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ART
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COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY
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ARTICLES IN THE BOOK

  1. Architecture of Windows NT
  2. AutoPlay
  3. Bill Gates
  4. BitLocker Drive Encryption
  5. Calibri
  6. Cambria
  7. Candara
  8. Chess Titans
  9. ClearType
  10. Consolas
  11. Constantia
  12. Control Panel
  13. Corbel
  14. Criticism of Windows Vista
  15. Dashboard
  16. Desktop Window Manager
  17. Development of Windows Vista
  18. Digital locker
  19. Digital rights management
  20. Extensible Application Markup Language
  21. Features new to Windows Vista
  22. Graphical user interface
  23. Group Shot
  24. ImageX
  25. INI file
  26. Internet Explorer
  27. Internet Information Services
  28. Kernel Transaction Manager
  29. List of Microsoft software codenames
  30. List of Microsoft Windows components
  31. List of WPF applications
  32. Luna
  33. Mahjong Titans
  34. Meiryo
  35. Microsoft Assistance Markup Language
  36. Microsoft Expression Blend
  37. Microsoft Expression Design
  38. Microsoft Gadgets
  39. Microsoft Software Assurance
  40. Microsoft Virtual PC
  41. Microsoft Visual Studio
  42. Microsoft Windows
  43. Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX
  44. MS-DOS
  45. MSN
  46. MUI
  47. Object manager
  48. Operating system
  49. Original Equipment Manufacturer
  50. Outlook Express
  51. Peer Name Resolution Protocol
  52. Protected Video Path
  53. Purble Place
  54. ReadyBoost
  55. Recovery Console
  56. Remote Desktop Protocol
  57. Security and safety features of Windows Vista
  58. Segoe UI
  59. User Account Control
  60. WIM image format
  61. Windows Aero
  62. Windows Anytime Upgrade
  63. Windows Calendar
  64. Windows CE
  65. Windows Communication Foundation
  66. Windows Disk Defragmenter
  67. Windows DreamScene
  68. Windows DVD Maker
  69. Windows Explorer
  70. Windows Fax and Scan
  71. Windows Forms
  72. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs
  73. Windows Hardware Engineering Conference
  74. Windows Live
  75. Windows Live Gallery
  76. Windows Live Mail Desktop
  77. Windows Mail
  78. Windows Media Center
  79. Windows Media Player
  80. Windows Meeting Space
  81. Windows Mobile
  82. Windows Movie Maker
  83. Windows Photo Gallery
  84. Windows Presentation Foundation
  85. Windows Registry
  86. Windows Rights Management Services
  87. Windows Security Center
  88. Windows Server Longhorn
  89. Windows Server System
  90. Windows SharePoint Services
  91. Windows Shell
  92. Windows Sidebar
  93. Windows SideShow
  94. Windows System Assessment Tool
  95. Windows System Recovery
  96. Windows Update
  97. Windows Vienna
  98. Windows Vista
  99. Windows Vista editions and pricing
  100. Windows Vista Startup Process
  101. Windows Workflow Foundation
  102. Windows XP
  103. Windows XP Media Center Edition
  104. XML Paper Specification
  105. Yahoo Widget Engine
 



A GUIDE TO WINDOWS VISTA
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Aero

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

Windows Aero

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Windows Aero is the graphical user interface for Windows Vista, an operating system released by Microsoft in November 2006. Its name is an acronym (or backronym) for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open.[1] Intended to be a cleaner, more powerful, more efficient and more aesthetically pleasing user interface, it includes new transparencies, live thumbnails, live icons, animations and eye candy. It replaces the Luna visual theme which popularized its predecessor, Windows XP. Aero also encompasses a set of user interface design guidelines for Microsoft Windows.

History

Until the release of Windows Vista Beta 1 in July 2005, little or nothing had been shown of Aero in public/leaked builds. Previous user interfaces were Plex, which was featured in Longhorn builds 3683-4029; Slate, which was featured in build 4051 and was available until build 4083; and Jade (build 4074 and 4083, actually an early preview of Aero). Microsoft started using Aero in public builds since build 5048. The first build with full-featured Aero was build 5219. Build 5270 (released in December 2005) contained an implementation of Aero which was virtually complete, according to sources at Microsoft, though a number of stylistic changes were introduced between then and the operating system's release.

