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Windows Aero
Windows Aero
(a backronym for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open, or simply AERO or Aero),[1] also known as Aero Glass, is a design language introduced by the Windows Vista
Windows Vista
operating system. The changes made in the Aero interface affected many elements of the Windows interface, including the incorporation of a new look, along with changes in interface guidelines reflecting appearance, layout, and the phrasing and tone of instructions and other text in applications. Windows Aero
Windows Aero
was in force during the development of Windows Vista
Windows Vista
and Windows 7. In 2012, with the development of Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012
(and later, Windows 8), Microsoft
Microsoft
moved on to a design language codenamed "Metro".

Contents

1 History

1.1 Windows Vista 1.2 Windows 7 1.3 Discontinuation

2 Features

2.1 Aero Glass theme 2.2 Aero Wizards 2.3 Notifications 2.4 Font 2.5 Icons 2.6 Phrasing tone

3 See also 4 References 5 External links

History[edit] Windows Vista[edit] The Aero interface was unveiled for Windows Vista
Windows Vista
as a complete redesign of the Windows interface, replacing Windows XP's "Luna" theme. Until the release of Windows Vista
Windows Vista
Beta 1 in July 2005, little had been shown of Aero in public or leaked builds. Previous user interfaces were Plex, which was featured in Longhorn builds 3683–4042; Slate, which was first featured in the Lab06 compile of build 4042 and was used until the development reset, and Jade (builds 4074 to 4094). Microsoft
Microsoft
started using the Aero theme in public builds in build 5048. The first build with full-featured Aero was build 5219. Build 5270 (released in December 2005) contained an implementation of the Aero theme which was virtually complete, according to sources at Microsoft,[citation needed] though a number of stylistic changes were introduced between then and the operating system's release. Windows Aero
Windows Aero
incorporated the following features in Windows Vista.

Aero Glass theme: The main component of Aero, it is the successor of Windows XP's "Luna" and changes the look and feel of graphical control elements, including but not limited to buttons, checkboxes, radio buttons, menus, progress bars and default Windows icons. Even message boxes are changed.[2] Windows Flip improvements: Windows Flip (Alt+Tab) in Windows Vista
Windows Vista
now shows a live preview of each open window instead of the application icons.[3] Windows Flip 3D: Windows Flip 3D (Windows key+Tab) renders live images of open windows, allowing one to switch between them while displaying them in a three-dimensional view.[4] Taskbar
Taskbar
live thumbnails – Hovering over the taskbar button of a window displays a preview of that window in the taskbar. Desktop Window Manager
Desktop Window Manager
(DWM) – Due to the significant impact of the new changes on hardware and performance, Desktop Window Manager
Desktop Window Manager
was introduced to achieve hardware acceleration, transferring the duty of UI rendering from CPU to graphic subsystem. DWM in Windows Vista required compatible hardware. Task Dialogs: dialog boxes meant to help communicate with the user and receive simple user input. Task Dialogs are more complex than traditional message boxes that only bear a message and a set of command buttons. Task Dialogs may have expandable sections, hyperlinks, checkboxes, progress bars and graphical elements.[5]

Windows 7[edit] Windows Aero
Windows Aero
is revised in Windows 7, with several UI changes, such as a more touch friendly interface, and many new visual effects and features including pointing device gestures:

Aero Peek, showing the desktop

Live thumbnails on taskbar

Windows 7
Windows 7
Flip 3D, invoked with ⊞ Win+Tab ↹ key combination

Aero Peek: Hovering over a taskbar thumbnail shows a preview of the entire window. Aero Peek is also available through the "Show desktop" button at the right end of the taskbar, which makes all open windows transparent for a quick view of the desktop. A similar feature was patented during Windows Vista
Windows Vista
development.[6] Aero Shake: Shaking (quickly dragging back and forth) a window minimizes all other windows. Shaking it again brings them back. Aero Snap: Dragging a window to the right or left side of the desktop causes the window to fill the respective half of the screen. Snapping a window to the top of the screen maximizes it. Windows can be resized by stretching them to touch the top or bottom of the screen, which fully increases their vertical screen estate, while retaining their width, these windows can then slide horizontally if moved by the title bar, or pulled off, which returns the window to its original height. In spite of the "Aero" moniker, this feature is available if one uses the Classic theme. Touch UI enhancements: Windows Aero
Windows Aero
was revised to be more touch-friendly. For example, touch gestures and support for high DPI on displays were added.[7] Title bar of maximized windows remain transparent instead of becoming opaque. The outline of non-maximized windows is completely white, rather than having a cyan outline on the right side and bottom. When hovering over the taskbar button of an open program, the button glows the dominant RGB color of its icon, with the effect following the mouse cursor.[8] Progress indicators are present in taskbar buttons. For example, downloading a program through Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
causes the button to fill with color as the operation progresses.[9]

