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Microsoft Saying Goodbye to Aero in Windows 8

By - Source: Microsoft | B 114 comments

Microsoft says the old Aero UI is dated and cheesy.

Microsoft is unsurprisingly saying goodby to the "Aero" user interface with Windows 8, calling it "dated and cheesy." Aero has been a mainstay since the debut of Windows Vista back in 2006, requiring a bit more GPU horsepower from machines than those running 2001's Windows XP, both of which are still currently being used worldwide.

"Aero was designed to help people focus less on the window chrome itself, and more on the content within the window. It draws the eye away from the title bar and window frames, and towards what is valuable and what an app is about," writes Jensen Harris, the director of program management for Windows 8's user experience team,in a very lengthy blog.

"And of course, the Start menu changed again, most notably by making it possible to press the Windows key (introduced in Windows 95) and then just start typing to search from anywhere in Windows. Of course, as with every change along the way, some people expressed reservations about the changes," he adds.

But for Windows 8, the team ripped out the "glass and reflections" look and went with a "clean and crisp" presentation after sifting through "hundreds" of different UI designs. The team wanted to bring visual harmony to Windows while still preserving much of the familiar feel of the Windows 7 desktop, and not sacrificing the compatibility of existing apps.

"In the end, we decided to bring the desktop closer to the Metro aesthetic, while preserving the compatibility afforded by not changing the size of window chrome, controls, or system UI," Harris writes. "We have moved beyond Aero Glass -- flattening surfaces, removing reflections, and scaling back distracting gradients."

Microsoft released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview back in April, and plans to unleash the Windows 8 Release Preview in the first week of June. Neither public build offers the complete new UI although users will see "visual hints" in the latter release. Microsoft's was nowhere this secretive with the UI for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

"The Windows 8 user experience is forward-looking, yet respectful of the past," he writes. "It reimagines what a PC is capable of, the scenarios for which it is optimized, and how you interact with it. It enables tablets and laptops that are incredibly light and thin, with excellent battery life, which you can use with touch and keyboard and mouse in any combination you prefer. It is also the most capable, lean, and usable OS ever to power desktop PCs and gaming rigs."

"The new Windows 8 user experience is no less than a bet on the future of computing, and stakes a claim to Windows’ role in that future," he adds.

To read the entire blog, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 45 Hide
    DarkenMoon97 , May 21, 2012 8:25 PM
    Well, not using Windows 8 at all now, Hello next 10 years of Windows 7!
  • 40 Hide
    mirage1974a , May 21, 2012 8:24 PM
    The real reason is that tablets don't have the horsepower to run Aero, so they had to dumb down the OS for everybody. Way to try to downplay advances in a UI Microsoft.
  • 35 Hide
    dalethepcman , May 21, 2012 8:27 PM
    Quote:
    But for Windows 8, the team ripped out the "glass and reflections" look and went with a "clean and crisp"


    Clean and crisp my ass. Have the ribbon and favorite bar remove by default and then you would have clean.

    Opening a default explorer windows is like launching my grandmothers browser, the top 30% of every page is full of crap. While this is somewhat useful for touch enabled devices, there should have been logic built in for a "touch pack install" or a "Non-touch pack install" Metro overall doesn't work for non touch enabled devices, and neither does the HUGE ribbon atop every window.
Other Comments
    Display all 114 comments.
  • 27 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , May 21, 2012 8:23 PM
    Well, the only times I did use Aero was to show off. Apart from looks I didn't find any uses for it. But I'm starting to get worried about all these changes Microsoft is making. I mean, what if they suddenly decide to eliminate alt+tab? :o 
  • 32 Hide
    mobrocket , May 21, 2012 8:23 PM
    Windows 8 = tablet only
  • 40 Hide
    mirage1974a , May 21, 2012 8:24 PM
    The real reason is that tablets don't have the horsepower to run Aero, so they had to dumb down the OS for everybody. Way to try to downplay advances in a UI Microsoft.
  • 45 Hide
    DarkenMoon97 , May 21, 2012 8:25 PM
    Well, not using Windows 8 at all now, Hello next 10 years of Windows 7!
  • 35 Hide
    dalethepcman , May 21, 2012 8:27 PM
    Quote:
    But for Windows 8, the team ripped out the "glass and reflections" look and went with a "clean and crisp"


    Clean and crisp my ass. Have the ribbon and favorite bar remove by default and then you would have clean.

    Opening a default explorer windows is like launching my grandmothers browser, the top 30% of every page is full of crap. While this is somewhat useful for touch enabled devices, there should have been logic built in for a "touch pack install" or a "Non-touch pack install" Metro overall doesn't work for non touch enabled devices, and neither does the HUGE ribbon atop every window.
  • 29 Hide
    leo2kp , May 21, 2012 8:28 PM
    In 5 years: "Metro UI...bleh. This isn't what we wanted to roll out anyway."
  • 8 Hide
    anti-painkilla , May 21, 2012 8:30 PM
    So we get a start menu?
  • 22 Hide
    IAmVortigaunt , May 21, 2012 8:32 PM
    anti-painkillaSo we get a start menu?


    Yep, but it's full screen.
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , May 21, 2012 8:32 PM
    But I LIKE Aero! Tsk.

    When they took away the Start Menu, I felt a bit sad since it's like a tradition, but really, I didn't care since I use a program (yes, "program" not "app" *cringe*) called "Launchy" which is infinitely better than a Start Menu and Microsoft should have had this from the beginning.

    I used to not care about Windows designs, then I took an Aero in the knee.

    Don't pull out the Aero. Leave it in there. Pretty please? Don't even get me started on "skinning programs" ugh.
  • 29 Hide
    whooleo , May 21, 2012 8:34 PM
    Loved aero and 7 but hate "metro" and 8.....
  • 19 Hide
    killerclick , May 21, 2012 8:44 PM
    It's possible to work around Metro (with 3rd party software), but what's most alarming is the reasons Microsoft is pushing Metro and not allowing users to disable it.
    See, you can get Metro apps only from the Windows store, where Microsoft decides what can be sold, where they get 30% cut from software sales and ad revenue from ad-supported apps.
    So it's no surprise they want to move everyone to Metro yesterday, and not give you any choice about it (apart from not upgrading). If Metro takes off, there probably won't be a desktop or desktop support in Widnows 9 or 10. Hope you like walled gardens.
  • 31 Hide
    JohnUSA , May 21, 2012 8:46 PM
    Goodbye Windows 8.
    You died before you were born.
  • 20 Hide
    ravewulf , May 21, 2012 8:47 PM
    Back in Dec. 2010 Stephen Fry did say "Give Windows 8 a miss"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPXOkcjPCo0
    @3:38

    Looks like I'll be doing just that
  • 21 Hide
    killerclick , May 21, 2012 8:48 PM
    willardThey'll get indignant about just about anything, won't they? Can't count how many times I've been downvoted for pointing out the incessant whining about how technology doesn't cater to their every whim.


    With Metro, Microsoft is breaking the Windows ecosystem in two in order to get a 30% share off app sales. At the same time ruining desktop productivity by optimizing the UI for tablets that no one will buy.
  • 31 Hide
    dotaloc , May 21, 2012 8:49 PM
    iamvortigauntI do find Aero to be a bit cheesy, with the translucent glass look and such.


    All you have to do is disable it, right?
  • 26 Hide
    jdwii , May 21, 2012 8:54 PM
    Starting to hate 8 more and more. Seems like i'll be keeping 7 for 4+ more years.
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