Home > Windows > Looking at Windows Vista’s User Interface (Aero) Looking at Windows Vista’s User Interface (Aero) Thom Holwerda 2005-09-20 Windows 115 Comments “Kam Vedbrat is a lead program manager on the Aero team which redesigned the User Interface of Windows Vista. We spend half an hour looking at the user interface.” (stream | file, .wmv) About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Mastodon @email@example.com 115 Comments 2005-09-20 6:22 pm Anonymous ‘The average user has four open windows at the same time’ Yeah right, I have like ten Windows open just to surf several newssites at the same time, that number shrinked since I use tabs within Firefox, but it’s still far more then four most of the time. The graphics sure look neat, but there’s nothing new here. That guy talks like they invented it all, but it’s there for years now in other Operating Systems. He explains the use of transparacy, but he can’t convince me why customers would have wanted this, I don’t believe it’s a customers request anyway. Also I don’t like the mediaplayer ‘mini’ previewwindow when I touch the window when it’s minimized with my mouse arrow. Damn, I even hate text balloons that popup with fileinformation when I want to select a musicfile or something. I wonder what kind of system we need to run all these gadgets at a decend speed. 2005-09-20 6:33 pm sappyvcv What part of “average user” did you fail to grasp? And no other OS has used shaders to render widows before, that is new. The transparency does have to go though, it doesn’t look good. 2005-09-20 6:37 pm Anonymous “And no other OS has used shaders to render widows before, that is new. The transparency does have to go though, it doesn’t look good.” Maybe you should learn how quartz 2D extreme works. 2005-09-20 6:46 pm sappyvcv Remember I said SHADERS not SHADOWS. Care to provide me a link that shows how quartz 2d extreme does shaders? 2005-09-20 6:57 pm Andrew Youll Heres a Link to the details on Quartz 2D Extreme: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/14 I will tell you now I havent read it all, so it may or may not mention shaders, I’m just providing a technical details page link. 2005-09-20 7:48 pm JLF65 From the arstechnica article on Quartz 2D Extreme: That brings up perhaps the biggest caveat about Quartz 2D Extreme. Like Quartz Extreme before it, Quartz 2D Extreme is not supported by all video cards. It requires an ATI Radeon 9600 or NVIDIA GeForce FX or better. In terms of technology, Quartz 2D Extreme requires support for the ARB_fragment_program OpenGL extension. ARB_fragment_program is the OpenGL pixel shader operation, so yes, shaders WERE used for drawing the UI before Aero. 2005-09-20 8:52 pm sappyvcv Then why are themes not able to utilize it as in Vista? 2005-09-20 8:08 pm AdamR01 That article does not mention shaders but that is what Quartz 2D Extreme uses. On a side note, Quartz 2D Extreme is not enabled by default in OS X 10.4 so I guess the argument could be made that Vista is the first os to “use” it. 2005-09-21 12:42 am Anonymous ” I guess the argument could be made that Vista is the first os to “use” it.” oh, no shit… I didn’t think Vista would be out ’til late ’06. Cool, I’m gonna run out and get me a copy!! 2005-09-21 1:41 pm n4cer Quartz 2D Extreme as as much beta at this point as Vista is. It’s only included in Tiger for developers and probably won’t be a supported end-user feature until the next OS. 2005-09-20 6:47 pm Anonymous Transparency has a certain cool factor to it, but I find it annoying to use. 2005-09-20 6:49 pm Mitarai ‘The average user has four open windows at the same time’ He said “More then 4 Windows”. 2005-09-20 7:04 pm Anonymous >He said “More then 4 Windows” If he said that, then it’s wrong. Should be “than”. 2005-09-20 6:28 pm Anonymous 471M for a Windows Vista demo? I bet there won’t be many people watching it. I won’t for starters. 2005-09-20 6:34 pm sappyvcv Stream it then, sheesh. 2005-09-20 6:36 pm Anonymous Not everyone has huge bandwidth available, sheesh. 2005-09-20 6:47 pm segedunum And not everyone wants to stream something that large when it shouldn’t be necessary either. 2005-09-20 6:50 pm Varg Vikernes Then that video isn’t intended for everyone, is it smartass? 2005-09-20 6:33 pm rain Is there a torrent for this file? The download is painfully slow. 2005-09-20 6:35 pm Mystilleef I never thought I’d see the day I say this. But Vista’s new interface is very impressive. Hey, I’m only giving credits where it is due. 2005-09-20 6:39 pm Thom Holwerda I never thought I’d see the day I say this. But Vista’s new interface is very impressive. Hey, I’m only giving credits where it is due. I actually agree with you. The attention to detail (note the glow on the window buttons actually *starting* in the middle and moving outwards!) is simply stunning. The new alt+tab behaviour is cool too, just like the taskbar previews. Another noticable improvement is that when an app hangs, you cannot paint it’s window anymore. Really cool! Of course it remains to be seen if all this actually makes it more usable. 2005-09-20 7:03 pm endy “…it prevents windows from appearing hung. I mean, the app will be hung if it’s hung but it’ll look better. It’ll help with the overall perceived reliability of the system.” Amongst the improvements, this doesn’t sound too clever. Wouldn’t it be better to know when something has crashed? Then again, making people think the system is OK when it’s not will be good for sales I guess. 2005-09-20 7:15 pm Varg Vikernes I don’t think they thought about it that way. For example, Adobe Illustrator is hanging on me every few minutes or so and if you try clicking anything in it it will brok up the rendering prodfucing some white lines and stuff like that. For some reason even the systray becomes borked, because of it. It’s only after I close AI and hit F5 that the screen becoems normal again. In Vista the application won’t be able to do that. In my example AI wouldn’t be able to bork systray or the AI window itself, but it would still appear hung. btw, I think I’ve seen a screenshot of Vista showing when an application is not responding. A small popup box apears at the close button (x) of that application stating that the app is not responding etc… 2005-09-20 10:08 pm sbenitezb “For example, Adobe Illustrator is hanging on me every few minutes” Stop using crap. “For some reason even the systray becomes borked, because of it.” Shall I repeat? “In Vista the application won’t be able to do that. In my example AI wouldn’t be able to bork systray or the AI window itself, but it would still appear hung. ” So because those programs are terrible coded and your favourite OS is a mess this is a actually a feature? Wouldn’t be more smart to make programs better? Yeah, I know, redesigning a whole OS and break compatibility with all those crapy apps is not an option. 