New Windows Standard Theme in Windows Vista


How does Sidebar Geek do it?  I was just putting the finishing touches on a post about the new theme when I found out that Brandon beat me to it.  Well great job picking that up!  I had a chance to chat with Don Lindsay on the User Experience Team about the Basic theme, and was glad to find out they had a plan around this from the beginning.  Thanks, Don, for taking time to chat, and for your work on the product. 


Many community members have expressed concerns over the visual experience of the Windows Basic theme, and, we heard you loud and clear.  In fact, we too wanted something better, and we’ve overhauled this theme with an all new version.  For those who haven’t been following the discussionlet me brief you on the issue.


Windows Vista uses the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) to deliver some amazing user experience features collectively called Windows Aero™ which include; Desktop Composition, Glass window frames with colored glass, window thumbnails and Flip3D, a new window management facility.  All of the Windows Aero™ features are enabled in Windows Home Premium, our Business SKUs, and Ultimate assuming you have the appropriate hardware.  On Home Basic, you get Desktop Composition with opaque colored glass windows frames.


If you don’t have a display driver capable of running WDDM you’ll get the Windows Vista Basic theme which does not benefit from some of the more graphically intensive features such as desktop composition and glass window frames.  This is a good, clean interface called the Basic or Standard theme, but lacking the glass window frames of Aero™.




Community members have rightfully complained about this theme, and we agreed (actually we always knew we’d fix it in a future build).  When will it be replaced?  Sorry — we can’t share that yet, so stay tuned.  What does it look like?  Well, here’s a screen shot.  Enjoy!



 


Comments (72)

  1. Anonymous says:

    The Windows Vista Team Blog has screenshots of the latest iteration on the Windows Basic Theme that Vista users will get if they can’t run or don’t want the Aero user experience.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Over at the Hive.net Brandon points out what could be the a new look coming for the non-glass…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please let me clarify my previous post from last week on changes to the Windows Vista UI.  I’ve…

  4. Anonymous says:

    [IMGLEFT=http://dobreprogramy.pl/grafiki_newsy_stale/mswindowsvista.gif]Windows Vista jest pierwszym systemem operacyjnym Windows, który potrafi płynnie dostosować interfejs użytkownika do możliwości sprzętowych komputera, na …

  5. Anonymous says:

    Les utilisateurs de Vista qui n’ont pas la chance d’avoir une carte graphique compatible Aero Glass n’auront…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to This Week with Windows! That means everything from Windows XP to Windows Vista. Here are a

  7. Anonymous says:

    We improved the look and feel of non WDDM (Windows Aero)  known as Vista Basic theme. Look for yourself….

  8. Anonymous says:

    The Windows Vista Team Blog confirmed today about the new non-Windows Aero theme I spoke about yesterday!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Early last month I wrote about the new Windows Standard theme in newer builds of Windows Vista and provided…

  10. Anonymous says:

    You’ve been kicked (a good thing) – Trackback from DotNetKicks.com

  11. Anonymous says:

    I saw this over at the Windows Vista blogs and realised that the original graphics for people withotu…

  12. Anonymous says:

    צוות הפיתוח של מערכת ההפעלה Windows Vista מציג בבלוג הצוות את המראה הרישמי של מערכת ההפעלה העתידית

  13. Anonymous says:

    Many Vista testers have complained that the "Standard" or Non-Aero theme was very badly design. For those who couldn’t afford or simply didn’t want all the eye candy were out of luck. The latest builds will feature and new, much improved theme.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Das Vista – Entwicklerteam hat neue Screenshots des Aero Theme veröffentlicht.

    Es wurde nochmals verdeutlicht,…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Brandon Does It Again: ‘Scrap Metal’ Scrapped!

    Brandon’s a slick little <null>. First he…

  16. Anonymous says:

    In The Insider, Brandon scooped the story on the new Windows Standard theme that will be available in

  17. Anonymous says:

    Si, comme moi, vous ne possedez pas une carte graphique assez puissante pour faire tourner Aéro sur votre…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ran across this post from Rob Relyea about Vista Beta 2.

