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Thread: My Impression of Plus! for Windows XP




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    474

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    I've recently installed Micro$oft's Plus! for Windows XP. Let me just say I was hoping for more than what I ended up with. I've come to the realization that the furthest customizations M$ provides its users with, even after a combined purchase of say, US$250 (theoretically), extend merely to changing your desktop background.

    While Plus! included some interesting features:
    -CD Labeling program
    -Personal DJ (Playlist editor) for Windows Media Player (WMP)
    -Voice command recognition for WMP
    -MP3 Audio Converter... for WMP
    -3-D Visualizations... for WMP (Are we seeing a trend?)
    -Skins (WMP)
    -Speaker enhancements for your specific speakers (in WMP only)

    Since I use WinAmp or a specialized MP3 Encoding/converting program, many of these features were useless to me.

    Shall we move on to the Themes! section? This is reputably the most popular feature of the Plus! suite. I was severely disappointed, to say the least.

    Provided Themes! are:
    -Plus! Aquarium
    -Plus! Space
    -Plus! Nature
    -Plus! da Vinci

    No, I didn't forget to add the other 20 that we're all used to seeing in previous Plus! versions. That's it. A whopping four. On top of the lack of themes, the 'Themes' are merely a background/sound change. The Taskbar, Start button/menu, and overall window color are limited to the standard XP colors of "Blue", "Olive Green", and "Silver".

    At this point I'm sitting in my slightly worn, but very comfortable chair, and thinking to myself, "Hmm.. Maybe I installed it wrong." I did some checking, and everything was supposedly there that was supposed to be. Hmm. Well, OK. I'll head off to the Plus! website now to see if they hid any goodies for me to update. Perhaps a few more Themes! would revive my already dying expectations. Here's the <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/Plus/More_Plus.htm">website</a>, if you care to see what I saw.

    Out of four categories, there were no themes, and two of the categories required an additional purchase to acquire the features. I don't know about you, but I'm not enjoying Microsoft's strategy of "Pay a little more to get this!"

    The Good:

    Well, you may be in the same boat as me by now. Why buy Plus!XP? I'll get to that later.

    Screensavers: We all like screensavers, don't we? After all, who doesn't like a nice little 3D screensaver to occupy your computer's off-time. Plus! offers a nice selection of slightly interesting screensavers. I counted eight. Not that many, but they're well thought out.

    Games!:
    Now then, we all love games! There are three games included in Plus!XP. Russian Square - a tetris-like game; The Labyrinth - mazes galore; and Hyper Bowl - bowling.. need I say more? All three of them have decent graphics, and are good enough for those of us who enjoy a nice simple game now and again.

    The End:

    I said I'd get to the "Why buy Plus!XP" topic, didn't I? Well here it is:

    Pretty simple, I wouldn't recommend it for a grownup. It's great for kids. However, there are plenty of programs out there that fill the void of Plus! for Windows XP rather more efficiently than Plus!XP does.

    <a href="http://www.themexp.org">ThemeXP</a> | <a href="http://www.winamp.com">WinAmp</a> | <a href="http://www.musiccity.com">Morpheus</a> | <a href="http://www.cakewalk.com/pyro/">Cakewalk's Pyro</a>
    Chris "Raven"
    News Crew - TweakTown
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    - Athlon XP 1800+@1701MHz | EPoX 8KHA+ | Corsair 512MB XMS3200C2 | GeForce3 Ti200
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Bendigo Australia
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    the only thing i like about plus

    aquarium screen saver
    cd labler

  3. #3
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    Jan 2002
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    I think that's the best rendered SS in the package.. I kinda liked Nature too.
    Chris "Raven"
    News Crew - TweakTown
    <!--
    <font size=1>
    <font color=green>Main Beast:</font>
    - Athlon XP 1800+@1701MHz | EPoX 8KHA+ | Corsair 512MB XMS3200C2 | GeForce3 Ti200
    - 2x80GB WD 7200RPM | 40x12x48 Sony CDRW | Pioneer 16X DVD
    - Swiftech MCX462+ / Tt Smart Case Fan 2 | Antec 1030SX case w/ 431W Enermax PSU
    </font>
    // -->
    "Look at life like your morning cup of coffee. You might have one every day, yet you still enjoy it."

    How to ask a good question

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    448

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    I got Plus a few weeks ago, installed it once looked around, saw what you saw, and got rid of it. As far as themes go I am going to the XP themes sites and getting new stuff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    I've used it and don't have a very high opinion of it at all - Uninstalled it after 20 minutes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    735

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    And they wonder why people pirate microsoft software. :?:

    Has been sitting on my hdd for months now. Havnt gotten around to uninstalling it. Every feature is pointless and available free elsewhere. The pushing of WMP thru all those 'enhancements' is just lame.

    Come to think of it- its just like every other Plus! pack for Windows.

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