If you tried one of the Windows 7 betas then you might remember the “hidden” international themes, where you could try out the spectacular wallpaper images of Windows 7 editions around the world (Japan, South Africa, America and more).
These had disappeared in the Windows 7 RTM release, however, leaving you with just the standard themes provided with your particular edtion. Which seems a shame, but don’t worry, the international themes are still available to everyone if you know where to look.
Just point your browser at the Windows Personalization Gallery and you’ll find a wide range of Windows themes, ready to try out. This starts with a “Featured” selection, which might more accurately be called “Product placement” as it’s packed with big brands (Coca Cola, Ferrari, Ducati, Gears of War, more). But there are some spectacular backgrounds and they’re stil worth a try.
Scroll down, though, and you’ll also find 20 international themes, from countries including Brazil, India, Korea and Taiwan. Click the Download button below anything that looks interesting, choose the Open command, and once it’s downloaded the new theme should be available to you in the Windows 7 Personalization dialog.
You don’t have Windows 7? You can still use the wallpapers. The new .themepack files are actually just ZIPs, so if you rename, say, “Australia.themepack” to “Australia.zip” then you can extract its contents with any archive handler. You’ll find a folder called DesktopBackground with JPG images of the wallpapers it includes.