Microsoft Drops ‘Aero Glass’ User Interface in Windows 8
By Alexandra Chang
Fans of Microsoft’s Aero desktop experience will have to prepare for a life without translucent windows in Windows 8. Buried deep within a novel-length blog post, the company announced on Friday that it’s killing the Aero UI in the final release of Windows 8.
Microsoft first shipped Aero Glass when it launched Microsoft Vista in 2006. It featured a glass-like design for window borders, taskbars, and other surfaces in the OS. According to Microsoft, Aero was designed to make the Windows experience more visually appealing, while also drawing user attention to the content within a window or program.
But now, according to Jensen Harris, the Director of Program Management for the Windows User Experience, the Aero look is outdated.
“This style of simulating faux-realistic materials (such as glass or aluminum) on the screen looks dated and cheesy now, but at the time, it was very much en vogue,” Harris writes in the blog post titled ‘Creating the Windows 8 User Experience.’
The Windows 8 team will replace the Aero UI with what it describes as a “clean and crisp” look more in line with its new tile-based Metro UI. In Windows 8, interface windows will no longer feature reflections or shadows. What’s more, corners will be squared off, and surfaces will look flatter. Users will get white as the default windows color, for a “modern” aesthetic.