2005-09-21 11:36 am raver31 but why does your post sound as though you are apologising for liking something ? I usually do not like ms stuff, and I use linux 100% on my own computers, but I think win2k is excellent, and I dont feel ashamed to tell people that. 2005-09-20 7:06 pm dr_gonzo I like his analogy with fire and saying that these guys are just creating a means to do amazing stuff without really knowing what kind of amazing things will be done. People should keep this in mind when they see such things as “wobbly windows”. Without trying to be a Mac snob, I do think that the improvements with the taskbar thumbnail and stuff are not half as good solutions as the dock and exposé when it comes to window/app management. The cycling through windows thing doesn’t seem as good a solution as exposé. The alt-tab improvement is brilliant though! I don’t like the bit where they talk about theming. They should try and go for a uniform look amongst all applications. It’s really nasty the way different apps look and feel different on XP. It seems to me that MS is playing catch up to Apple on this stuff and they’re not trying so hard to catch up either. That’s understandable since most people that will buy Windows won’t need or care about fancy UI improvements. They just want something that has support and that will run their Office applications. 2005-09-20 7:30 pm ralph “Without trying to be a Mac snob, I do think that the improvements with the taskbar thumbnail and stuff are not half as good solutions as the dock and exposé when it comes to window/app management.” Well, seems you don’t really have to try hard to be a Mac snob, it just comes natural to some I guess. I haven’t tried Vista and as I don’t use Windows I won’t anytime soon, but I work with OSX and the dock is terrible when it comes to window/app management, to put it very mildly. Expose is a funky way to work around this problem, but that’s about it. “I don’t like the bit where they talk about theming. They should try and go for a uniform look amongst all applications. It’s really nasty the way different apps look and feel different on XP.” Ah, you mean uniform like the, where are we now, 4 different themes you’ll get with OSX out of the box. 2005-09-20 7:42 pm dr_gonzo “Well, seems you don’t really have to try hard to be a Mac snob, it just comes natural to some I guess. I haven’t tried Vista and as I don’t use Windows I won’t anytime soon, but I work with OSX and the dock is terrible when it comes to window/app management, to put it very mildly. Expose is a funky way to work around this problem, but that’s about it. ” I do think that the Dock is way better than the taskbar for application management. I haven’t seen anything else out there that’s better than the Dock. Have you? “Ah, you mean uniform like the, where are we now, 4 different themes you’ll get with OSX out of the box.” Well done. You took me for a Mac snob and decided to have a pop at me rather than trying to add to the conversation. I do think it’s a bit silly the way Apple are moving away from a uniform look amongst applications. I much prefer the way all apps look and behave similarly when they are written for either GNOME or KDE. 2005-09-20 8:10 pm Anonymous do think that the Dock is way better than the taskbar for application management. I haven’t seen anything else out there that’s better than the Dock. Have you? Dunno about this guy, but I have – the middle button in WindowMaker = perfect solution (for me at least) 2005-09-20 8:32 pm ralph “I do think that the Dock is way better than the taskbar for application management. I haven’t seen anything else out there that’s better than the Dock. Have you?” Yes, anything but the Dock. It’s terrible when it comes to managing hidden applications, several windows of the same application, etc., just terrible. “Well done. You took me for a Mac snob and decided to have a pop at me rather than trying to add to the conversation. I do think it’s a bit silly the way Apple are moving away from a uniform look amongst applications. I much prefer the way all apps look and behave similarly when they are written for either GNOME or KDE.” Nope, you simply behaved like a Mac snob. Anyway, you are aware that Gnome and KDE are both themeable, so if you prefer their uniform look, why complain about themein in Vista? 2005-09-20 9:53 pm dr_gonzo “Yes, anything but the Dock. It’s terrible when it comes to managing hidden applications, several windows of the same application, etc., just terrible.” What’s so terrible of the Dock’s ability to manage multiple windows of the same app and hidden apps compared to Windows, GNOME and KDE? Control/Right click the app’s icon and you get to control the app to a certain extent (depending on which app) and you can choose which window to bring to the front. It doesn’t matter if the app is hidden or not. “Nope, you simply behaved like a Mac snob. ” I’m not going to bite. Suffice to say that I have shared my opinions on the subject being reported and you have not even shared your opinions but have opted to sling accusations around and to simply say that the Dock is terrible. “Anyway, you are aware that Gnome and KDE are both themeable, so if you prefer their uniform look, why complain about themein in Vista?” I don’t know if you actually watched the video but the guy being interviewed said that people wouldn’t be able to make up different themes system wide but they would be able to make their app look any way they want to. This means that apps coming out will be able to look which ever way the creator wants them to look like which will mean that 3rd party apps will probably vary even more wildly than they do in current releases of Windows. The GNOME/KDE way of theming is system wide, so no matter what crazy theme the user wishes to apply, all the apps fit in with that same look and feel. These 2 different uses of theming are completely different. The Windows way being discussed helps fragment the way different apps look and act while the KDE/GNOME way helps unify the way different apps look and act. 2005-09-21 12:55 pm CPUGuy They said that they are not focusing on a themeing engine as they did in XP. Stardock already has a new Windowblinds up their sleeve Vista. 