Discontinuation[edit] Windows 8
Windows 8
and Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012
adopted the Metro design language, which did not inherit all elements of Aero. The Aero Glass theme was replaced by a flatter, solid colored theme. Transparency effects were removed from the interface, aside from the taskbar, which maintains transparency but no longer has a blur effect.[10][11] Flip 3D was also removed; ⊞ Win+Tab ↹ now switches between Metro-style apps. Pre-release versions of Windows 8
Windows 8
used an updated version of Aero Glass with a flatter, squared look, but the Glass theme was ultimately removed for the final version.[12][13] Features[edit] For the first time since the release of Windows 95, Microsoft completely revised its user interface guidelines, covering aesthetics, common controls such as buttons and radio buttons, task dialogs, wizards, common dialogs, control panels, icons, fonts, user notifications, and the "tone" of text used.[14][15] Aero Glass theme[edit]

The Open dialog box in Windows 7, demonstrating Aero Glass

On Windows Vista
Windows Vista
and Windows 7
Windows 7
computers that meet certain hardware and software requirements, the Aero Glass theme is used by default, primarily incorporating various animation and transparency effects into the desktop using hardware acceleration and the Desktop Window Manager (DWM). In the "Personalize" section added to Control Panel of Windows Vista, users can customize the "glass" effects to either be opaque or transparent, and change the color it is tinted. Enabling Aero Glass also enables other new features, including an enhanced Alt-Tab
Alt-Tab
menu and taskbar thumbnails with live previews of windows, and "Flip 3D", a window switching mechanism which cascades windows with a 3D effect. Windows 7
Windows 7
features refinements in Aero Glass, including larger window buttons by default (minimize, maximize, close and query), revised taskbar thumbnails, the ability to manipulate windows by dragging them to the top or sides of the screen (to the side to make it fill half the screen, and to the top to maximize), the ability to hide all windows by hovering the Show Desktop button on the taskbar, and the ability to minimize all other windows by shaking one. Use of DWM, and by extension the Aero Glass theme, requires a video card with 128 MB of graphics memory (or at least 64 MB of video RAM and 1 GB of system RAM for on-board graphics) supporting pixel shader 2.0, and with WDDM-compatible drivers. Aero Glass is also not available in Windows 7
Windows 7
Starter, is only available to a limited extent on Windows Vista
Windows Vista
Home Basic, and is automatically disabled if a user is detected to be running a non-genuine copy of Windows.[16][17] Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008
and Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008
R2 also support Aero Glass as part of the "Desktop Experience" component, which is disabled by default.[18] Aero Wizards[edit]

A wizard on Windows 7
Windows 7
for connecting to the internet, which utilizes the "Aero Wizard" layout

Wizard 97[19] had been the prevailing standard for wizard design, visual layout, and functionality used in Windows 98
Windows 98
through to Windows Server 2003, as well as most Microsoft
Microsoft
products in that time frame. Aero Wizards are the replacement for Wizard 97, incorporating visual updates to match the aesthetics of the rest of Aero, as well as changing the interaction flow. More specifically:

To increase the efficiency of the wizard, the "Welcome" pages in Wizard 97 are no longer used. (A precursor to this change was implied in a number of wizards in products such as SQL Server 2005 where a check-box was added to welcome pages, allowing a user to disable the welcome page in future uses of the wizard.) Aero Wizards can be resized, whereas the Wizard 97 guidelines defined exact sizes for wizard window and content sizes. The purpose of Aero Wizards are more clearly stated at the top. A new kind of control called a "Command link" provides a single-click operation to choose from a short list of options. The notion of "Commit pages" is introduced, where it is made clear that the next step will be the actual process that the wizard is being used to enact. If no follow-up information needs to be communicated, these are the last pages in a wizard. Typically a commit page has a button at the bottom-right that is labeled with the action to be taken, such as "Create account". The "Back" button has moved to the top-left corner of the wizard window and matches the visual style of the back button in other Vista applications. This is done to give more focus to the commit choices. The "Next" button is only shown on pages where it is necessary. At the end of a wizard, a "Follow-up page" can be used to direct the user to related tasks that they may be interested in after completing the wizard. For example, a follow-up for a CD burning wizard may present options like "Duplicate this disc" and "Make a disc label".

