Why did Microsoft remove aero?


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+Frank B.

The odd thing to me is that, in the RTM of Windows 8, all the glass/aero is gone, but the icons in the ribbon for File Explorer are the exact same as in the CP and RP. The glossy, 3D icons from Vista and 7. That's what I can't figure out. Why did they keep the same icons? Even Office 2013 completely revamped all the UI icons for the Ribbon in all their apps. But Windows 8 has kept the icons. And the same My Computer, Recycle Bin, and Network, Control Panel icons from Vista/7. To me, if they were going to do something as drastic as get rid of all reflective / transparencies and every visual aspect of Aero, they could have redone the icons to be more consistent with the rest of the OS's look.

That's one issue I have with the Windows 8 desktop theme. They should have flattened the icons as well; the Vista-era icons don't suit the new theme at all.

The other issue are the hideous oversized title bars.

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Phouchg

Could have made Basic a default and Aero optional. I like transparency, I'm crazy over it, my Firefox is damn full glass, for example. A matter of taste, no doubt. The thing is - transparency and blur doesn't go together with Metro, at least as Microsoft themselves are imagining it - several mockups on the internets that blend together Office 2010 and Zune, incorporate glass pretty good, but their own solid blocks of color do not. And it will be Windows 9 that will fix inconsistencies. Just as 7 took over from Vista.

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Vice

My theory is that Microsoft has been taken over by space aliens with very big hands. It's the only explanation I got for Windows 8 thus far.

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Charisma

It's just weird how we progressed, things got nicer as hardware capabilities were able to keep up with it, and then suddenly it feels like we're back at the start again. I know fashion is cyclical, and honestly I tend to prefer a simple-but-elegant, no-frills interface. But it's missing the elegance.

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Geoffrey B.

I honestly think that Aero was visually the best thing to ever happen the windows.

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caerma

I honestly think that Aero was visually the best thing to ever happen the windows.

Agree.

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theyarecomingforyou

It's just weird how we progressed, things got nicer as hardware capabilities were able to keep up with it, and then suddenly it feels like we're back at the start again. I know fashion is cyclical, and honestly I tend to prefer a simple-but-elegant, no-frills interface. But it's missing the elegance.

Having used Windows 8 for several months now I recently used Windows 7 again and found I didn't like Aero as much any more. The rounded edges and excessive shadows looks wrong and I was never a fan of the transparency. At the end of the day you get used to it really quickly. But as I said before, it really isn't that different. It's bizarre to claim that Aero is great but Window 8's theme is "ugly" when they are so similar.

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I am Reid

far and away so far on the RTM build the most annoying thing is no static clock. It takes some work just to see what time it is.

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Rudy

Aero was ugly when it came out.... I was really surprised when Win7 came out that they decided to keep Aero

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simplezz

Simple:

The Startscreen is just an overlay on top of the desktop, which is still there rendered in the background. So the composition of the desktop using Aero is constantly using resources. That all consumes battery life and impacts general performance, and Microsoft wants the Startscreen to appear fast and smooth.

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Noir Angel

Microsoft's UI designers have taken a step backwards it seems, Windows 8's default themes look absolutely hideous.

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freak180

Cant we use resources from RP to rebuild the visual style for RTM?

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giantpotato

Stardock will probably be happy. A lot of people stopped using WindowBlinds when Vista/ W7 came out. Assuming it is compatible with W8, some users might be going back to them for transparency.

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James Rose

The answer for the change from Aero to Metro could be because this UI is to universal on Tablets, Phones, Laptops and Desktops. This UI is not as CPU/GPU intensive and can be run on lower end phones, etc. Also, as you read from many comments here (and on other sites) many people like the clean/minimal look (ala Google) It could be also that to sell a new product you have to change something.

All in all, it doesn't matter too much. Either you like it and upgrade, or you don't and you don't.

Personally I like a more interesting interface (Hollywood OS anyone?) but that's just my POV.

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Noir Angel

The only thing that has been disabled is the transparency, the GUI is still GPU accelerated.

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still1

Microsoft improved windows 8 upon this design...

1512.1_2D00_Windows_2D00_1_5F00_4221EBC1.png

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Rudy

Microsoft improved windows 8 upon this design...

Actually Win8 is a step back because you can't have 3 metro apps open like that
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Denis W.

