latest build from the Desktop Sidebar Home Page. You're one >click away from information nirvana. Maybe.
How to make XP look like Windows VISTA without upgrading [Random Good Stuff]