2005-09-20 8:33 pm AdamW I dunno, I like the whole taskbar thing. I have to admit, my desktop is set up to mimic Win98 as closely as possible – single panel with a ‘start’ menu, tray of quick starts, task list, then miscellaneous crap (as little as possible) at the end. Maybe it’s just because it’s what I’m used to, but I haven’t found a more efficient way of managing my apps yet. What does the Dock offer that I don’t have? 2005-09-20 10:01 pm dr_gonzo At home I have my iBook. I use it for college work and personal use (MP3 listening etc.). I use Windows 2K at work. When I look down at my Dock, I can instantly see that I have 8 apps open. If I do exposé, I have instant access to 9 windows open. It’s easy for me to select my app by looking at the rather large icon and selecting it. Under Windows, even having as little as 5 windows can be bothersome. Because each window has a tiny icon and mostly text associated with it in the taskbar, I need to read each taskbar item before I select the window I want. I think that the reason behind Windows users having so little windows open at any one time is because the taskbar doesn’t facilitate having many windows open at one time. Studies have proved that people recognise images much faster and much easier than text. I suppose it’s down to what you’re used to and preference as well though… 2005-09-20 10:41 pm Varg Vikernes But how do you deal when there are many instances of the same program running. YOu still need to read the text then, don’t you? 2005-09-20 10:56 pm dr_gonzo It depends on what app I’m running. Exposé comes in really handy here. Alt-tab to the app (or click on its icon in the Dock) and then hit F10 to see all the windows of that app. I get your point but I think that the taskbar makes selecting a window much harder than the dock coupled with exposé. When I used Windows and even KDE at home, I used to have at most 5 windows open at a time. I was constantly closing windows and reopening them. Now that I’m used to my Mac, I usually have at least 10 windows open at any one time and it doesn’t feel like I have many open at all because it’s really easy to navigate between them all. I believe that this is so because the taskbar just isn’t very good and the Dock with exposé is much better. 2005-09-20 11:18 pm Anonymous The taskbar by itself isn’t very good, no, but combine it with multiple desktops and it does its job well. Ever since I started using KDE on FreeBSD I’ve been addicted to grouping applications per desktop to prevent cluttering. That and the ability to give the panel a transparent background makes it a non-intrusive desktop to work with. 2005-09-21 12:47 am Anonymous I agree dr_gonzo. Basically the Dock alone is not particularly great but the Dock combined with Expose, cmd-tab and cmd-` is far better then the alternatives I’ve seen so far. When you hit cmd-tab and hold it for a fraction of a second you get a list of all the apps currently running, just like you do in Windows. However, you can select the app from the list using the mouse rather then being limited to just moving app by app left or right by hitting tab and shift-tab. And for apps with multiple windows open, just use cmd-`. 2005-09-21 11:18 am MikeGA Err, you can’t have several instances of an app in OS X. That’s the beauty of the system to me. There is a very clear and simplehierachy of Applications first and then their windows. 2005-09-20 10:13 pm Anonymous If we are just polling personal opinions, i don’t like the dock either especially when you have multiple windows open for the same application which are hidden by other application windows….but maybe someone in Apple also came up with this “four windows on average” stat…:-) I think the taskbar is better than the dock and the preview addition in vista should make it better…though i doubt i will be able to afford the hardware for vista. 2005-09-20 10:33 pm dr_gonzo I know from other people using XP that there’s an option to group tasks by application. I wonder how the thumbnail preview will work out for that… Personal preferences aside. It is really cool that all the desktop players are working on this hardware accelerated graphics stuff so that things like window management are made much easier and elegant. 2005-09-21 12:16 am Anonymous I count at least seven… iTunes 5 “Streamlined”, Soundtrack “Pro”, GarageBand “Wood Grain”, Tiger Mail “All-in-one”, Finder “Brushed Metal”, Dashboard / Shake / QuickTime “Overlay”, and general app “Aqua”. 2005-09-21 1:28 am CPUGuy Personally, I think the dock is WAAAY to cluttered. It is very difficult to try and figure out what is a shortcut, what’s an open application, how many instances of that application are open, etc… But, it’s all subjective. 2005-09-21 12:22 pm MonkeyPie Alright gotta respond to this. Your right it is all subjective. My opinion is the dock is okay. It does need some improvments. I don’t know a single app out there that doesn’t need improvements. But as for your examples: 1. All items on the dock are essentially shortcuts. 2. An open application has a black arrow underneath it, simple enough. 3. You usually only have one “instance” of an app anyway, if you mean windows, just control click or right click on the app and it lists all open windows. As for the comment about Expose, when I am not using OS X, I use many other systems as well, I really miss it. It makes sense to me and it works well. If it wasn’t a good implementation why is it that MS is using the 3D stacked windows concept. That is essentially Expose. Just my subjective thoughts. 2005-09-21 12:27 pm CPUGuy The 3D stacked Windows is stuff that MSR was doing in Task Galleries before OSX was even a hint on the market. (When was Task Galleries, ’98?) Expose is done much differently. I’ve actually been wanting to be able to minize windows into little 3D stack groups for a long time, still not here yet… probably just not something that the guys at MS have really thought of. I think Expose is kinda cool, but, again, like the dock, if you have a lot open, it’s layout is just scattered all over the place and it is a lot of looking around to find what you want. But, I’ll admit, it is cool, and I almost bought an Expose-like app for Windows. 