Microsoft made the decision to make the Aero interface only available to select editions of the Windows Vista operating system and not all of them. Windows Vista Home Basic users for instance do not get the full Aero interface. I really do not like where Microsoft is heading with the fragmentation of the operating system. Most users do not really know what they are getting themselves into when they buy a PC or a different edition of Windows as the names Basic, Premium and Ultimate do not really reveal what features the operating systems make available and what not.
While you can upgrade the system using Anytime Upgrade, it is not something that all users want to do as it means additional expenses.
It is apparently not a big problem to enable the Vista Aero interface in Windows Vista Home Basic even though it is officially not included in that version. All you need to do is to change the values of two registry keys and restart Windows Vista afterwards. Open the registry by pressing Windows + R, typing regedit and hitting enter afterwards.
Navigate to the key Hkey_Current_User \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ DWM \ and change the value of the entry Composition to 1 and the value of CompositionPolicy to 0.
Now you can select the Aero interface by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Personalize from the menu. Switch to Colors and Appearance and click on Classic Appearance Properties.. and choose Windows Vista Aero from the menu.
Update: Microsoft has continued the naming confusion with the release of Vista's successor, Windows 7. Windows 7 did ship with a professional edition that replaced Vista's business edition. The breakdown in Home Basic and Home Premium has not been changed though, and Windows 7 Home Basic users face the same restrictions that Windows Vista owners faced when the operating system comes out.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.