One of the most talked design changes - or additions - in Windows Vista is Windows Aero. Microsoft calls it a more dynamic user-interface system compared to the basic interface system known from Windows XP. Windows Aero is actually a set of interface enhancements in Windows Vista. One of these is called Windows Aero Glass. Glass adds translucency to all windows of the operating system.
This Windows Aero Glass feature is now available in Windows XP thanks to Fast Aero. Fast Aero, a portable software, is a work in progress with the ultimate goal to provide the Aero Glass feature for all Windows XP users. The current version of Fast Aero provides the Glass effect on most - if not all - windows that are open in Windows XP. Please keep in mind that only new windows will display the Windows Aero Glass effect. Some can be minimized and maximized again while others need to be closed and reopened.
The default language of the software is Polish but it can easily be changed in the config.ini to English so that the language line looks like this: language=english. The only options provided by the interface are to enable or disable the blur effect. Version 1.3 which is supposed to come out in December will offer additional features like finetuning the blur intensity and refresh interval.
The Windows XP Aero Glass effect looks pretty solid in this version. Users who like to add some special bling to their operating system will surely love Fast Aero. Other users might feel that its resource usage does not justify the visual gain. It comes down to personal choice and preference in the end.
Update: Fast Aero development has stopped. I have uploaded the last public version of the Windows XP Aero application to the Ghacks Technology News server. You can download the program from the following link: [Download not found]
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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.