Originally, Aero was to have three levels available, one code-named "To Go", which had the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) composition engine (previously known as DCE) disabled. The next was to be AeroExpress, lacking many features of the highest level code-named Aero Glass. However, in December 2005, Microsoft announced that there would only be two levels available, "Windows Vista Aero" and "Windows Vista Basic", with the previous "Express" level integrated into the new "Windows Vista Aero" level. A control panel was added to enable the user to fine tune this functionality, such as being able to turn off the "glass" translucency effect. These levels are provided so that the Aero interface (to some extent) can be used with a relatively low-end graphics card.

Initially, a variation of Aero, codenamed "Aero Diamond", was slated to be the user interface for the Windows Vista Media Center experience. Although there has been no official mention of Diamond for a number of years, it may refer to the expectation that the interface will be written in pure XAML (as was Aero initially) but this has not been confirmed.

User interface

The Open Dialog in Windows Vista demonstrates some of the new aesthetic and functional aspects of Aero.
The Open Dialog in Windows Vista demonstrates some of the new aesthetic and functional aspects of Aero.
The Connect to the Internet Wizard.
The Connect to the Internet Wizard.
Windows Flip 3D (Win+Tab keys)
Windows Flip 3D (Win+Tab keys)
Windows Flip (Alt+Tab keys)
Windows Flip (Alt+Tab keys)
Live Thumbnails
Live Thumbnails

For the first time since the release of Windows 95, Microsoft has completely revised its user interface guidelines, covering aesthetics, common controls such as buttons and radio buttons, task dialogs, wizards, common dialogs, control panels, icons, fonts, user notifications, and the "tone" of text used.[2]

Aero Wizards

"Wizard 97"[3] has been the prevailing standard for wizard design, visual layout, and functionality used in Windows 98 through to Windows Server 2003, as well as most Microsoft products in that time frame. Aero Wizards are the replacement for Wizard 97, incorporating visual updates to match the aesthetics of the rest of Aero, as well as changing the interaction flow.

More specifically:

  • To increase the efficiency of the wizard, The "Welcome" and "Completion" pages in Wizard 97 are no longer used. (A precursor to this change was implied in a number of wizards in products such as SQL Server 2005 where a check-box was added to welcome pages, allowing a user to disable the welcome page in future uses of the wizard)
  • Aero Wizards can be resized, whereas the Wizard 97 guidelines defined exact sizes for wizard window and content sizes.
  • The purpose of any given Aero Wizard page is more clearly stated at the top
  • A new kind of control called a "Command link" provides a single-click operation to choose from a short list of options
  • The "Back" button has moved to the top-left corner of the wizard window and matches the visual style of the back button in other Vista applications. This is done to give more focus to the commit choices. The "Next" button is only shown on pages where it is necessary.
  • The notion of "Commit pages" is introduced, where it is made clear that the next step will be the actual process that the wizard is being used to enact. If no follow-up information needs to be communicated, these are the last pages in a wizard. Typically a commit page has a button at the bottom-right that is labelled with the action to be taken, such as "Create account".
  • At the end of a wizard, a "Follow-up page" can be used to direct the user to related tasks that they may be interested in immediately after completing the wizard. For example, a follow-up for a CD burning wizard may present options like "Duplicate this disk" and "Make a disk label".

Notifications

A notification from Windows Security Center.
A notification from Windows Security Center.

Notifications allow an application or operating system component with an icon in the system tray to create a pop-up window with some information about an event or problem. These windows, first introduced in Windows 2000 and known colloquially as "balloons", are similar in appearance to the speech balloons that are commonly seen in comics. Balloons were often criticized in prior versions of Windows due to their intrusiveness, especially with regard to how they interacted with full-screen applications such as games. Notifications in Aero aim to be less intrusive by gradually fading in and out, and not appearing at all if a full-screen application or screensaver is being displayed in these cases, notifications are queued until an appropriate time. Larger icons and multiple font sizes and colors are also introduced with Aero's notification windows.

