You can now try out a Metro style sidebar for your Windows 7 desktop without having to install the Windows 8 Developer Preview – thanks to a third-party app called Metro Sidebar (v1.0).
Metro Sidebar 1.0 Brings The Windows 8 Experience To Older Windows Versions
For those who want to try to out the new Metro UI on Windows 8 but are not willing to install the Developer Preview, this little app will give them a small taste of what it would be like to use the Windows 8 Metro UI.
The Metro Sidebar 1.0 app is an nice gadget that closely mimics the look and feel of the Metro desktop. It is designed to give you the look and feel of the UI but the functionality remains that of a simple sidebar tool.
At the top it displays the day, time and date. Below that is a block that displays the user’s photo and name along with links to log off, shut down, restart, lock, etc. Below that comes a short description of the OS that you are running.
Below the OS description is a block that shows the hard drive status with total, used and free space. Below that is an area where you can add a shortcut to your favorite web browser. This is the only customizable section of the sidebar. The rest is permanent and cannot be customized in any way.
Overall, the sidebar works well for those who want these shortcuts and metrics always visible. The sidebar can be configured to be always on top of the other windows.
In terms of functionality, it has little to offer beyond the look and the shortcuts. It has no contextual changes either, so you won’t be able to have the full Metro experience. Also, it is possible that the next version will bring more customization features. The app is 100% free.
Download Metro Sidebar from the developer’s website — http://www.itknowledge24.com/downloads/mtrside.zip