Please let me clarify my previous post from last week on changes to the Windows Vista UI. I've conferred with my colleagues over the weekend (including Arvind Mishra, Senior Product Manager for Windows Vista; incidentally, you can see an interview with Arvind at The Hive). Actually, "conferring" puts it nicely -- the long and short of it is that I screwed up and didn't verify with Arvind the names of the new UI themes, and so now have to post this clarification 🙁
The confusion lies in the fact that I stated that the Basic and Standard themes were one and the same, when in fact they are not. It is the Basic theme that has been updated, not the Standard theme.
The second image in my post labeled both the new and old themes incorrectly; they should ahve been described as the Old Windows Vista Basic theme and the New Windows Vista Basic theme. A new graphic with corrected labels appears below.
Suffice it to say that we've updated the Windows Vista Basic theme, not the Windows Vista Standard theme.
As an aside, one way to think of the Windows Vista Standard UI is as Windows Vista Basic’s polished, opaque window frames plus the improved performance and stability of Windows Aero™, which requires the Windows Vista Display Driver Model, or WDDM. WDDM allows the UI to scale relative to the available graphics hardware.
Thanks are due Arvind for his setting me straight and helping me post this correction so we're all on the same page.