Font

Segoe UI in 20pt and 9pt sizes.
Segoe UI in 20pt and 9pt sizes.

The Segoe UI font is the new default font for Aero with languages that use Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic character sets. The default font size is also increased from 8pt to 9pt to improve readability.

Phrasing tone

The Vista User Experience Guidelines also address the issue of "tone" in the writing of text used with the Aero user interface. Prior design guidelines from Microsoft had not done much to address the issue of how user interface text is phrased, and as such, the way that information and requests are presented to the user has not been consistent between parts of the operating system.

Research done by Microsoft had informed them that users were finding Windows difficult to use and understand. Users were dissatisfied or felt insulted because of the phrasing of some messages. In particular, computer terminology and jargon were overused and used inconsistently, creating a barrier to understanding for newer users, and messages were unclear or perceived as patronizing.

The guidelines for Vista and its applications suggest messages that present technically accurate advice concisely, objectively, and positively, and assume an intelligent user motivated to solve a particular problem. Specific advice includes the use of the second person and the active voice (e.g. "Print the photos on your camera") and avoidance of words like "please" and "sorry".

Requirements

Microsoft has listed the following requirements for what they call a Vista Premium Ready PC. A PC that meets or exceeds these requirements will be able to use the new Aero technologies.[4]

  • a 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte of system memory
  • a DirectX 9 compatible graphics processor, with a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver, and a minimum of 64 MB of Video RAM
  • 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB free space
  • DVD-ROM Drive
  • audio output and Internet access

The minimum requirements for graphics cards from the major vendors include the Radeon 9500 from ATI Technologies and the GeForce FX 5200 from NVIDIA.[5]

A note on minimum graphics requirements: though Microsoft has listed 128 MB of Video RAM as a requirement for "Premium Ready" PCs, it does not mean a 128 MB integrated graphics processor is required to run the Aero glass theme. A 64 MB integrated graphics processor, combined with at least 1 GB of system memory, will be able to run Aero at certain resolutions.[6] However, a Vista-specific driver for any given graphics processor is also required to run the Aero glass theme,[7] which may or may not be available at the time of Windows Vista's commercial release. Users who believe their hardware meets Aero's minimum graphics requirements are encouraged to check their graphics processor manufacturer's website for a Vista-specific driver if they are unable to run the theme.

Similarities to Mac OS X

Amongst others, WinSuperSite reviewer Paul Thurrott has noted many similarities between Aero and Aqua; he suggests that the use of translucency in the interface is going to make comparisons with Mac OS X's interface "hard to avoid."[8] Long-time Mac columnist and book author John Rizzo wrote in an eWeek article, "Microsoft seems to have taken many cues from Mac OS X with the user interface and features, right down to some of the terminology. Even some of Vista's icons are amazingly similar to those in Tiger."[9]

References

  1. ^ Allchin, Jim (November 9, 2006). The Sounds of Windows Vista. Windows Vista Team Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved on 2006-11-09.
  2. ^ What's New in Windows Vista. MSDN - Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines. Microsoft. Retrieved on 2006-05-03.
  3. ^ Wizard 97. Platform Software Development Kit. Microsoft. Retrieved on 2006-05-03.
  4. ^ Windows Vista Capable and Premium Ready PCs. microsoft.com (May 2006). Retrieved on 2006-05-20.
  5. ^ Windows Vista Ready GPUs. msbetas.org (March 2007). Retrieved on 2007-03-11.
  6. ^ Windows Vista Enterprise Hardware Planning Guidance. microsoft.com (February 2007). Retrieved on 2007-02-03.
  7. ^ Vista won't show fancy side to pirates. news.com.com (April 2006). Retrieved on 2007-02-03.
  8. ^ Thurrott, Paul (2006-03-03). Windows Vista February 2006 CTP (Build 5308) Review. WindowsITPro. Retrieved on 2006-05-09.
  9. ^ Rizzo, John (2005-07-31). Apple's Tiger vs. Windows Vista: Who Comes Out Ahead?. eWeek. Retrieved on 2006-05-08.

See also

  • Features new to Windows Vista
  • Development of Windows Vista
  • Desktop Window Manager
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Aero"