2005-09-21 8:46 pm prismX Hey man, be serious, Dock is nice looking if do not use it, but it is terrible if you are out of lucky to use it. Expose… to tell the truth at least 90 of MacOSX users do not even use it (there is a huge Apple stuff on my working place, this is an academic institution tradition, and is disappearing slowly). On the other hand, the 3D switcher in Vista is really cool. I noted in one of the previous posts, that actually the API of this feature could be amazing to apply to multipage documents enabling looking through the pages as you do with hardcopy stuff and I think it is very useful. 2005-09-20 7:23 pm Anonymous Crazy that the video is 470MB’s that is almost exactly the ammount of memory VISTA beta 1 uses to do nothing at all. Still the windows do look cool. Shame it is soooo slooooowww 2005-09-20 7:29 pm Anonymous I have WinXP Pro installed and I have 2G of RAM here and guess what: windows always eats 400Mb of RAM (don’t worry the system is tuned up etc etc). I don’t mind actually, the whole thing feels just very smooth and very comfortable to work with… so why should I care much if the next release consumes like 50-100 Mb more? 2005-09-20 10:07 pm Anonymous The major worry is not about RAM but video memory which they were suggesting in the range of 256mb which even most gamers don’t use right now. 2005-09-20 10:43 pm Varg Vikernes It would say it’s just a marketing hype thing. I can’t imagine why they’d need more then 64/128 MB of memory when most all of the stuff is supposed to be vector based or using shaders. 2005-09-21 2:17 am rain It would say it’s just a marketing hype thing. I can’t imagine why they’d need more then 64/128 MB of memory when most all of the stuff is supposed to be vector based or using shaders. Doesn’t it buffer everything in video ram? That would eat it up pretty quickly. 2005-09-21 2:18 pm n4cer The minimum GPU ram requirement for Glass is currently 64MB — Depending on what you do, how many apps/windows you have open simultaneously combined with what your screen resolution is, etc., will determine whether you’ll be better off w/ a GPU w/ 128 or more MB or RAM. 128MB GPUs will likely be mainstream in late 2006 (many OEMs ship them now in some mid-range models), and even in a lot of budget computers. Vista virtualizes GPU access, supports sharing GPU resources across processes, GPU scheduling, and virtual memory where GPU data can be in GPU RAM, system RAM, or on disk. Each store is exclusive so data isn’t duplicated across stores. So this helps with performance even on lower-memory GPUs. 2005-09-21 2:10 am CPUGuy Just a side note… Windows is NOT using 400mb of RAM. No way, no how. 2005-09-21 5:28 am Anonymous You may not care because you have 2GB of RAM, but what about folks who only have 512MB or less, and don’t want to upgrade their systems? What about those folks who don’t want to upgrade their video cards to meet the requirements of Vista? The need for a 256MB video card? WTF? The point is, all this fancy GUI bullshit is merely to push system requirements up in an unnecessary manner, and is a facade for the things that were taken out of the original Vista spec. In simpler words…Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or in this case…Don’t judge an OS by its GUI. What does it offer you, as the customer, over other or existing solutions? Something? Nothing? My curiosity is…What’s really under Vista’s skirt? I don’t care what she’s wearing, I wanna know what she’s capable of? Actually, when I think about it…I actually need as much available RAM as possible for the applications I use. (The more free RAM, the less use of swap, the less time to crunch my solutions). So unlike you, I do mind if the OS takes an unnecessary amount of RAM. 2005-09-21 11:20 am Anonymous So unlike you, I do mind if the OS takes an unnecessary amount of RAM. Stop whinning and use the classical theme, that’s it. But I’d like to have some neat & useful eye candies around, that’s why I don’t mind buying additional RAM or whatsoever. On the other hand there is no point to discuss the OS which is due late ’06 or even ’07. I’m more then sure we’ll see finally something breathtaking from MS. 2005-09-21 11:49 am Budd On the other hand there is no point to discuss the OS which is due late ’06 or even ’07. I’m more then sure we’ll see finally something breathtaking from MS. I am sure we will finally see something breathtaking from MS in 2007. They will file for Chapter 11 2005-09-20 7:30 pm Anonymous A few thoughts on the video, starting of course, with the cons (hey its ms, gotta bash em ;-)) first of all, despite what he says, i really really dont like the whole alpha crazy feel of the new ui. i find it makes the windows less real, and instead of having big borders while still feeling light, i find it just looks heavy in an ephereal kind of way. but hey, maybe thats just me. another thing that struck me is the whole 4 windows thing. to do my job, i tend to have somewhere between 20-25 windows open at any given time, and find the taskbar really sucks when you throw that much at it. im slightly less peeved now that i realise its just the lowest common denomenator thing. still think the windows taskbar sucks, but since im such an extreme case that makes it a bit more acceptable 😉 one thing that kind of lept at me is the fundamental difference between mac and windows. on a mac, apps are designed more as “os bits” then as standalone environments. on windows, its more the os is the bucket for the app, and once its launched its up to the app to determine the meathod of interaction. this would really explain why the most exciting thing the ui team has done (in his opinion), is their expose clone. on a mac, new ui features mean an improvement in the way you interact with every app on your system, on windows, its just something that gets in the way of the environment. the improvements to they way it handles repaints and whatnot is quite nice. in fact, my overall impression is that its more or less the same thing as windows xp, just catching up to the competition technology wise. 2005-09-20 7:34 pm Stunami So does anyone know if Windows Vista will solve the Start Menu sprawl problem which I personally think is the one of worse UI in Windows? Its also kinda worrying that they can’t come up with something better than the task bar (10+ years old) to cope with lots of open windows. The video is great and flashy but for me fundamental issues haven’t been looked at. The XP start menu was a brush the problem under the carpet and the previews for the task bar seem to be a similar solution. 