After a long search, I settled on adRiMai's unclutter! custom theme. Among other things, it removes the glare and can remove the Windows logo.
The idea behind this theme is make
everything more clean, more simple,
... I make aero more transparent... I
"deleted" some unuseful things, like
borders on caption buttons. Why you
need them? (don't get mad, try the
new ones!). I change the "blue sky"
on a lot of windows resources for
white, black or gray ones.
Any unofficial theme that modifies Window's visual style requires some system modification (detailed installation instructions are on the Deviant Art page above.)
- At a minimum: UxStyle allows custom visual styles to be used. A work-around to circumvent the digital signatures MS added to themes in order to keep the Windows branding intact, UxStyle does not modify any system files on the harddrive; it waits until the files have been loaded into (RAM) memory.
- Additional optional modifications enable even more extreme changes, like making the Windows orb completely invisible.
Note sometimes there are issues with custom themes not working correctly after Windows update. Some combinations of rebooting, uninstalling/reinstalling UxStyle, enabling/disabling the unclutter! theme usually gets it working again.
Update: the following steps seem to successfully restore the custom theme after Windows Update:
- Switch to Windows 7 Basic theme
- Switch to unclutter! theme
Note if any changes were made to the unclutter! theme, the "unsaved theme" still fails to work, so all the changes will have to be re-applied to unclutter! theme.
For those with the inclination, adRiMai provides all the resource files to create your own version of this mod.