For all the fans of Aero, a user interface improvement that has been introduced in Windows Vista and optimized in Windows 7, it’s a sad, sad day. Microsoft believes that Aero has taken its toll, and it’s time for a newer, cleaner interface which will be introduced in Windows 8, a new version of its operating system that will come out this fall. As far as we know, Microsoft will be releasing a new, more efficient interface in the final build of Windows 8. We assume that there will be some touch-ups done to the interface, making it slightly more efficient than what we’ve seen in the consumer preview.
What Will Microsoft Change in Windows 8’s Interface?
Windows 8’s user interface will still include a very smooth layout, but won’t include as much eye candy as Windows 7 did. The drop shadow that’s been around since XP will disappear, and so will the semi-transparent title bar as seen in the Aero interface. Only the taskbar will remain sort of transparent. To preserve program compatibility, window content remain with a light chrome background. Microsoft claims that this background will help keep attention away from the surrounding UI and focus everything on the content of all windows. It was their aim with Aero in the first place.
The new Windows 8 interface will still be smooth and eye candy-ish, but windows will no longer have rounded corners. Instead, the new operating system will have squared corners on all of its dialogs and windows.
According to Microsoft, you won’t get much of a shock when using the new interface. If it’s anything like the consumer preview showed, then we can attest to this. The interface isn’t much different, except for the fact that you won’t be barraged with visual effects. The harmony between the pleasant visual style of Windows 8’s desktop environment and the efficiency of its cleanliness is sufficient to make the transition smoother than one would otherwise expect when being told that Microsoft dumped Aero.
The interesting thing about this is that the consumer preview still calls the UI “Aero.” However, this is subject to change as future builds might do away with the nomenclature.
Why is Windows 8’s UI Different?
Today is a world in which people are moving away from desktop computers and are starting to use more low-power devices like netbooks, tablets, and smartphones. Because of this new age, Microsoft has chosen to do away with some of the demanding parts of interfaces seen in previous versions of its operating system. One of the reasons Windows 8 is changing has to do with the overwhelming amount of visual effects that would otherwise have slowed down these devices. ARM tablets don’t exactly have very powerful processors designed to run Windows 7’s heavy interface. Still, there’s another reason why the interface has changed…
Windows 8’s Metro interface needed something to accompany it. In order for Metro not to come off as too much of a shock, Windows 8’s desktop environment makes a slight tendency towards showing windows as squares, which resemble the tiles you see inside of the “Start” screen. Other elements of the desktop interface are said to include ways to “unify” the desktop and Metro experience as much as possible, even if the desktop can’t really become so touch friendly.
We’d love to hear what you have to say about the new desktop interface, especially discussions about how the desktop could be improved. Does this look better than Aero? Is anyone excited about this? Let’s hear it!