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Windows 7: Windows 7 Shell Replacements

09 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7
Windows 7 Shell Replacements

What is a Windows Shell Replacement?

Simply put, a Shell replacement is software that integrates with your Windows environment to replace the default Windows shell. In other words, The graphical user interface that you use to manipulate your programs in.

A new shell will replace your graphical environment either completely or in part depending on the shell you choose to use.

See this for more information on the default windows shell: Windows shell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I know what your thinking.. your thinking, " Dude you just got Windows 7 and now you want to replace it's shell... Are you Freaking Nuts ? "

Replacing the shell is not for everyone, but for those who find a need for it and or just want to use a different graphical user interface.

There are both free and commercial Windows shell replacements on the internet.

There are many Great reasons to replace your default Windows Shell.

Most replacement shells offer you the ability to configure your working environment the way you want to it work.

Most shells are made to use less resources than the default Windows shell. This is great for laptop users who don't have a lot of resources to spare to begin with.

Most shell replacements are slimmed down and streamlined without the bloat of unnessassary graphical resources clogging up your system.

Lets face it... Windows 7 is a Disk Operating System. It has One job, that is to run your programs when it is told to do so. That's all an Operating System is or should be.

Yes sure Windows 7 has it's own built in graphical goodies and we all love to use them. But most of these programs are just extra add-ons you may not need. If you only have certain programs you run every day and do not need the the extra resources running in the background or need a better more configurable way to access your programs, then using a shell replacement may be for you.

There are two types of replacement shells out there. They are all designed for better user customization and configuration, as well as using less resources.

1. Rich Graphical Environments:

Some shells offer full and rich graphical desktop environments;

Such as the commercial products Aston Shell and Aston Shell 2 -

Or the Open Source SharpEnviornment - SharpEnviro, an open source shell replacement for Windows: News

2. Minimal Graphical Environments:

Many shells offer an even slimmer interface that uses very little or no graphics (and thus even fewer resources);

Such as BBLean - bblean

Or - Black Box for Windows - BB4Win: News

Both of the above are Open Source.


All Windows Replacement Shells are designed to run simply, not harming your existing system. They are easy to install (though some may have a steeper learning curve than others), They can all be easily uninstalled so there is no worry about a shell 'taking over' or harming your default windows shell or system in any way.

More Window replacement Shells can be found here:

The OSSwin project: Open Source for Windows!

And here:

Windows shell replacement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

All of the the Windows replacement shells you find on these pages do not work with Windows 7. The shells I listed above do.


I want to hear from You. What Windows Replacement Shell do you use and why do you like it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #2
Flying Dutchman

Windows 7 32bit

I use EasyDesktop from MicroSECONDS Computer Consulting. It is pretty cool. Resembles and old-school menu program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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