Notifications[edit] Notifications allow an application or operating system component with an icon in the notification area to create a pop-up window with some information about an event or problem. These windows, first introduced in Windows 2000
Windows 2000
and known colloquially as "balloons", are similar in appearance to the speech balloons that are commonly seen in comics. Balloons were often criticized in prior versions of Windows due to their intrusiveness, especially with regard to how they interacted with full-screen applications such as games (the entire application was minimized as the bubble came up). Notifications in Aero aim to be less intrusive by gradually fading in and out, and not appearing at all if a full-screen application or screensaver is being displayed—in these cases, notifications are queued until an appropriate time.[20] Larger icons and multiple font sizes and colors are also introduced with Aero's notification windows. Font[edit]

Segoe UI
Segoe UI
font in Windows Vista
Windows Vista
and Windows 7
Windows 7
(top) and Windows 8, Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1
and Windows 10
Windows 10
(bottom)

The Segoe UI
Segoe UI
typeface is the default font for Aero with languages that use Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic character sets. The default font size is also increased from 8pt to 9pt to improve readability. In the Segoe UI typeface prior to Windows 8, the numeral zero ("0") is narrow, while capital letter "O" is wider (Windows 8's Segoe UI
Segoe UI
keeps this difference), and numeral one ("1") has a top hook, while capital letter "I" has equal crown and base (Windows 8's "1" has no base, and the "I" does not have a crown or base). Icons[edit] Aero's base icons were designed by The Iconfactory, which had previously designed Windows XP
Windows XP
icons.[21] Phrasing tone[edit] The Vista User Experience Guidelines also address the issue of "tone" in the writing of text used with the Aero user interface. Prior design guidelines from Microsoft
Microsoft
had not done much to address the issue of how user interface text is phrased, and as such, the way that information and requests are presented to the user had not been consistent between parts of the operating system. The guidelines for Vista and its applications suggest messages that present technically accurate advice concisely, objectively, and positively, and assume an intelligent user motivated to solve a particular problem. Specific advice includes the use of the second person and the active voice (e.g. "Print the photos on your camera") and avoidance of words like "please", "sorry" and "thank you".[22] See also[edit]

Aqua (user interface) Compiz Compositing window manager Desktop Window Manager Development of Windows 7 Development of Windows Vista Features new to Windows 7 Features new to Windows Vista Kwin

References[edit]

^ Allchin, Jim (November 9, 2006). "The Sounds of Windows Vista". Windows Vista
Windows Vista
Team Blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 10 November 2006. Retrieved April 25, 2015.  ^ "Message boxes differ in Windows Vista
Windows Vista
and in Windows XP, although you use the same code to generate the message boxes". Support. Microsoft. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  ^ "What is Windows Aero?". Windows Portal. Microsoft. Retrieved 11 June 2013.  ^ "Using Windows Flip 3D". Windows Portal. Microsoft. Retrieved 11 June 2013.  ^ "About Task Dialogs". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  ^ Zheng, Long (30 November 2008). "From Microsoft
Microsoft
patent to Windows reality: "X-ray browsing", circa 2005; Aero Peek, circa 2008". iStartedSomething.com. iStartedSomething. Retrieved 11 June 2013.  ^ Townsend, Reed; Matthews, Dave; LeGrow, Ian. Sinofsky, Steven, ed. "Touching Windows 7". Engineering Windows 7. Microsoft. Retrieved 30 November 2008.  ^ What's new in Windows 7: Faster & easier Archived 26 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Kiriaty, Yochay; Goldshtein, Sasha (July 2009). "Introducing The Taskbar
Taskbar
APIs". MSDN Magazine. Microsoft. Retrieved 10 November 2013.  ^ "RIP Aero Glass; Windows 8
Windows 8
Sticks a Fork in Familiar UI". PC Magazine. Ziff Davis. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.  ^ Harris, Jensen (18 May 2012). "Creating the Windows 8
Windows 8
user experience". Retrieved 24 June 2012.  ^ Webster, Andrew (18 May 2012). " Microsoft
Microsoft
reveals Windows 8
Windows 8
desktop UI changes, drops Aero Glass". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 12 June 2013.  ^ Harris, Jensen (19 May 2012). Sinofsky, Steven, ed. "Creating the Windows 8
Windows 8
user experience". Building Windows 8. Microsoft. Retrieved 21 May 2012.  ^ "What's New in Windows Vista". Windows Vista
Windows Vista
User Experience Guidelines. Microsoft. Retrieved 12 June 2013.  ^ Allchin, Jim (10 November 2006). "The Sounds of Windows Vista". Windows Vista
Windows Vista
Team Blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 10 November 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  ^ " Windows Vista
Windows Vista
Enterprise Hardware Planning Guidance". TechNet Library. Microsoft. February 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2013.  ^ Fried, Ina (13 April 2006). "Vista won't show fancy side to pirates". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 12 June 2013.  ^ "Desktop Experience Overview". TechNet Library. Microsoft. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  ^ "Wizard 97". Platform SDK. Microsoft. May 2002. Retrieved 12 June 2013.  ^ "Notifications". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved April 18, 2015.  ^ "Design: Windows Vista". iconfactory.com. The Iconfactory. Retrieved 12 June 2013.  ^ "Text". Windows Vista
Windows Vista
User Experience Guidelines. Microsoft. June 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Windows Vista
Windows Vista
Aero User Experience