2005-09-20 9:07 pm Anonymous When you put the taskbar on the side of the screen rather than the top or bottom, it manages the sprawl much better. Granted, it takes up more screen real estate. 2005-09-21 12:30 pm CPUGuy More screen real-estate, but you have more horrizontal area too. I used to do this, but got annoyed with how Windows just wasn’t designed to work like this. There are a lot of bugs in handling of apps and such when having it done this way. But you are right, it is a much more effcient of showing exactly what’s open and such. 2005-09-20 7:35 pm Anonymous “Windows Vista: not your mother’s potato peeler” 2005-09-20 8:03 pm ronaldst Be ready for it. It’s gonna up the playing field levels. 2005-09-20 8:07 pm emarkp It cracks me up how he shows “calc” to demonstrate how the buttons light up on hover (which looks like a good idea), and then mentions that you can’t maximize calc so the maximize button doesn’t light up. THEN WHY IS THE BUTTON THERE?!?!?! Aero: flashier, more VPU-intensive, but it apparently wasn’t worth their while to fix stupid UI mistakes. Oh, and they screw OpenGL as well. 2005-09-20 8:38 pm Anonymous I thought the same thing. Why not remove the button or –here’s a crazy thought– add the ability to *maximize* the calculator! I’m sure there are some users with poor eyesight and 15″ monitors that would appreciate this feature. It’s also strange to me that the taskbar has still not changed much even though they’ve had 10 years to work on it. Sure, one can mouse over the taskbar to see a live preview of a window, but wouldn’t it make more sense if those live previews were always there to negate the need to move one’s mouse through the entire taskbar to find the correct button to click? By the time Vista actually makes it on the shelves, I have little doubt that the interfaces of GNOME and KDE will be just as featureful if not more than that of Vista and that the interface of MacOS will still lead the pack. 2005-09-21 2:21 am CPUGuy Why not remove it? Perhaps for consistancy. The whole reason it is grayed out is to show the user that this action can not be done. Removing it would be a BAD mistake (not to mention, it’s just a standard widget). Calc in Vista can actually scale up and down, I don’t know why they haven’t enabled the maximize feature yet…. but remember, this is just a beta. Why would ANYONE want to have the previews always there? One, it’s incredibly distracting. Two, it takes up a lot of screen real-estate. Three, it’s just information overload. It’s not hard to hover your mouse over it, especially since that, when you do that you, obviously, are thinking about bringing up that particular application, and as such, that is the good time to show that preview. As for KDE and Gnome, unless there has been some truely active development for the back-end stuff (equivelant to Avalon), you won’t see anything. Microsoft has done a lot to allow developers to do whatever they want with their own application interfaces, and make them look pretty, etc… There is more to Avalon than just the DCE (which the open source community is working on). In my opinion, of course UI is subjective to each and every person, the only thing OSX has going for it is it’s pretty. I personally think the general interface needs a lot of work (especially the dock, good conecept, poorly designed). Plus, we’ll really see what Avalon can do when Windowblinds for Vista comes out. I don’t think anything has ever worked so well in a pre-beta2 Microsoft product as Vista does. Hell, even beta 1. 2005-09-21 12:37 pm CPUGuy People on this site are absolutely pathetic…. Again, I give you a reason, a very truthful reason, and someone mods down my comment simply because they didn’t agree with it? Reasons for modidng comments: 1) Flaim-bait 2) Derrogatory 3) Blatently wrong information … That’s about it, if you can’t handle that, then I suggest you either grow up, or stay as anonymous. 2005-09-20 8:15 pm emarkp It cracks me up how he shows “calc” to demonstrate how the buttons light up on hover (which looks like a good idea), and then mentions that you can’t maximize calc so the maximize button doesn’t light up. THEN WHY IS THE BUTTON THERE?!?!?! Aero: flashier, more VPU-intensive, but it apparently wasn’t worth their while to fix stupid UI mistakes. Oh, and they screw OpenGL as well. 2005-09-20 8:23 pm Anonymous I wonder what is actually new here. The transparency just doesn’t look as good as on some other contemporary OSs *cough cough* and the amount of money you have to put down on hardware in order to run Aero at an acceptable speed is insane. 2005-09-20 8:50 pm Anonymous Have not yet seen all of the video (still downloading…), but one thing that I’m curious about. Will Windows Vista finally have virtual desktops? 2005-09-20 9:24 pm Mitarai Yes 2005-09-20 10:46 pm Varg Vikernes What do you mean with finally? AFAIK virtual desktops have been available for Windwos since Win98 from Microsoft Power Toys (or Power Tools, something like that). 2005-09-20 11:10 pm Anonymous Windows XP was the first one with a powertool for virtual desktops, and even that doesn’t have many features. There have been plenty of third party tools though, one of my favorites was Goscreen, but nowadays it’s Virtual Dimension (sourceforge). It makes Windows feel like a real OS. 😛 2005-09-20 9:11 pm Alex Forster “Well, good job, and hope to see it ship….soon” 2005-09-20 9:39 pm Anonymous Doesn’t anyone else think that microsoft’s window manager is lame? I would expect something bigger from such a large company with virtually unlimited resources to throw into R&D. Where’s the “smart” window management? Why is there still maximize and minimize buttons? 