The first thing users will notice about Vista is that it looks different. The Windows user interface has changed dramatically in the past ten years and with Windows Vista it has reached a new level of sophistication. A range of new, more intuitive tools have been developed to provide simplicity of use for the end user.
Unlike previous Windows operating systems Vista has not one but two different user interfaces. For those wanting a visual experience similar to XP there is the Windows Vista Basic user interface. For those wanting a more sophisticated, graphically enhanced user experience, there is the Windows Vista Aero user interface.
Windows Vista Aero
Aero is graphically superior to previous user interfaces. It features transparent borders that are referred to as ‘glass’ to provide a greater focus on content and navigation. Aero also has Windows Flip & 3D Flip features which allows the user to flip through open windows (by using Alt+Tab) and provides a live thumbnail of each window. With Flip 3D, you can use the scroll wheel on your mouse to flip through open windows in a stack, and quickly select the one you want to work with. Plus Live Taskbar Thumbnails, a feature that also comes with Aero, lets the user receive a visual picture of the activity in a window just by moving the mouse cursor over a tile in the Task Bar.
Aero has a hardware requirement of a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) supporting display adapter and needs a 64MB graphics processing unit.