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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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!

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

''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?

I've installed it and realised...

MS were absolutely right to remove it - it's fecking horrible and confusing as heck.

We live and learn.

dangel777 said,
I've installed it and realised...

MS were absolutely right to remove it - it's fecking horrible and confusing as heck.

We live and learn.

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

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.

I REALLY miss Aero (not the animations HATE Those, but the transparency. It Looked sooo good and was really nice on the eyes. Then in windows 8 they turned off Aero all together. God I hate that (Among a long list of other things)

Well it sounded like something I wanted until I found out you have to get a new license if you upgrade your CPU or HDD. Granted it gives you two for that reason, but seems like it'd end up being a waste for someone who updates their hardware often or bits at a time.

How often do you upgrade your CPU or HDD? If very often then you are probably rich man who does not donate poor 3€ for 2 licenses ;-)

Big Muscle said,
How often do you upgrade your CPU or HDD? If very often then you are probably rich man who does not donate poor 3€ for 2 licenses ;-)

It's not the price that bothers me, it's the repetition and hassle. I'd rather donate more just to get one license that'll last forever.

I am sorry. But if filling your e-mail and new machine code (which is operation for 30 seconds) really bothers you then I cannot satisfy your needs.

Big Muscle said,
I am sorry. But if filling your e-mail and new machine code (which is operation for 30 seconds) really bothers you then I cannot satisfy your needs.

I donated quite a bit, should be quite a few keys
But how to apply a key after I've downloaded it?

P.S.
If anyone wants a key feel free to pm me with your machine id

Used to love it in Vista and 7 but now it just doesn't compliment the rest of the "modern" UI, IMHO.

I wish the borders would look like Office 2013's look like in Windows 8. Office always makes the most out of each UI, e.g., the Office 2010's ribbon with the slight gradient to transparency looked amazing as well.

Arceles said,
You look ugly..... see? everybody can be opinionated over one thing or another.

But his comment is related to this article, you are just offtopic.

Hahaha, now let's just use the exact words of what half of neowin said when people complained about windows 8; 'instead of using this why not just go back to windows 7'.

I too find the transparent taskbar a bit distracting, and I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't addressed it.

I understand WHY they decided to do it, though. People have 1920x1080 wallpapers, and Microsoft doesn't want to have to "chop off" those bottom 80 pixels or so. So they made it transparent.

The problem/distraction is that the image bleeds through sometimes when it feels like it shouldn't.

If I was designing Windows 8.2, I'd set it up differently, in 1 of 2 ways.

1) Only have it be transparent if there are a full horizontal row of wallpaper pixels visible just above the taskbar. That way, if you had a window whose bottom frame was below the taskbar threshold, the taskbar becomes solid. Though, that too could be quite a distraction, seeing that transition. So I actually like my idea 2 better.

2) If a window is maximized, disable the taskbar transparency. You can't see the freakin wallpaper anyway, so why have the wallpaper content interfere with the taskbar?? Why they didn't go this option in the first place escapes me.

Your program reference for "Opaque Taskbar for Windows 8" is quite useful - I use it sometimes. I'm glad a developer found out how to do this - Windows should have it be an option within Personalization.

UXGaurav said,
That was because the Winaero glass project doesn't have blur. With blur added by big muscle's project, Classic Shell's menu and a custom visual style, Windows 8 can be made to look like Windows 7: http://i.imgur.com/ocqUps0.jpg

I'm sold!! ... almost.

firey said,
This + Start Is back makes 8 pretty usable.

How does solid window borders make the OS unusable? Prior to Vista, there was no transparency at all in the OS...

Dot Matrix said,

How does solid window borders make the OS unusable? Prior to Vista, there was no transparency at all in the OS...


... and Windows OS before Vista was usable too. Your point?

Dot Matrix said,

How does solid window borders make the OS unusable? Prior to Vista, there was no transparency at all in the OS...

Lot of people's personal preference directs back to usability for them. Think it was more of a personal opinion than anything.

Same, was never a fan of the glass thing (especially themes that grossly over use it), on my 7 desktop my theme doesn't use transparency either.

Went to give it a try but it requires UEFI SecureBoot to be disabled. Oh well. Rather keep the faster boot times then add a bit more shiney shiney.

Merson316 said,
Went to give it a try but it requires UEFI SecureBoot to be disabled. Oh well. Rather keep the faster boot times then add a bit more shiney shiney.

Secure boot has nothing to do with boot speed, you can disable secure boot and still use EFI

Disclaimer: Any opinion from DotMatrix is highly biased towards Windows 8 and doesn't reflect the general consensus of people.

Arceles said,
Disclaimer: Any opinion from DotMatrix is highly biased towards Windows 8 and doesn't reflect the general consensus of people.

And most people prefer to get a registration nag on every startup? I highly doubt that.

I saw it once.... let me see when it appears again.... Alright, indeed I'm against nagging. Nonetheless I will leave it on as long as it's one time, otherwise uninstall.

How is that complaining? Seems like a friendly headsup to me. I personally don't mind people warning me ahead of time of applications that implement these tactics. And the way the developer did it is shady. He purposely delays the popup a few minutes to annoy you while you're in the middle of doing something, which is textbook nagware.

Arceles said,
Disclaimer: Any opinion from DotMatrix is highly biased towards Windows 8 and doesn't reflect the general consensus of people.