2005-09-22 11:16 am Anonymous You mean like gnome, where everytime you open an app it opens in a different place? What a pain in tha arse that is! 2005-09-20 9:51 pm Anonymous I love the technology, I really do. Microsoft has finally done some major step forward in the field. But I’m absolutely shocked by the lack of a serious usability project behind the new interface. He said tey wanted to streamline the thing and make it simpler, so they added transparency, shininess, colours. How is that supposed to make things simpler I really don’t know. He said they created larger window borders in order to move and scale them better, and that they were “forced” to make the window glass like to give some sort of “light” mood to the thing. I believe it’s craziness. Interfaces aren’t designed that way. It’s not “hey let’s make the window border larger” but it’s “Are users resizing the windows? why are they? is there a way to make the process smoother? can we invent a new kind of interaction?” Ok, he’s a programmer, not a designer, but the lack of a coherent vision and design in the interface is clearly visible. And it’s getting worse. The new interface is technologically cool. But the end product is a real shame. mmmh.. 2005-09-21 2:25 am CPUGuy I think the glass effect helps a lot, especially in the taskbar and the titlebar. As for the window borders… I have to say it really doesn’t seem any bigger when you actually use it, even though it is. I reccomend trying it before you knock it. 2005-09-21 7:37 am Anonymous I think the glass effect doesn’t help at all. It’s very confusing and the more overlapping windows you have the more it will be confusing. But this is not the point. It’s the process that’s wrong. THey shouldn’t have gone to the glass appearance because it was “lighter” than the previous one. The “glass factor” should be the end result of a complex and complete design process where all the pros and cons were considered, it should have been the only viable and best option. It’s not. And again, is it really worth? why not try solving the windows problems with a completely different approach? Why do I have to resize all those windows in the first place? To see content? then why all the wasted space? shouldn’t we have less interface and more content in the first place? Shouldn’t this be the final goal of every UI out there? to become “transparent” to the user? (oh the irony) The problem is that with each iteration of Windows we’re seeing more and more interface and less content. It’s understandable with the fact that a transparent UI brings a transparent OS (to the average user) and therefore kills traditional microsoft business model; but it’s bad nonetheless. In the end, while single aspects of the interface have some sort of meaning, the overall feeling is there’s more autoreference than anything else. And with a product that was “rewritten from the ground up”, that should revolutionarize the way we communicate with our PCs, well, I expected much more. 2005-09-21 12:34 pm CPUGuy I too expected much more of a departure from the traditional Windows interface… but, I do like glass…. And why would someone mod down my comment? Simply because you didn’t agree with my opinion that I like glass? Grow the hell up. 2005-09-20 10:38 pm Anonymous I’ve got a big problem with the following opening sentence from the article. “Kam Vedbrat is a lead program manager on the AERO team which redesigned the User Interface of Windows Vista (the next version of Windows).” Give me an effing break! All copysoft did (for the most part) was look at what Apple did and try to re-create it for windows. As such, all you window weenies should be thanking Steve Jobs for most of your “improvements” that are in AERO. By the way, does anyone think that copysoft has enough brainpower there to come up with something (AERO) that doesn’t look and sound like (AQUA)?? In short, Copysoft is run and manned by a bunch of lame and shameless copy experts. – Mark 2005-09-20 11:54 pm Anonymous mms://wm.microsoft.com/ms/msnse/0509/25408/PDC_2005_NorthFaceDemo_MBR. wmv Very cool. Beat that. 2005-09-21 2:05 am Anonymous That was incredibly obnoxious (the video as a whole not the application). I don’t see the application itself as being anything but a very annoying advertising medium, but the principle is neat. Microsoft is finally waking up. Nice. 2005-09-20 11:57 pm Anonymous All new Windows releases usually have this very cool feature that after you’ve played around with the new eye-candy features for a day or two, you can turn them off and go back to the familiar “classic interface”. 2005-09-21 2:03 am Angel They totally ripped off Looking Glass from Sun but hey it’s cool. 2005-09-21 2:13 am rain I wonder if laptops will ship with the eyecandy turned on or off by default? I suspect that having it turned on will make the battery go out a lot quicker. 2005-09-21 3:33 am hraq Well, I think that windows taskbar should be dynamically scaling to acommodate icons for running applications, the more opened applications the more wider it gets, that way we can have more of the highjacked desktop. Everywhere you look to windows you see wasted spaces, everywhere you look at OSX you see more conserved spaces. I also noticed that MS feels so much terror when talking about compatibility, making them like the guests to applications rather than being the real hosts and the applications as the guests who comply to their standards. That way we see inconsistency of GUI. Finally, who cares about GUI or the services excellence when the OS is so insecure. Their OS needs really a redesign to be more secure, these betas didn’t show leap advance on security till now. 2005-09-21 5:35 am Anonymous Finally, who cares about GUI or the services excellence when the OS is so insecure. Their OS needs really a redesign to be more secure, these betas didn’t show leap advance on security till now. *sarcasm* But security doesn’t sell a product…Looking pretty does! Because it looks like you’ve done something! *sarcasm* 2005-09-21 12:46 pm CPUGuy No wasted space in OSX? How about the dock? It takes up 2-3 times as much space as the taskbar does in hieght. Also, think about this. What exactly are you going to do with the extra space added by having it dynamically scaling? In reality, the dynamic scalling taskbar is a UI inconsistancy. Example: 2mins ago, I had just one window opened, and my app was placed here on the dock, now I have 5 windows open, and my app position on the dock is in a completely different spot. While this isn’t exactly confusing, it is a small pain. In the end, how much of the dock is actually great UI, and how much of that is cool? How about for the entire OSX UI? Not that Windows doesn’t waste real-estate in various different places, but you seem to be mixing the cool/pretty factor of OSX with good UI practices. 