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Display Off tile released to extend Windows Mobility Center

The Windows Mobility Center is hands down the best feature for mobile PC users in Windows Vista. It’s so simple in concept, easy to use and useful that I don’t know how much time I’d waste without it every day. Having said that, I’ve always wished it did a little more than what Microsoft has provided as the basic set of eight tiles or functions.

Rafael releases the first non-OEM tile for the Windows Mobility Center. Rafael explains, there are two types of tiles – static and dynamic. A static tile, like this one, is the most simple to write because the contents of the tile does not change and it only has one action. Dynamic tiles, like most of Microsoft’s tiles, have many levels of actions are are updated to reflect current system settings like the volume for example. For more information there is a 47-page Microsoft documentation (PDF) on how to build these tiles.

Another limitation of the Windows Mobility Center is a limit on the number of tiles active at any one time. On top of the eight tiles provided by Microsoft, one can only add another 8 non-standard tiles to the Mobility Center. As well, there’s no front-end interface to install/uninstall or manage these tiles so it could become quite complicated. Rafael has proposed to build a “tiles manager” which will serve as a front-end interface to managing third-party tiles, but until then developers will have to implement installers/uninstallers themselves.

To try this “Display Off” third-party Windows Mobility Center tile for yourself:

  1. Download and install the “Display off” tile installable.
  2. Open the Windows Mobility Center (Shortcut: Windows + X), or run “C:\Windows\System32\mblctr.exe”.
  3. Click “Turn off” in the tile to force your monitor to go to sleep.

To remove the tile, simply uninstall “Windows Mobility Center Tile: Display Off” from the Control Panel.

If you have a desktop computer and still want to use the Windows Mobility Center, download and execute this registry file which forces the WMC to load on any computer. Although not all the tiles will show up.

Windows Vista, Windows Mobility Center, Addon, Addin, Add-in

Source:→ Long Zheng

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