BluePoison is an ingenious app developed by the good folks over at Windows 8 Italy. This app allows you to transform your Windows 8 start screen and apply themes to it. Moreover, it also allows you to unlock hidden features.
The new start screen on Windows 8 has become the most debated feature of Windows 8. Since it has completely replaced the Start Menu that we are all used to, it has drawn a lot of criticism, as well as praise. Despite Microsoft’s explanation earlier that this is just the Developer Build and the following versions will have more customization options, users want those options right now. This demand is what the developers of BluePoison probably anticipated and hence made this app.
Currently at version 2.1, this app has been around for quite some time now and the news of its existence has only just spreading. It comes with 10 pre-defiend themes for Windows 8 and also has a hidden feature unlocking option that can unlock certain features in the Developer Build that are not available otherwise. There’s also a download section for Windows 8 related direct download links. Best of all though, this app is completely free to download, install and use.
Once you have downloaded the file, you will need to have administrator level access on your Windows 8 system in order to install. Right click on the file and choose ‘run as administrator’, which will then prompt you to enter your admin password. This will launch the app. You will see the themes, the unlock hidden features and the download options on top. The 10 themes will need to restart your machine in order to take effect and are not customizable. You cannot change anything about them. But it is good to have them as options.
As for the unlocking feature, you can unlock hidden features inside Windows 8 like the Application Folder, Aero Snap and the Immersive start menu. You can choose to unlock them one by one or everything at once. You can also lock them back up one by one or in one go.
In the downloads section you will find direct download links to the 32bit and 64bit Windows 8 Developer Builds. You will also find the link to Office 15. Office 15 is on an official release by Microsoft and hence you should try it at your own risk. It has not been released officially for general users and hence may be extremely buggy or damaging for your system.
The Windows 8 Italy page where you can download this app is here. The website is in Italian and hence you might need to translate it. The download link is at the bottom of the page. There have been no reports of the app causing any major problems with Windows 8 installs. However, it should be noted that this is a third-party software and comes with no guarantee whatsoever. It will change very deeply embedded settings inside Windows 8 and if something goes wrong you might end up with a non-functioning OS. However, users have so far not had such troubles with it and are generally happy to have it.