2005-09-21 5:24 pm hraq To CPUGuy : “No wasted space in OSX? How about the dock? It takes up 2-3 times as much space as the taskbar does in hieght.” Height is not a problem you can change it easily in OSX but width is not OK in Windows as I said. “What exactly are you going to do with the extra space added by having it dynamically scaling?” When you have 23″ widescreen monitor you will know how much important is this space for you, besides the dock is transparent so you can see the opened windows under it, not like windows Right?! “Not that Windows doesn’t waste real-estate in various different places” This is again not true, because there is a bar for the title, there is a bar for the tools, there is a bar under and these bars are always taking space form your work area, in OSX They joined titlebar with the menubar, they also did that for all applications you would run in OSX; By the way have you seen the find window on windows XP ( Please hit Win+F to activate it) you will propably see on the left pane how much space is wasted and how much I will need it to see the properties of my search without resizing my window. 2005-09-21 3:51 am Anonymous Has anyone ever tried Windows XP’s “Group similar taskbar buttons” feature? Granted, the default “smart” grouping scheme is a bit flawed; you can download Microsoft’s Tweak UI and set the minimum amount of application instances for grouping to two. Just like I now have it, there is only one button in the taskbar for each application (with the name of the application displayed). I can quickly find the running instance I need, without needing to hover over each icon one-by-one waiting for the instance’s title to “fade in” (i.e. Dock). This, in addition to the Watercolor Lite theme (from the original Whistler betas) and Google Desktop’s sidebar, creates a desktop that I will definitely not part with until Microsoft makes some *real* UI improvements. Combined with my high-end Intel chipset with 2 GB of RAM and a 3.0 GHz CPU, Windows runs smoother, easier-to-use, and more error-free than any installation I have ever tried. 2005-09-21 4:09 am Anonymous that is insane. and something is REALLY wrong if thats just the OS taking that much ram up. Windows xp on my tower, on a cold boot, uses right at 36mb of ram. 2005-09-21 11:25 am Anonymous that is insane. and something is REALLY wrong if thats just the OS taking that much ram up. Windows xp on my tower, on a cold boot, uses right at 36mb of ram. Well, it is not insane, the more RAM you have the more RAM Windows reserves for its usage. Just a simple example: add some more RAM and the same instance of windows starts using more RAM, take it out and you will be back to your normal usage… 2005-09-21 4:57 am Anonymous Can’t wait for KDE to catch up. 2005-09-21 6:04 am Anonymous KDE will NEVER catch up this KDE, GNOME, E17, Xorg, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING This is Aero, maded by Professional Developers like Kam Vedbrat, Open Source will never catch up this. 2005-09-21 6:56 am Anonymous All I’m going to say is already done – Caught up and surpassed. See: http://ftp.acc.umu.se/mirror/temp/seth/blog/xshots.html Check out the hardware specs neeeded to run this at the bottom – onboard intel i830 on a crappy old laptop. Although this is a technology preview, it shows what has already been done. Gosh, and these guys aren’t even “Professional” by your standards. Imagine what a “Professional” should be able to do with a billion dollar budget, and 6 years – oh yeah, we saw it today. This is the kind of competition that is forcing MS to keep up. Competition improves windows for windows users. Don’t run down the competition when it’s doing you a favour. 2005-09-21 6:45 am lalune Certainly looks nice, but the guy sounds like he’s been closely watching the Apple keynotes from the last couple of years: – Let the graphics card to the job – Live previews of windows – Movies playing under transparent windows – Window compositing/layering done in the card Holy, they even use the shift key to slow down window animations. Certainly no bad stuff, but 5-6 years behind. Considering the size of MS and the money they, have it’s a shame. The guy makes it sound like they came up with all of this by themselves. Typical MS behaviour I guess. 2005-09-21 6:57 am Anonymous This guy in this video makes it sound like no one in the market is able to do what he is showing. And the guy who is making (microsoft fan-boy i suppose) the interview of course does not ask him: “Hey by the way, just wait, but we have been saying what you are showing for 5 years in OS X, so why are you so late, there is nothing new?” They are so poor in innovating by themselfs that they can not choose another keyboard to slow down the animations. No!!! They use the shift key as Apple does. And of course anyway, because apple does slowed down animations, Microsoft does the same. He is trying so hard to make us believe that’s so great, but they just copied the implementation of someone else. Microsfot does not only copy what apple does, now they even copy the Apple way!!! Really pathetic!!!! 2005-09-21 12:51 pm CPUGuy The difference is, Apple doesn’t have an equivelant to Avalon. Avalon let’s developer’s do so much more than what can currently be done OSX programmers. Check out the streaming video someone posted up earlier and you’ll see what I mean. 2005-09-21 1:16 pm pdr2002 OH great, than give me a media player 10 for OSX, so I can watch it! Even VLC cannot display this crap format! 2005-09-21 1:18 pm pdr2002 What is it what Avalon allows developer to do, what one cannot do with OSX? 2005-09-21 4:39 pm CPUGuy Watch the Northscape video. 