Microsoft Looks Back At The Path Of Windows, Waves Goodbye To Aero

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News Posted: Sat, May 19 2012 10:34 PM
Windows 8 is coming this year. At this point, it's accepted. It's almost taken for granted. But building an entire operating system is an insane job, and doing it time and time again is even crazier. Microsoft has been pounding away at desktop OSes for years, and with Win8 on the horizon, the company recently took a step back to show where it's at, where it's going and how we got here. In a new MSDN post entitled 'Creating the Windows 8 user experience,' the company lays out some of the vital UI changes from Windows 1 to Windows 7, and what its engineers learned along the way. A lot of evolution has happened over the years, and it's obvious just looking back at the home screens from each system.

Focusing more on the here and now, the company admits that it is "moving beyond Aero, flattening surfaces, removing reflections, and scaling back distracting gradients." So, largely, Aero won't be a part of Windows 8. The company says that while that was en vogue in the past, we're beyond it now. And while much of the Metro style UI uses white text on a colorful saturated background, the desktop in Windows 8 will continue to use black text on light-colored chrome, as in Windows 7. This choice was made, according to Microsoft, to help preserve maximum compatibility with existing programs. Interesting in hearing more from the brains that designed Win8?


Listen up:
"We applied the principles of “clean and crisp” when updating window and taskbar chrome. Gone are the glass and reflections. We squared off the edges of windows and the taskbar. We removed all the glows and gradients found on buttons within the chrome. We made the appearance of windows crisper by removing unnecessary shadows and transparency. The default window chrome is white, creating an airy and premium look. The taskbar continues to blend into the desktop wallpaper, but appears less complicated overall.

To complete the story, we updated the appearance of most common controls, such as buttons, check boxes, sliders, and the Ribbon. We squared off the rounded edges, cleaned away gradients, and flattened the control backgrounds to align with our chrome changes. We also tweaked the colors to make them feel more modern and neutral. While a few of these visual changes are hinted at in the upcoming Release Preview, most of them will not yet be publicly available. You’ll see them all in the final release of Windows 8!"
One thing strikes us here: Microsoft is clearly listening to consumers. We live in a social world, and input is easier to give and easier to receive than ever before. Windows 8 is going to be a tough one, bridging the gap between a "traditional" desktop OS and a Metro universe, but it's clear that the company is eager to listen and eager to deliver something compelling. Just a few more months, and it'll be out in the wide open.
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Really, you learnt that your users arent appeased by ever more glossy looks like the crapple sheep? Congrats.

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Ahaha Mayhem thats funnny

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Inspector replied on Sun, May 20 2012 3:12 PM

I didn't really care for the edges, but i did like the aero look ;). But what ever goes is what we will get, so i will make the best of it :)

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JDiaz replied on Sun, May 20 2012 4:46 PM

I don't believe it means you won't be able to get those visual effects back if you wanted to, just that the normal default won't have them.

One of the things that shouldn't change is the ability for us to create custom themes for Windows. Even if it comes from a 3rd party still makes it one of Windows enduring strengths for those who don't like to conform.

While MS also stated they won't have all the visual effects and styles ready for the Release Candidate... So we may actually have to wait till the official release before they stop tweaking the UI but also means they're spending more time listening to consumer feedback.

A lot of people seem pessimistic at this point but there's still a chance MS can hit the right balance to appease most people at least. It's virtually impossible to appease everyone but if they put in enough customization options then they can at least avoid a lynch mob and knock it down to annoying but harmless protesters. :P

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karanm replied on Sun, May 20 2012 8:37 PM

Windows 7 was great so 8 will be tough a sell, problem with the metro interface is that its useless without a touch screen as many people have already said. Plus once you start adding your own shortcuts it starts looking like crap. But the OS hasn't officially launched yet so we'll just have to wait and see.

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rapid1 replied on Sun, May 20 2012 10:24 PM

It is funny really I remember it since 3.0, so it is somewhat like a timeline for life as I remember things I did on certain OS's. The first computer I really actively used was a Commodore though and the OS was like DOS in fact I am pretty sure it was DOS. My mom had a computer from work at the board of education and everything ran from a huge floppy.

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Finally I can have a screen without tearing AND gloss. I hated all that aero crap but I also hate having the ribbon interface. Luckily, Microsoft listened and you can hide it.

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a good suggestion would be to make it a option when you are installing it

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