One of the first things that I do after installing Vista or Windows 7 on a new computer is to change some of the default visual effects the operating system ships with. On Windows 7, I immediately switch from the Windows 7 (Aero) theme to Windows 7 Basic which does away with lots of the eye candy that I'd otherwise be annoyed at. This includes first and foremost Aero Glass with its transparent window chrome, but also other visual effects that I find more distracting than helpful.
You may see this different, and there are certainly users who appreciate the Aero interface with its transparent chrome and visual effects. Microsoft however did reveal that it will change the Windows 8 desktop in this regard.
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.
This basically confirms that Microsoft intends to drop Aero Glass, and several other Aero effects that the majority of Windows users have come in contact with in recent years. For me personally it is a welcome change, as I would have turned off those effects anyway on computer's running Windows 8.
Some visual changes will be included in the soon to be released Release Preview of Windows 8. The majority of them are however only included in the final release, and not the release preview. This is kinda interesting, as I had assumed that the Release Preview would be the operating system's release candidate, which usually marks the end of development. It is possible that Microsoft has included the features but disabled them in the release.
I personally like the design that you see on the screenshot above. What about you? Do you think Microsoft is heading into the right direction with these design changes? (via The Verge)
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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.