2005-09-21 7:09 am Anonymous Obviously Vista looks nice but you can see that both Apple,KDE and gnome are really going to push the eye candy desktop GUI up bigtime but be usable and useful to the user I think Vista over complicates the GUI and eye candy, just take a look at KDE 3.5 in svn and you see, transparent window boarders, fading taskbar previews of open windows, taskbar name fading off and much improved kompmgr. You can see eyecandy has been the main theme with Vista all the time, and from what i’ve see the window fading is nothing what KDE’s kompmgr composite cannot do already. xorg in cvs has hardware acceleration in for cards and it’s much better with composite now. This is why Microsoft is making use of HW acceleration, pixel shaders on the GUI, otherwise in a years time they’d be nowhere. 2005-09-21 7:17 am Anonymous That’s crap, Vista is cool 2005-09-21 7:34 am Anonymous I watched about 30 seconds of that video before I almost went catatonic. Talk about boring. MS have an organisational problem. Yeah the underlying tech might be cool, but they have no focus. They should be thinking about what the user experience should be, then developing the tech to produce that. It seems like they are doing it the other way around. Let’s make some pretty tech, and at the last minute, we’ll try to bolt on a somewhat usable interface to it. Vista is a mess. MS is a mess. Do they even know how to ship an operating system anymore? XP came out in 2001. In all that time, all they can come up with is some ugly-ass UI with a few funky GPU acclerated effects. I just don’t see myself ever running Vista. I couldn’t possibly be less interested in it anymore. 2005-09-21 8:12 am Anonymous “Microsoft is about democratizing technology” Approximate quote around minute 29.. I think he was talking about being able to skin the UI and making star shaped maximize buttons. Classic stuff. 2005-09-21 8:48 am Anonymous The interface isn’t so bad but what’s under the hood? If i look at both the upcoming FC5 and SuSE 10 (release october) they are packed with improvements : SuSE 10: * Home networking essentials such as an integrated firewall, SAMBA, CUPS, APACHE and more * Powerful peer-to-peer file distribution with BitTorrent and Ktorrent clients. * Novell iFolder® 3 lets your files follow you, everywhere. iFolder allows you to access, organize, and manage your files from anywhere, anytime. * Novell® AppArmor, powered by Immunix™, is the most effective and easy-to-use Linux application security system available today. * Support for XEN, the open source virtualisation solution, which enables multiple Linux systems to be set up using the same shared hardware resource, thereby significantly increasing the scalability and efficiency of the system. * Application development tools such as Eclipse, Mono and Kdevelop * Run-time application environments such as JBOSS, MONO, J2EE and more FC5: http://www.fedoraproject.org/wiki/FC5Future Ohw for i forget suSE 10 is released with the latests popular desktop environments. A nice powerhouse to run the above on: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/opteron-ws.html 2005-09-21 12:41 pm raver31 maybe so but that is off topic what has this got to do with aero ? 2005-09-21 12:45 pm Budd The older OSNews layout was way better. Click on the view moderated posts and there you have it!All modded down comments. This sucks. Why give points to posts in order to be displayed or not,afterall all posts are personal oppinions.Ah,whatever. 2005-09-21 1:48 pm ma_d They’ve worked in a lot of neat little things. But honestly, I think they’re trying to hard to cater to typical users while forgetting power users. I bet if you looked at typical Mac users (throwing out extremes) you’d find they keep a lot more windows open on average. And it’s not that they’re more technical: They’re mostly English professors. It’s that OS X does more to help you keep a mess of Windows open: 1.) Application based switching instead of Window based. This allows for applications with floating Windows, instead of the whore that is WiW. 2.) Expose to see the desktop, and 50 open Windows all at once. Can anybody else name other things they do? I really hope they do something to it to allow for better task switching… That’s always been one of my biggest gripes. They won’t even let you make that damned start button smaller so that you can see one extra window better on the taskbar.. 2005-09-21 1:48 pm Anonymous Hasn’t he got a whiney irritating little voice? 2005-09-21 3:01 pm JustThinkIt All this whining about “I have 20 apps open and the Start bar in XP looks crowded”, puh-lease. I run a minimum of 9 “tabs” at the bottom and peak around 20. My secret? I stretch the bar to a thickness of two instead of one. And if necessary I will stretch it to three sometimes. By the way, I rarely have more than 4 of them “open” (i.e. visible) at once so the writer’s estimate is high if anything. Back to my download — I imagine all the MS haters downloading it over and over again — crude version of a DDOSA. 😉 2005-09-21 11:17 pm Anonymous GoatseOS has great screensavers: http://research.microsoft.com/os/testing-phase/GoatseOS/Throughtheg… 2005-09-22 12:15 am jbauer Could someone tell me the exact model of the graphics card he says he’s using? I only know it’s an Ati Radeon with 256MB. Thanks 2005-09-22 8:31 am Anonymous Radeon X800. Probably a PCI-E interface and at least a 3GHZ P4. I liked the video. Vista will be slick but its also funny that you can get all the UI elements of Tiger with a Radeon 9600. Things like scrolling through open Windows look to be better and more useful than Expose. A small preview of a movie playing when you moused over the task bar was lame. You can do that in the Dock now and actually see the movie. The comment made about the Dock being bigger than the Start Bar is incorrect. You can scale the size of the Dock and the the more apps you load into the dock the smaller it gets. I have 45 items in my dock at this time at a res of 1024X768 and I have a XP box right next to it at the same res. I can open a third of these apps and the Dock can handle it no problem. The Start bar in XP starts looking weird when you open up 15 apps with active windows. 2005-09-22 9:10 am timosa As I look at hardware requirements of the Vista I wish KDE and GNOME don’t follow Microsoft in its eye candy fashion. Major “selling point” of Linux has been that it runs on old hardware. If powerful graphics acceleration is made mandatory they will lose opportunity to get installed into computers that are too slow to run the latest resource hungry Windows.