Windows 7 to let users create a Desktop Slideshow from files, feeds

Curious as to what else was under Microsoft’s elaborate lock, key, and duct-tape protection scheme mentioned earlier, I had my friend Chris Holmes run a scan of his 7 system, as I’m still babying my laptop’s SSD drive. What we found were ties into system files littered across the entire operating system. Post-analysis revealed another feature tucked away in the corner – Say hello to (what I think should be called) Desktop Slideshow. If your memory is sharp, you’ll remember Long Zheng found mention of this very feature on MSDN first, of which was quickly sanitized by Sinofsky’s secret police.

 

 

[flv:http://static.withinwindows.com/files/uploads/flv/slideshow.flv 600 376]

 

As you can (or probably can’t) see in the video, the Desktop Background page in the Personalization applet looks pretty much the same, with the exception of some minor additions (after patching several files).

 

The subtitle now mentions the creation of slide shows by selecting multiple pictures

 

 

The control area is augmented with additional doodads to control slide show behavior

 

Desktop Slideshow, at least in build 6801, supports changing of the desktop wallpaper at intervals ranging from 10 seconds to 1 day. For a bit of variation, you can tick the Shuffle checkbox to have Windows 7 randomly pick a wallpaper for you. And to keep from sapping the life out of your laptop, you can choose to pause the slideshow when you’re on limited reserve. Think of this as Dreamscene, but without the ensuing nightmares.

For those of us that don’t have terabytes of imagery to keep your desktop fresh, you have a new source in the Picture location dropdown labeled Feeds.

 

 

From this interface, you can choose an RSS feed and automatically download fresh images, like NASA’s Large Image of the Day, to your desktop. At time of writing, however, this feature was not completely functional. I suspect this feature will either work at the conclusion of my OS-wide protection witch hunt or not work at all, being a pre-beta build and all.

Okay, where’s the “unprotect” tool for this now?

I’m reworking the existing tool to be easier to use and to unlock all known protected features in the various files across the operating system. Stay tuned, I should have something available tomorrow if I don’t get shot at the polls.