    Of particular interest to me was the link to…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Brandon’s a slick little b@stard. First he caught the change from the green "Start" button to the blue…

  20. Spencer says:

    nwhite, I believe that you’ve mistaken Aero Standard and Aero Basic; Aero Standard is the 2003-ish (but lighter) theme that’s been present in Windows Vista builds since the reset, whereas Aero Basic refers to the theme that was just replaced.

    … unless you guys have changed something again.

  21. PeterMac says:

    Where I can find this wallpaper ?

  22. Cryovat says:

    That is definitively looking a whole lot better, a great improvement!

    There’s one thing I dislike though, and that’s the hue of blue on the window borders in the screenshot. It looks great alone, but it feels to me like it clashes a bit with the "trademark" Vista blue and green. It’s mostly ok on the window with the photos, but on the shot of the control panel there’s a distinct difference betwheen the color of the sidebar and the window border, and I can’t decide wether it looks good to me or not.

    And one more minor remark, make the buttons on the window border higher. 😀

  23. Brunito says:

    Please, this is not a bad comment, BUT, you havo to innovate, the user interface is the same as XP, but a lighter color, smaller buttons, I like it I really do, but is ALWAYS the same, with aero you can see innovation, but with this?!? pffff, nooo I dont think so.

    You think the next OS X will have the same theme with a lighter color? you have to change, you can add something NEW, this is old fasion.

    This is not a critic, I like Vista, but I want to see some changes, real changes.

    Thanks a lot.

  24. DCMonkey says:

    So, why can’t the buttons be made to look like the Aero Glass buttons, but without the glow effect?

    To me, the logical approach from a user POV would be to have a single Vista theme, with the various aspects (glass, color/tint, glow effects) being configurable options of that theme (on by default on a capable machine, disabled with an explanation in the control panel on a non-capable machine).

  25. ekerazha says:

    "So, why can’t the buttons be made to look like the Aero Glass buttons, but without the glow effect?

    To me, the logical approach from a user POV would be to have a single Vista theme, with the various aspects (glass, color/tint, glow effects) being configurable options of that theme (on by default on a capable machine, disabled with an explanation in the control panel on a non-capable machine)."

    I fully agree.

    Also… the "light blue" bar with the descriptive things (Size, Rating etc.) at the bottom of the explorer window is just horrible.

    Sorry guys :)

  26. da_master98 says:

    ==MICROSOFT EMPLOYEES PLEASE READ THIS==

    PLEASE, please show some difference between Active and Inactive windows!

    It was hard enough to tell which was the active window in the Aero Glass interface, maybe because it’s just glass, I understand.

    But under this BASIC theme, could Microsoft please make some difference between the active and inactive windows? An even lighter colour perhaps? From the screenshot above, I really couldn’t tell which was the active window besides one is actually on top of the other.

    I’d really hope it would be fixed by the final release.

    Thanks.

  27. ChiaFong says:

    Personally, I don’t agree with da_master98.  I feel that the active window is clearly shown, the red tint of the "x" button is enough hint to tell you that it is an active window.

  28. uburz says:

    Why do the minimize/maximize/close buttons are still different from the aero ones?

    I think they should be very similar, something more like this:
    http://img140.imageshack.us/my.php?image=winvistanewbasicui5zj.png

  29. cool_chris_1990 says:

    Hey Great job on the new basic skin. My only sugestion is to give the basic skin ( the non Aero) the Aero Close, maxamize and minmize buttons. then that way it wont look as ugly. The softer blue hue is great. I like that. but the top buttons have to go. give us the Aero ones then the skin would be perfect.

  30. Clip Frames says:

    It's mostly ok on the window with the photos, but on the shot of the control panel there's a distinct difference betwheen the color of the sidebar and the window border, and I can't decide wether it looks good to me or not.

  31. adil says:

    jer le widows vista

  32. adil says:

    jer le widows vista

  33. adil says:

    jer le widows vista

  34. Patrick Dreier says:

    Jer Windows XP. single startmenu, the doupble columns startmenu are crap.

  35. Patrick Dreier says:

    Where are possible to change in single startmenu the same of Windows XP single columns?

    With king regards!