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Microsoft announces it will drop its Aero Glass user interface, opting for a more sedate, back-to-basics user interface in Windows 8. Smart or bad idea?

Microsoft’s Aero Glass user interface made its debut on Windows Vista, bringing fancy glass-like blur effects to Windows. Now Microsoft has labeled that look “dated and cheesy”, and instead will bring in a simpler, flatter look that it claims doesn’t divert the user’s attention away from the contents of the window.

With Microsoft making a big play with its Metro user interface, the firm wants the desktop user interface of Windows 8 to resemble its fancy new tiled-based Metro interface. To do that the firm said it will “flatten surfaces, removing reflections, and scaling back distracting gradients”.

Jensen Harris, director of programme management for Microsoft’s User Experience team said, “Gone are the glass and reflections. We squared off the edges of windows and the taskbar. We removed all the glows and gradients found on buttons within the chrome. We made the appearance of windows crisper by removing unnecessary shadows and transparency. The default window chrome is white, creating an airy and premium look. The taskbar continues to blend into the desktop wallpaper, but appears less complicated overall.”

Harris continued by saying that rounded edges were replaced with hard right-angles, and the colour schemes have been changed “to make them feel more modern and neutral”.

Harris said some of the user interface changes will not be visible until Windows 8 appears on retail shelves. Given that some of Microsoft’s user base will need to see a compelling reason to upgrade to Windows 8, it is no surprise that the firm is talking up its user interface tweaks.

via The Inquirer


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