Windows 10 Insider Preview 10074 brings back Aero Glass

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 30, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft pushed the curtain away and revealed new information about its upcoming operating system Windows 10 yesterday on the first day of the BUILD 2015 conference.

The company released a new build of Windows 10 which is available as an update for Fast Ring users and also available as an ISO image for new users and those who want to set it up using an ISO image.

A recent post by Gabe Aul on the company's Blogging Windows site highlights what you can expect from the new version.

About half of the new features and improvements fall into the application and mobile category, while the other half may be interesting to desktop users as well.

We have separated the improvements into a desktop and a mobile part.

Desktop and general improvements

windows 10 10074

One big change is the re-introduction of Aero Glass. The feature, introduced in Windows 7 and pulled in Windows 8, is applied to the taskbar and start menu / screen of the operating system.

Microsoft notes that it is A/B testing normal transparency and a blur effect so that half the users will get the new blue effect while the other half the transparency effect instead.

Work continuous to better support high DPI displays, especially on multi-monitor setups. Microsoft's goal is to make UX components scale well on all monitors regardless of DPI.

The multi-tasking experience has been refined in build 10074 affecting features such as Alt-Tab, Task-View and Snap Assist.

Alt-Tab allows you to cycle through open program windows, Task-View is the multi-desktop component that ships with Windows 10, and Snap Assist improves how you snap windows in the operating system.

If you like sounds, I usually turn them off as I find them annoying after a while, you may want to listen to new sounds that Microsoft ships with this build.


The easiest way to test those is to tap on the Windows-key, type sounds and select the Sound control panel applet that is suggested to you at the top.

There you find all sounds and can go through them one by one playing them in the process.

Mobile improvements

Live Tile performance and stability has been improved in this build. In addition, Live Tiles have a new animation when contents change.

Continuum is one of the most interesting features of Windows 10 in my opinion as it can turn a smartphone into a "basic" PC when you connect it to a HDMI display and mouse/keyboard.

Small improvements went into the feature in this build including being taken back to the start screen if you close apps on a tablet.

New functionality was added to the digital assistant Cortana. New questions are supported by it now that are powered by Bing Instant Answers. You can use it to convert units, use it as a calculator, get dictionary definitions or stock quotes.

Cortana's visual appearance has changed as well. It is now closely tight to the start menu which means that it can take over searches for you for example


The Music and Video Preview apps, and the Xbox app have received updates in this build. Probably the biggest improvements went into the Xbox app which now supports game DVR for PC games, screenshot support and more.

Closing Words

While you could call most improvements of this build marginal, especially if you are a desktop user, you cannot deny that Microsoft is listening at least partially to what Windows users have to say this time.

Who would have guessed that the company brings back Aero from the dead for instance? If you take this into account, and consider that the announcement covers mostly UI changes and not backend changes, then you may have a hard time denying that Microsoft is on a better way know than it was during the development of Windows 8.

The update itself takes a while but keeps all apps and programs installed on the system so that you don't lose any of those in the process.

Windows 10 Insider Preview 10074 brings back Aero Glass
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Windows 10 Insider Preview 10074 brings back Aero Glass
Microsoft just released build 10074 of the Windows 10 Insider Preview that brings back Aero Glass and introduces new and improved features.
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  1. Paul(us) said on May 3, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks Martin for the tip to disable http everywhere on your site I have been looking for weeks for the answer why pictures where not working anymore on your site.

  2. Anonymous said on May 2, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I’ve never understood why AeroGlass exists.

  3. Dwight Stegall said on May 1, 2015 at 1:15 am

    I was hoping we had seen the last of Aero. :(

  4. All Things Firefox said on May 1, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Very glad that Aero is back. The lack of it is one of the problems with Windows 8(.1) and Windows 10, although I have gotten used to the flat look. Still, it’s good to have it available.

  5. DonGateley said on May 1, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Watching Build 2015 live now and the cross-platform inclusions are being described. Expect apps that run on Windows 10, OS X and Linux with full open source .net support. Microsoft may have just taken OS X away from Apple.