v t e

Microsoft
Microsoft
Windows components

Management tools

App Installer Command Prompt Control Panel

Applets

Device Manager Disk Cleanup Disk Defragmenter Driver Verifier Event Viewer IExpress Management Console Netsh Performance Monitor Recovery Console Resource Monitor Settings Sysprep System Configuration System File
File
Checker System Information System Policy Editor System Restore Task Manager Windows Error Reporting Windows Ink Windows Installer PowerShell Windows Update

Windows Insider

WinRE WMI

Apps

Alarms & Clock Calculator Calendar Camera Character Map Cortana Edge Fax and Scan Feedback Hub Get Help Groove Music Magnifier Mail Messaging Maps Media Player Movies & TV Mobility Center Money News Narrator Notepad OneDrive OneNote Paint Paint 3D People Phone Companion Photos Quick Assist Snipping Tool Speech Recognition Skype Sports Sticky Notes View 3D Store Tips Voice Recorder Wallet Weather Windows To Go Windows Story Remix WordPad Xbox

Shell

Action Center Aero AutoPlay AutoRun ClearType Explorer Search

Indexing Service IFilter Saved search Namespace Special
Special
folder

Start menu Taskbar Task View Windows Spotlight Windows XP
Windows XP
visual styles

Services

Service Control Manager BITS CLFS Multimedia Class Scheduler Shadow Copy Task Scheduler Error Reporting Wireless Zero Configuration

File
File
systems

CDFS DFS exFAT IFS FAT NTFS

Hard link Junction point Mount Point Reparse point Symbolic link TxF EFS

ReFS UDF

Server

Domains Active Directory DNS Group Policy Roaming user profiles Folder redirection Distributed Transaction Coordinator MSMQ Windows Media Services Rights Management Services IIS Remote Desktop Services WSUS SharePoint Network Access Protection PWS DFS Replication Remote Differential Compression Print Services for UNIX Remote Installation Services Windows Deployment Services System Resource Manager Hyper-V Server Core

Architecture

Architecture of Windows NT Startup process

NT Vista

CSRSS Desktop Window Manager Portable Executable

EXE DLL

Enhanced Write Filter Graphics Device Interface hal.dll I/O request packet Imaging Format Kernel Transaction Manager Library files Logical Disk Manager LSASS MinWin NTLDR Ntoskrnl.exe Object Manager Open XML Paper Specification Registry Resource Protection Security Account Manager Server Message Block Shadow Copy SMSS System Idle Process USER WHEA Win32 console Winlogon WinUSB

Security

Security and Maintenance BitLocker Data Execution Prevention Family Safety Kernel Patch Protection Mandatory Integrity Control Protected Media Path User Account Control User Interface Privilege Isolation Windows Defender Windows Firewall

Compatibility

COMMAND.COM Virtual DOS machine Windows on Windows WoW64 Windows Subsystem for Linux

API

Active Scripting

WSH VBScript JScript

COM

ActiveX ActiveX
ActiveX
Document COM Structured storage DCOM OLE OLE Automation Transaction Server

DirectX .NET Framework Universal Windows Platform Windows Mixed Reality Windows Runtime WinUSB

Games

Solitaire Collection

Discontinued

Games

3D Pinball Chess Titans FreeCell Hearts InkBall Hold 'Em Purble Place Reversi Spider Solitaire Solitaire Tinker

Apps

ActiveMovie Anytime Upgrade Address Book Backup and Restore Cardfile CardSpace Contacts Desktop Gadgets Diagnostics DriveSpace DVD Maker Easy Transfer Fax File
File
Manager Food & Drink Help and Support Center Health & Fitness HyperTerminal Internet Explorer Journal Media Center Meeting Space Messaging Messenger Mobile Device Center Movie Maker MSN Dial-up NetMeeting NTBackup Outlook Express Travel Photo Gallery Photo Viewer Program Manager Steps Recorder WinHelp Write

Others

ScanDisk File
File
Protection Media Control Interface Next-Generation Secure Computing Base POSIX subsystem Interix Video for Windows Windows SideShow Windows Services for UNIX Windows System Assessment Tool WinFS

Spun off to Microsoft
Microsoft
Store

DVD Player Hover! Mahjong

.