Aero Glass mod for Windows 8 version 1.0 released

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In February, we first reported on the efforts of a programmer known as "bigmuscle" who announced on the MSFN message boards that he had developed the first version of a program he called Aero Glass for Win8. As the name implies, the program is designed to put back the aero glass transparent look to the desktop of Windows 8. Microsoft chose to remove the popular desktop option after first introducing it in Windows Vista and including it in Windows 7.

It's been several months since "bigmuscle" released his first version of the program but a few days ago, he launched the 1.0 version of Aero Glass for Win8. The program works by integrating with the Desktop Window Manager in Windows 8. The site states:

All rendering is done via native Direct3D device. Any colorization settings adjusted in Windows Control Panels are respected. Use color intensity slider to adjust the amount of the transparency. No custom skinning engine used.

Aero Glass for Win8 is supposed to work while using as little system resources as possible. It can also let users change their window borders without changing their Windows theme, including using effects such as "window shadow, caption glow effect, rounded borders or simply change the appearance of caption buttons."

While Aero Glass for Win8 is free to download, the program does ask for a donation every time it is used. Sending a donation cuts out the request screen and also lets users gain access to upcoming beta versions of the software. At the moment, the program does not support the preview version of Windows 8.1 but there is a beta version that is being tested by invited users only.

Thanks to Neowin forum member Arceles for the tip!

Source: Aero Glass for Win8 | Image via Arceles

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Brony said,

Right :make it optional.
Wrong: remove it forcefully and without asking the opinion of the customers.

Your assumption is that they didn't? I'm pretty sure MS run focus groups etc like everybody else in software.

I was very much in the camp of 'miss glass' when I first switched to 8 - I'd since forgotten about it and turning it back on made the distinction of screen elements considerably worse IMHO. I love me bling but I stand by what I said.. especially with the flatter look of the 8 theme.

Anyway, you've got choice now so.. we're all good

Considering the transparency is still a feature of Aero/WDDM but not enabled (or well, only for taskbar) I don't see why this couldn't be optional.
It's not like the whole transparency part has been ripped out of the OS.

Brony said,

Right :make it optional.
Wrong: remove it forcefully and without asking the opinion of the customers.

Funny how you say that, since at the release of Vista, everyone was against it. Right or wrong, it makes no difference, removing it was no different than Microsoft removing Luna. It's a new theme for a new OS. It's not going to be there forever.

Dot Matrix said,

Funny how you say that, since at the release of Vista, everyone was against

Don't speak for EVERYONE, I personally always loved Aero Glass…

MFH said,

Don't speak for EVERYONE, I personally always loved Aero Glass…

I did too, doesn't mean it still wasn't chastised upon release. I specifically recall pundits and consumers alike being less than thrilled with it, claiming it was excessive, sluggish, unprofessional, etc.

''It can also let users change their window borders without changing their Windows theme, including using effects such as "window shadow, caption glow effect, rounded borders or simply change the appearance of caption buttons."

Does anyone know where these settings can be found?

What is the sense of micro transactions? To be able to donate 0.1€ ? It's user's choice how much he donates, but do you think it is fair to provide same privileges to "micro donators" as to those who donated tens of euros?

Pretty fair, if you are not doing it for any profit. At least you are getting something. Seems like you are doing it for profit. Please remove that BS you wrote on your site about it not being for any profit. You lost a donator. I can just use the first versions without the message pop.

Windows 8/8.1 has the MOST ugly Desktop UI since win3.0
Try use a dark color, and you can't see the text and minimize/maximize buttons in the top border.
How the hell MS could come up with this crap is incredible and very disappointing.
Let's hope they will bring Aero Transparent back in win9 as an option.
And what is wrong with opportunities Dot M???
The one who want's this flat ****, should be able to select this theme.
And the one of us who wants Transparent should be able to select this.
And last, My computer is NOT a darm smartphone or tablet.

Luke777 said,
Windows 8/8.1 has the MOST ugly Desktop UI since win3.0
Try use a dark color, and you can't see the text and minimize/maximize buttons in the top border.
How the hell MS could come up with this crap is incredible and very disappointing.
Let's hope they will bring Aero Transparent back in win9 as an option.
And what is wrong with opportunities Dot M???
The one who want's this flat ****, should be able to select this theme.
And the one of us who wants Transparent should be able to select this.
And last, My computer is NOT a darm smartphone or tablet.

As I stated above, Microsoft removing the transparent effect is no different than Microsoft removing Luna. Windows 8 is a new OS, ergo, a new theme was implemented. Transparency was nothing more than eye candy at best and added nothing of value to the OS.

Dot Matrix said,

As I stated above, Microsoft removing the transparent effect is no different than Microsoft removing Luna. Windows 8 is a new OS, ergo, a new theme was implemented. Transparency was nothing more than eye candy at best and added nothing of value to the OS.

No different!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Either you are colorblind or extremely stubborn.
You can't use dark/black colors and see the text or minimize and maximize buttons, and call it eyecandy???????????
Removing Luna did not break anything, like this win8/8.1 flat ****
Why remove it, when ms can't replace it with something better, what is wrong with opportunities????

Removing Luna (or any other) theme has nothing in common with removing transparency, because they are two different things. Default theme in Win8 is still transparent, it's desktop windows manager who fill the area with opaque color before applying the theme.

I don't get it, my windows 8 has transparent stuff, what am i missing here? I also don't see the difference... maybe i just don't care

I love Aero and will stick with Win7 for the time being. I got a laptop with Win 8 preinstalled and hated it. Put Win 7 on it and I am very happy. Aero Glass and Aero in general has always been my favorite theme or look.

That is just me though. I hope Windows 9 will put it back as an option.

Was really hoping this would enable glass over remote desktop. I hate how my Win7 box looks over RDP with Win8 :'(

One more of many omissions (defects?) in Windows-8 having to be fixed by third-party developers. Pity that Microsoft didn't include them with Windows-8, supposedly an improvement over Windows-7.

It looks like the every other version is the good one syndrome continues for MS. So in this case it looks like 9 will be a good system.

Oh boooy!

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