New Windows Standard Theme in Windows Vista

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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!


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

  • 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.

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  • 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. :D

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

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  • 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.

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