Click this to see the comparison. You will need to hover your mouse cursor over the picture in order to see the difference: http://screenshotcom...omparison/31026
I downloaded this screenshot from Neowin, this is not actually my desktop, nor am I the username in the top right corner.
Just a bit of info up front - some of these changes are subtle. Almost all of these changes conflict with the style that Microsoft is going for... the "flat" look. I added a bit of inner glow to each tile, a slight bit of gloss.... Gloss is a hit or miss, it either ruins everything, or it adds an extra bit of eye candy. I think I've struck a good balance of gloss and saturation. Also, I added slight drop shadows to each tile. I think drop shadows if used properly can improve the look of things. I've added slight bevels and gradient fades in the white icons. Also, the icons are sitting "on top" of the glossy backgrounds. I did this because I didn't want the icons to lose their saturation.
In all truth and honesty, I really like the whole square flat tile thing that Microsoft is pushing with Windows 8, I just hate seeing solid colors butting up against a sea of colors. It's unnatural. It's like white text on a white picture. Sometimes a bit of contrast is needed, and you just can't achieve that using flat solid colors.
This is coming at a time when the internet and the world of mobile devices is transitioning to flatter interfaces. I think this is a fad move and will last several years. People will get bored with it and start going back to using drop shadows, gradients and bevels, they will just try to take a smarter approach to it--one that doesn't involve blowing out the colors with obscene amounts of highlights, or giving icons super fake 3D bevels.
Also, I realize coming here to post about this is probably only going to end in blood because I've noticed that Neowin has an unbelievable number of Microsoft fanboys. I've been visiting Neowin for like 6-7 years now... maybe longer... I've seen this website go through a few revisions. I've commented numerous times on the front page articles. I've seen how you guys react to anything that might even slightly resemble anti microsoft sentiment.
So having said that, if you think you have the balls to respond in a non antagonistic manner, please do. Admittedly, I'm curious to see what the non biased forum users have to say about this, but I've chosen probably the most biased place to post. lol Shame on me, right?
Edit: I was thinking of a way that Microsoft could add gloss / drop shadows without stepping on the toes of people who prefer a flatter look. Microsoft could create a customization page that lets you drag slider bars for adding or removing gloss, dropshadows, or bevels. All of these settings could be very easily adjusted and people could tailor the look of their entire OS in a few seconds.