Windows Aero – Vista's premium user interface

Dynamic reflections used for the Minimize, Maximize and Close buttons

This images contains a series of images that show off the dynamic reflections used for the Minimize, Maximize and Close buttons. In the first image, the window is in the background, or overlaid by another window, yet still visible. As you can see, none of the buttons show color. In the second image, none of the buttons are actually pointed to, but the close button does have a faint red glow to indicate that this particular window is in the foreground. For the next three images, I hovered the mouse pointer over the Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons respectively.

When it comes to the animations, the most notable example would have to be minimizing and maximizing windows. Since I can't actually show you the animation in a screen shot, the best way to explain it is by comparison. In Windows XP, the animation used in minimizing and maximizing windows basically involves a shrinking and expanding title bar that moves so quickly that the animation is almost subliminal.

In Windows Vista, the act of minimizing and maximizing windows is a graceful animation that shows the entire window shrinking and expanding to and from the taskbar. And, it moves slow enough for you to enjoy, yet fast enough that it doesn't become an annoyance.

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...