According to Microsoft’s own literature, Windows Aero is a “theme” for Windows. In reality, it is much more than that. Windows Aero is a type of user interface, and although it looks similar to the older interface in many ways, it is actually quite different.
he first thing many users notice about Windows Aero is that it looks better than the older Windows style. This difference in appearance is indicative of the new interface’s use of GPU power, rather than CPU power, to render the interface. Using the GPU makes it easier to enable special effects in the interface, and these effects are used to enable new functionality. Although you may not realize it at first, Windows Aero has numerous useful features that make it easier to use Windows 7.
Aero should be on by default, but if Windows 7 does not have Aero active you’ll need to take the following steps.
- Right-click on your Desktop and then click Personalization.
- This will open a window that is dominated by a selection of themes.
- The Windows Aero themes will be at the top. When you pick a theme your computer will instantly change to that theme.
- That’s it! If you for some reason don’t like Windows Aero you can switch back to Windows Basic (the old style) in this same window. Also, remember that Windows 7 Starter can’t use Personalization options, so you won’t be able to use Windows 7 Aero.
- This theme, however, works only with activated windows. So make sure that you have activated windows 7 product key or pre-installed activated windows 7.
One feature added is Aero Peek. This was touched on briefly in the taskbar chapter. On your taskbar, you will find a blank rectangle on the right. Hovering your cursor over this will cause all of the windows you have open to become transparent – this is the Aero Peek feature.
The Aero Peek feature can also be accessed through open programs on your taskbar. Hover or click on the program’s icon in order to open the thumbnail view. Then hover over a thumbnail to activate Aero Peek.
That’s nothing, however, compared to Aero Snap. This new feature is activated by dragging a window to either side of your monitor and holding it there for a second. The window’s size will be automatically adjusted so that it takes up the left half of the screen. If you drag the second window to the right side of your monitor it will be automatically sized to take up the right hand of the screen. This is immensely useful when you need to compare the contents of two windows. Aero Snap will also automatically maximize a window if you drag it to the top of the display.