    It is hard to believe that what I’ve seen coming from Build 2015 is from Microsoft. An entirely different company. Anybody who’s pulse doesn’t race just a bit more after watching this (especially Hololens for the general user) doesn’t have one. To watch the main line go to:

    You can watch any of it that’s already happened and whatever is currently happening from its start. Full pause/restart of “live” as well. Their interviewers are simply amazing. The Alex Kipman (Hololens, Windows Holograpic) interview is mind boggling. This guy stands out as _the_ genius among many. It’s clear that his vision (buttressed by his accomplishment) drives a great deal of the Windows roadmap. Flamboyant as hell but a lot of fun when you get used to his idiosyncrasies.

    1. Corky said on May 1, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Someone call a doctor i can’t find my pulse.
      All joking aside I’m not doubting the noises coming from Redmond are certainly different in a positive way, unfortunately it’s going to take time to convince some people that Microsoft really is changing the way it does things, changing people perception takes times.

  6. Blue said on April 30, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    The Aero Desktop elements were pretty to look at and the sudden change to the Metro style GUI was almost a slap in the face but all that aside, which I am ticked off the most about is something as simple as Windows Media Player stopped being able to dock to the taskbar since Vista. We can download the DLL file to force it to dock in Windows 7, but it is like loading the program twice and both taskbar version and open window version can control your library independently.

    Then in Windows 8/8.1 all music and video – unless we specify a specific player to play content through all route back through the START menu under the XBox player, and the old familiar standby WMP has to be downloaded separately and can not be associated with media files directly. If we associate media with the WMP, Windows ignores it and opens the full screen blocked (Metro) XBox player instead, which is damn annoying if you simply want to listen to tunes and continue working.

    To use WMP, in Windows 8 and newer we have to download it and launch it directly.

    1. Andrew said on May 1, 2015 at 12:23 am

      windows media player has to be downloaded separate? It’s included in windows 8, I know this because I stopped using WMP years ago, yet it still pops up asking me to associate files with it.

  7. beemeup4 said on April 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    This was the number 2 most voted for topic on the Windows Feature Suggestion Box:

    Naturally Microsoft couldn’t simply ignore this as it would make it plain that MS doesn’t “really” care what users think, though they did opt for Edge over Spartan despite 17,000+ votes to keep Spartan as the name for Microsoft’s new browser platform:

    Side note: I didn’t realize how much Iranians and the Persian-speaking world were left out of the loop but it is impressive how well they band together to make their voices heard. Thanks to them Microsoft has added a Persian calendar to Windows 10 and also corrected DST for Iran. Even Turkish handwriting recognition was added. It’s nice to know MS is trying to be as inclusive as possible.

    A couple other notable international suggestions include:

    Pre-Reform Portuguese spelling on the entire OS:

    and support for the Telex typing method for Vietnamese language:

  8. Corky said on April 30, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Kind of makes me giggle how a Start Menu and Aero Glass are considered progress, i guess that says more about Windows 8.x than anything else.

    1. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 9:33 pm

      Well, Microsoft did drop the ball on the whole start screen thing, i’m kind of surprised they didn’t learn from win3.11 to win95 transition. Windows 10, basically is what Windows 8 should have been, majority of people cannot accept a huge change like that.

      As for Aero glass, I never understood why it pissed so many people off when it was removed.

      1. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm

        Well, I believed that vista should have been something way different, especially since they dropped all their development half way through in longhorn and started fresh.

        Vista wasn’t THAT bad, but it wasn’t really made for a lot of the current technology out now. The whole ‘Vista capable’ campaign screwed everything up.

      2. Decent60 said on April 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm

        And Windows 7 is what Windows Vista should have been.

        Viscous cycle Micro$oft seems to have developed.
        I also think people were upset because they could no long preview the window anymore (it was also so fancy! ). Personally I like it but I can live perfectly fine without it and not complain.

  9. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Wasn’t Aero glass introduced in Windows Vista?

    1. Decent60 said on April 30, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      Yes it was.

  10. George Melendez said on April 30, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Actually, Microsoft has 26, yes twenty six, Wins OS versions…. lets see, Wins 1.01, 1,03, 1.04, Wins 2.0, 2.10, 2.11, Wins 3.0, 3.01, Wins NT 3.1, Wins for Workgroups 3.11, Wins 3.2, Wins Net 3.5, 3.51, Wins 95, Wins Net 4.0, Wins 98, Wins 2000, Wins ME, Wins XP, Wins XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003, Wins XP Professional x64, Wins Vista, Wins 7, Wins 8, Wins 8.1 and now we will have Microsoft’s latest way of taking our money and that would be WINDOWS 10…… This is what I call fun. Can’t wait for the next Windows OS, let me guess Windows or maybe Doors V 2016……..