Time for anecdotal evidence:

While Windows 8's desktop theme isn't the most elegant solution, and someone really should be slapped hard for not giving the icons even the slightest restyling job - disabling transparency would be good thing for my laptop. Turns out the integrated Intel HD graphics (Arrandale Core i7) struggles to keep Aero fluid with lots of windows open, or if there's an external monitor connected. 'tis all good if you turn off transparency, but then non-transparent Aero looks a bit cheesy.

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Excelsis

Simple:

The Startscreen is just an overlay on top of the desktop, which is still there rendered in the background. So the composition of the desktop using Aero is constantly using resources. That all consumes battery life and impacts general performance, and Microsoft wants the Startscreen to appear fast and smooth.

Except for the fact desktop composition is still present. All Microsoft did was get rid of transparency, nothing else. All the theme backend that's in Windows Vista and 7 is still there in 8, there's just no transparency.

I don't see how this will improve performance or battery life. Transparency is just that, transparent PNGs as opposed to opaque ones. I REALLY doubt that makes any noticeable difference.

Oh and the theme is still called Aero in the RTM, btw. C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero

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BajiRav

Aero was ugly when it came out.... I was really surprised when Win7 came out that they decided to keep Aero

Didn't you get the memo? :p Aero is the most beautiful thing ever...after Microsoft got rid of it obviously(not entirely true but). :p

Simple:

The Startscreen is just an overlay on top of the desktop, which is still there rendered in the background. So the composition of the desktop using Aero is constantly using resources. That all consumes battery life and impacts general performance, and Microsoft wants the Startscreen to appear fast and smooth.

Nice technical explanation there.

/s

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+devHead

I look at just the difference in the Taskbar in the RTM and the RP. In the RP, you still have some chrome; a thin white line at the top and above it a thin black border. In the RTM, there is no such chrome whatsoever. Just a flat colored strip and then the desktop. The same goes for the titlebar and window border colors. And no, you can choose one color for the taskbar and a different one for Windows. Additionally, while I was kind of hoping they'd bring back the ability to change your font face for different parts of the UI (Window title, Message box, icons, etc.) there is none. You can change the font size of different elements, but you get one font choice: Segoe UI. And not that Segoe isn't a nice looking font, even improved from Windows 7, but why completely remove such customization options?

And they can not use the reasoning 'well, we found that the majority of users don't customize Windows that way anymore, so we got rid of it.' They didn't use such reasoning for creating a Start screen made primarily for touch. Certainly, most people don't have touch-centric devices on their home PCs, but they made a huge change. I think it's more because in a Tablet / handheld OS, there's no such option. So, they removed it from Windows 8. And since it was kind of a Rube Goldberg to find where to change the fonts in Windows 7, such customization from users took a nose dive. Then they said 'most users don't change fonts in their UI anymore.'

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The King of GnG

They removed Aero because they have no clue about what they are doing....

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guru

this is what happens when lowest common denominator ideas/design take over. MS should have had a flatter aero in Win8 instead they removed it altogether to save battery life on tablets among other things.

its not a big deal to identify whether the host device is a pc or a tablet and specific ui's for the device (pc=aero, tablets= current regressive all flat theme) but hey.. consistency > good ux :rolleyes:

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BoneyardBrew

The default theme in Windows 8 is a disgrace to everything Metro used to stand for. Aside from a couple elements here and there it does absolutely no justice to the design language they've developed.

There are no shadows, the transition between the active and inactive states is jarring, you can't choose a black frame because the text is also black, borders on the windows are an opaque grey and look muddy against a dark background, the caption buttons are disgusting, the taskbar is completely transparent, there are Vista/7 style elements everywhere (icons, taskbar buttons, tray hover effect, picture viewer header, etc.).

I could go on for hours and I haven't even mentioned the start screen.

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Quillz

Did Microsoft really remove Aero and if so why why did they do this? Aero make the desktop look so much nicer. The Windows 8 desktop imo looks ugly in comparison and it looks flat. I am not a fan of the new metro lookor metro apps but I at least I figured I could ignore it and continue using the desktop.

I am really disappointed in what Microsoft has done with WIndows 8. It is obvious that he main focus is not the desktop but mobile devices. This has to be the first Windows release that I am not interested in getting.

Yes, visually Aero has changed. But I see it as a maturation, an evolution. The underlying technologies, like hardware acceleration, are all still there and unchanged. Frankly, I think this is the best Aero has ever looked. I much prefer it now to how it appeared in both Vista and 7.

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