Tinted Windows

I finally got around to reading Paul Thurrott's write up of the December CTP of Windows Vista. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he likes the new Window frame colorization feature we have as part of Aero. With this feature, we reprise some functionality that had regressed in Windows XP, which is the ability to choose any color you want for your Window borders. In Windows Vista, you can set the color and level of transparency of the Window frames to one of a handful of presets we give you, or any other color you like using HSV sliders. Paul was kind enough to post an image of the UI as well:

Here's what Paul had to say about it:

When you combine Vista's new color scheme capabilities with the multitude of other personalization features, such as the desktop background, various display and user account options, the Start menu and taskbar, folder options, and the like, you start to understand that Windows is becoming a highly customizable environment that anyone should be able to tailor as they see fit. This nod towards personalization is a positive move.

Thanks for the kind words Paul! I'm glad to see that our investments in making the UI more customizable in ways that everyone can take advantage of are being well recieved.


Comments (8)
  1. steven says:

    I like this… Always thought it was missing in Windows XP. The three colour schemes provided with that are either too colourful or too drab for my tastes, so I always switched back to the Windows 2000 look (which was drab, but at least customisably drab).

    BTW, will the "Windows Classic style" still be available in Vista?

  2. Kam VedBrat says:

    Yep – "Windows Classic Style" will be available in Windows Vista. We might change the name slightly to "standard" or some other plain-sounding name, but it will be there.

  3. Alex says:

    For some time now we have been hearing that Beta 2 will be such a leap over beta 1 that it will knock our socks off … I can’t help but feel that won’t be the case and ultimatly what you guys were really talking about are minor (but good) improvements like the one mentioned above!?

  4. Mike says:

    Will it be possible to use Flip3D in "Standard" look?

    Or will be there be any hardware acceleration when we use classic style?

  5. Alex says:

    Yes, very nice, we can skin a window. What ever happend to those promises that we would be blown away when we see beta 2?

    Nitz nicely captures my frustration … From http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=114694

    Note that I really hope this is chicken-little stuff and beta2 will really start to put the spit and shine on the GUI, but this video doesn’t really get my hopes up considering that they seem to have the final design relatively close to completion. Frankly I would never have written this without viewing this video, as everything I’ve heard is "Wait until Beta 2! Wait until Beta2! This GUI is just a placeholder!" – perhaps not. This is disconcerting – and like some other posters, the ambivalence towards skinning compounds the problem. I was hoping MS wouldn’t repeat the same mistake they made with XP’s themes by required you to hack the system to install some that don’t look like they were intended for a preschool audience, but perhaps not. More clarification on this would be nice.

    I’ve heard numerous times in the past from MS reps that they want Aero to have a "movie-like" experience for the end user, in that the GUI will in part resemble those over-the-top computer interfaces you often see depicted in films where everything smoothly pops in/out and is perfectly anti-aliased, etc. Bear in mind while I’m not insinuating that most of us want an obnoxious GUI where everything is zooming/spinning in our faces when we’re trying to compose a document, I do think what’s shown so far in terms of effects (but more importantly, polish) is incredibly tame, especially considering how long the competition has been out with their 3D accelerated display. Yes, it’s not the same depth as Avalon/Aero (it will be if Apple ever enables Quartz 2D Extreme and goes truly resolution independent), but that’s even more disappointing when the original OSX had better effects running almost entirely on the CPU. Sorry, but I’m not going to be amazed by windows not tearing, animated video thumbnails and apps that fade in/out – that’s all extremely basic stuff guys that’s been done before for years now with a composition engine that is not as advanced as WPF, and is the least anyone would expect from a GUI that makes heavy use of the GPU.

  6. Changing the color of the window frame can be fun. But configuring which application uses which color would even be useful 😉

  7. Changing the color of the window frame can be fun. But configuring which application uses which color would even be useful 😉

  8. Kam VedBrat says:

    I came across Sean’s blog while figuring out how to register with Technocrati… He recently got around…

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