Windows Aero

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Windows Aero

Windows 7 desktop
The graphical user interface Windows Aero Windows 7 with its own skin (English "theme") associated with the Windows - Desktop gives a characteristic appearance
Basic data

developer Microsoft Corporation
Publishing year 2007 (with Windows Vista )
Current  version see Windows
operating system Windows Vista / 7 (Aero Glass)
category Desktop environment
License Microsoft EULA
German speaking Yes
Windows Aero enables preview images to be displayed when the mouse pointer is paused over a running program in the taskbar (screenshot under Windows 7 )

Windows Aero is a graphical user interface and skin for the Windows operating system . Windows Aero is included with most editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 and is enabled by default. It is also included with Windows Server 2008 , but is not activated by default. The word Aero is a backronym of Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, Open .

Windows Aero replaces the previous user interface Luna and is characterized by semi-transparent window frames and animations, for example when minimizing the window. Aero offers the user freely scalable application windows with shadows. With the help of "Windows Flip 3D", an element from Aero that is called up with the Windows + Tab key combination, application windows of all open applications can be displayed when quickly switching between programs. Hardware-accelerated display requires a compatible graphics card and compatible drivers. Windows Aero is divided into Aero Basic, which only has design changes compared to Windows XP , and Aero Glass, which contains the new features mentioned. The Aero interface is still included in Windows 8.1, but without Aero Glass . The features Aero Shake and Aero Peek are also still included.


Aero Basic

This mode only offers the new window design without the transparency effect and is currently the standard design in Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Home Basic. In Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate as well as Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate it is also integrated as an alternative to Aero Glass. The manufacturer specifies the following minimum requirements:

  • Windows XP driver (WDM), (Vista graphics driver is recommended)
  • at least 32 MB graphics card memory
  • Support of a color depth of at least 32 bits per pixel
  • 3D hardware acceleration that is DirectX 9 compatible
  • a graphics card with an Accelerated Graphics Port , PCI or PCI Express

However, Aero Basic also runs on significantly less powerful computers.

Aero glass

Aero Glass works with 3D graphics, animations and visual effects (for example transparency). The following requirements must be met for this:

The hardware meets the requirements if a performance index of at least 3.0 is achieved in the evaluation .

Supported graphics chipsets :

With the release of Windows 8, the glass effects were largely removed, but transparency is still possible. With Windows 10, optional glass effects for the start menu, the taskbar and the info center were reintroduced.

Individual evidence

  1. Microsoft Corporation: Windows Vista - Product Overview for IT Pros. In: Microsoft TechNet. Retrieved April 11, 2010 .
  2. Microsoft Corporation: Windows Vista Capable and Premium Ready PCs ( Memento of October 18, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  3. Windows Performance Index on
  4. ATI graphics solutions receive certification for Windows Vista
  5. The desktop also gets a metro-like design , Golem, accessed on May 22, 2012.