    1. Guest said on May 1, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      You forgot Win 98 SE… and yes, it is separate from 98

    2. Blue said on April 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      You missed, “Windows Server 2003, 2006, and 2008″… so 29 not 26. There probably are versions after 2008, but I stopped looking at them shortly after that.

      1. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 11:31 pm

        and the R2, CE, Home Server, FLP, Embedded, there’s really too many to count…

    3. Jeff said on April 30, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      ” and now we will have Microsoft’s latest way of taking our money and that would be WINDOWS 10…”

      Um, it’s free. but don’t let that stop your rant ;-)

    4. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      yes… because them offering it as a free upgrade is taking all of our money! I am not sure what you are trying to get at by listing all the different windows versions (you forgot mobile and CE btw)… would you rather have an OS that never changes? if that was case, we’d still be on DOS.

      “This is what I call fun. Can’t wait for the next Windows OS, let me guess Windows or maybe Doors V 2016……..”

      I get that you’re trying to be snarky and humorous, but I think you need to try harder… the “Doors” was just… just horrible…

  11. ZzzZombi said on April 30, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Unrelated to the post but I just wondered your opinion. How do you like Pillars of Eternity? Have you finished it?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 30, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Have not. I like it a lot so far. I stopped playing shortly after release because I wanted to wait for patches to come out first.

      It is great if you don’t mind reading a lot ;)

      1. ZzzZombi said on May 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm

        Yeah, I’m doing the same. 1.04 came out recently and there’s talk about a 1.05 patch. I don’t mind reading at all. I’d take reading lots of meaningful texts over short (most of the time, filler) voiced-over sequences.

  12. insanelyapple said on April 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I’d say that Aero isn’t a feature itself but a set of transparent UI elements (or you may say simpler a visual style) working atop of DWM and which was not used in Windows 8/8.1 – DWM in contrary was/is in use.

    1. Blue said on April 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      They aren’t simpler as they are more graphic intense than other screen elements oddly enough. In Windows 7 we have the, “Windows Experience Index”, which asses our key systems components on a scale of 1.0 to 7.9.
      For my system determined by lowest score: 4.4

      Processor: Calculations per second 7.4
      Memory: Memory Operations per second 7.8
      Graphics: Desktop Performance for Aero Desktop 4.4
      Gaming graphics: 3D Game Graphics Performance 6.1
      Primary hard disk: Disk transfer rate 6.9
      Secondary hard disk: Disk transfer rate 6.9
      Secondary hard disk: Disk transfer rate 6.9

      Which shows I have a more than decent rig though my video card isn’t a high end one, it’s pretty decent for only being a GT610 card (2Gb DDR5 + 2Gb DDR3 RAM) which gives me 40-46 FPS in high end games when I overclock it. But ultimately the entire computer score is determined by the lowest number and it’s the, “Desktop Performance for Aero Desktop”.

      Using that as a base, my argument is Aero Desktop somehow requires more video processing power than high end high FPS 3D games. It would not be so if it simply was a, “simpler visual style”.

  13. johh said on April 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    I’m using HTTPS Everwhere v4.0.1 and I can see images (Firefox 37.0.2). I think the OP has other problem.

    1. Jeff said on April 30, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      I think the problem only exists in Chrome (with HTTPS Everywhere enabled).

  14. johh said on April 30, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Now we are talking microsoft. The “Continuum” ubuntu like feature is sure thing for me to buy a windows phone! ;)
    And yeah, Aero coming back? I loved it, so glad it is coming back.
    Future is looking good for Micro$oft!

  15. dmvazquez said on April 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Martin, can’t see any image on your pages…

    IE: This URL:
    is resolved as:
    Then error…

    Hope you can fix it soon… Thanks!!!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 30, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Please disable this site in HTTPS Everywhere, this fixes it.

      1. dmvazquez said on April 30, 2015 at 3:19 pm

        Sorry about that… My mistake! ;-)

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