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Bye-Bye, Aero

Aero was released with a lot of fanfare. It is now being killed  off with not so much fanfare. Sort of like that old Hollywood actor that you aren't sure is still alive or not.

Well, Aero will officially not make the Windows 8 cut. There is no place for a rather useless semi-transparent overlay for Metro, I reckon.

Seemingly no one else noticed the lack of Aero in the Win 8 test releases. I'm not sure it was even necessary for Microsoft exec Jensen Harris to write a 1,300 word obituary for Aero.

According to Harris, Windows 8 is all about user interface unification, bringing the desktop UI into the world of tablets and phones. Aero just doesn't fit that model.

That sort of makes sense, though I still need to see if Win 8 truly unifies or fragments the UI. After all, we'll be using traditional apps for many years to come (alongside the Metro OS UI and new Metro apps).

How will your mind cope with this change? Are you already playing with Win 8 and has this been at all an issue? Will you miss Aero? Explain at

Posted by Doug Barney on 05/23/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Wed, May 30, 2012 Tom S

At first I didn't see the use in Aero, but soon after I noticed that it creates a more seamless desktop experience. For example, by using things like transparency, I am able to see other windows which are open and so when I switch the focus, it's slightly less jarring. That being said I do opt for the non-aero experience from time to time as needed.

Thu, May 24, 2012 Karl Compton Houston, TX

Aero is stupid eye candy, and I kill it where I find it. That being said, Metro is stupider eye candy, more of a Sour Patch Kidz to Aero's truffle. Hate isn't too strong a word here. Microsoft has their causality reversed. Phone interfaces look the way they do because you don't have a big enough screen or precise enough cursor control to use a high-end interface. Why in the world would I cripple my REAL computer with an interface designed for a marginal device? Should I use the "Electronic Thermostat Interface" on my PC because it unifies the experience?

Wed, May 23, 2012

"I'll admit Aero is CPU-intensive" -- It is but fortunately it can be disabled in Vista/7 if need be. We'll see what this next Win8 'preview' in June/July will look like and whether or not Aero is removed from the traditional desktop as well. What's interesting is that MSFT is getting rid of the chrome and cool effects from the Metro UI, whereas one of the appeals of iOS IS THE CHROME and effects. For example look at things like date pickers on WP7, it's minimalist whereas on iPhone it's like this wheelie chrome thing which looks pretty darn nice. I like WP7 and I like the Metro UI on a tablet, but not on my 24" desktop where it's just plain annoying to look at.

Wed, May 23, 2012 Max Orlando

Naah ... I won't miss Aero, not one bit. Why? Because I'm sticking with Win7. You can have Win8!

Wed, May 23, 2012

I'm pretty sure my Win8 install has the Aero look in the 'classic' desktop mode. Aero is just gutted from Metro because people want fat fonts, lots of wasted space, harsh Crayola color backgrounds in limited choices, no gradients, no shadows, no transparency, no textures, no depth, etc because that's what you get with the super-popular iPad and rival Android... but wait you don't. :)

Wed, May 23, 2012 Aleks Kleyn

I use windows 8 on my netbook and it still has aero, It is not clear why I should tell good bye to aero if it helps to distinguish 2 apps with the same name (2 excel file opened or 2 word files)

Wed, May 23, 2012 sj

Also, in the current consumer(build 8250) preview, Aero is still there, so it's not surpising "no one else noticed the lack of Aero in the Win 8 test releases" Doug, have you used Win8 yourself?

Wed, May 23, 2012 sj

Aero was nice. Better than looking at Win2.x washed-out white menus. Once you adjust Aero's border padding to "0" you don't end up with a lot of "chrome". I've already started my migration to Linux. Does Microsoft do consumer/customer reviews any longer? To me, it seems they've followed the current US trend, a race to the least common denominator.

Wed, May 23, 2012

(Disclaimer: Haven't tried Win8). Every pic I've seen of Metro looks totally flat, boring, with ugly colors. I'll admit Aero is CPU-intensive - so replace it with something that looks decent that isn't CPU-intensive! Has MS run out of money to pay designers to do good innovative work?

Wed, May 23, 2012

I'm disliking Win8 more and more now. Aero was actually very cool. We buy these high powered graphics cards so that we can have cool effects and now we're reverting to utter fugliness. What the heck is up with Microsoft these days??!!! Metro is one ugly bird on the desktop, that's all I have to say.

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