Windows Vista Ultimate has a great feature of putting video as your desktop background. A lot of windows XP and windows Vista (non ultimate) user wanted to do the same. Here is how it can be done using a free and popular software. VLC player.
To set and play a video as wallpaper in Windows XP, Windows Vista
Home Premium, Home Basic, Business, Enterprise and Starter edition:
Run VLC Media Player,
go to Settings -> Preferences, expand Interface and click on
wxWidgets. In the bottom right corner of “wxWidgets interface module”
window, click on “Advanced options” to show advanced settings. Then
uncheck the Taskbar check box in order to remove VLC Player title from
the taskbar while the program is running. Check Systray icon if you
want to enable Systray (system tray or notification area) icon instead.
Next, expand Video -> Output Modules and then select Direct X.
In bottom right corner of DirectX Video Output window, check the
Advanced Options check box in order to see all the settings available.
Check and tick the “Enable wallpaper mode” check box.
Then, select Playlist and then check or tick the Repeat current item checkbox.
Press “Save” button when done.
Open and play any video that you would like to set as motion wallpaper in VLC Media Player.
If the video hasn’t yet been set as desktop background, right click on the video and click on “Wallpaper”.
The video or movie will be set as if it’s DreamScene motion desktop background wallpaper.
If you do not configure VLC Player to repeatedly play current media
in loop, you can still do so after playing the video. Simply click on
View then select Playlist. Highlight the video media content that is
playing and click on Repeat One or Repeat All button as shown below to
loop the video for non-stop video wallpaper.
Looping the animated wallpaper
Note that the video must be encoded in a video format supported by
VLC Player such as MPEG, AVI, MP4, WMV, FLV (Flash Video) and etc. Else
you will need to convert the video clip to the supported format.
Since October 31, 2013, Windows 7 is no longer available in retail (except for the Professional edition preinstalled):
Windows 7 Starter
Windows 7 Starter is the edition of Windows 7 that contains the fewest features. It is only available in a 32-bit version and does not include the Windows Aero theme. The desktop wallpaper and visual styles (Windows 7 Basic) are not user-changeable. Microsoft originally intended to restrict users of this edition to running three simultaneous applications but this limitation was dropped.This edition was available pre-installed on computers, especially netbooks, through system integrators or computer manufacturers using OEM licenses.
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Basic was available in "emerging markets", in 141 different countries. Some Windows Aero options are excluded along with several new features. Home Basic, along with other editions sold in emerging markets, include geographical activation restriction, which requires users to activate Windows within a certain region or country.
Windows 7 Home Premium
This edition contains features aimed at the home market segment, such as Windows Media Center, Windows Aero and multi-touch support.
Windows 7 Professional
This edition is targeted towards enthusiasts and small-business users. It includes all the features of Windows 7 Home Premium, and adds the ability to participate in a Windows Server domain. Additional features include support for up to 192 GB of Random-access memory (increased from 16 GB), operating as a Remote Desktop server, location aware printing, backup to a network location, Encrypting File System, Presentation Mode, Software Restriction Policies (but not the extra management features of AppLocker) and Windows XP Mode.
Windows 7 Enterprise
This edition targeted the enterprise segment of the market and was sold through volume licensing to companies which have a Software Assurance contract with Microsoft. Additional features include support for Multilingual User Interface(MUI) packages, BitLocker Drive Encryption, and UNIXapplication support. Not available through retail or OEMchannels, this edition is distributed through Microsoft Software Assurance (SA). As a result it includes several SA-only benefits, including a license allowing the operating of diskless nodes (diskless PCs) and activation via VLK.
Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows 7 Ultimate contains the same features as Windows 7 Enterprise, but unlike the Enterprise edition, it was available to home users on an individual license basis. Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional users are able to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate for a fee using Windows Anytime Upgrade if they wish to do so. Unlike Windows Vista Ultimate, the Windows 7 Ultimate edition does not include the Windows Ultimate Extras feature or any exclusive features as Microsoft had stated.
All editions will receive Mainstream Support (new features and bug fixes) until January 2015 and Extended Support (security updates) until January 2020.
There are basically no con's to upgrading. You will gain some features when you upgrade. You may have to install new device drivers for some devices like mouse, external hard drive to work properly, but this is unlikely.
Windows 7 Starter does not include:
* Aero Glass, meaning you can only use the Windows Basic or other
opaque themes. It also means you do not get Taskbar Previews or Aero
* Personalization features for changing desktop backgrounds, window colors, or sound schemes.
* The ability to switch between users without having to log off.
* 64 bit version
* Multi-monitor support.
* DVD playback.
* Windows Media Center for watching recorded TV or other media.
* Remote Media Streaming for streaming your music, videos, and recorded TV from your home computer.
* Domain support for business customers.
* XP Mode for those that want the ability to run older Windows XP programs on Windows 7.
So, you can gain some additional features when you upgrade!
The earlier "active desktop" function in Windows XP that allowed a live webpage as a desktop is no longer present in Vista. It was replaced by the SideBar. You probably need to look for a sidebar gadget that offers this functionality.