With the release of Windows 8 and its successor Windows 10, Microsoft dropped support for rounded corners and Aero Glass for a more flat and neutral coloured UI.
Windows 11 has already added back support for rounded corners and it looks like the next major update is set to introduce a new design feature that will be slightly similar to the Aero effect from the days of Windows 7.
Transparent title bars for classic windows apps will be making a comeback, representing a change of aesthetic for the Windows operating system. Microsoft wants to update the top-level windows and app pop-ups with a touch of a new transparency effect, which could be Acrylic or new material.
At the moment, implementation of the Mica (which is a new type of transparency effect) is left up to developers, so we only have the Mica effect in certain apps and the rest of the app windows have a simple design.
Based on a screenshot of Windows Run shared accidentally during the January webcast of the Windows Developer program and spotted by us, it is clear that the tech giant is returning to a style reminiscent of the Windows Aero employed during the era of Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
For unversed, Windows 7 or Vista’s Aero Glass theme gave the app windows title bar (the menu that includes buttons like minimize, maximize and close) a soft and translucent appearance. Windows Vista’s implementation looked great and modern, but it was more resource-intensive than a plain design.
Windows 11 version 22H2, otherwise known as Sun Valley 2, could help recreate this look for the app title bars.
It’s possible that the tech giant will use the Acrylic effect for all classic app title bars and reserve Mica for windows.
Unlike the Acrylic effect, which enables transparency/translucent effect, Mica is an opaque effect and it is applied to app windows, title bars and even the background.
As you can see in the above comparison, Mica is subtle and it only lets you see the desktop wallpaper through it.
On the other hand, Acrylic is a fancy and more resources-intensive Windows Aero-like effect which reveals the desktop wallpaper and other windows that are behind the active app.
Additionally, we’ve spotted a new experimental flag in the operating system which could bring the Mica effect to more Windows apps.
The flag is titled “MicaBackdropInApplicationFrameHostTitlebar” and it would update some of the existing apps like Feedback Hub with Mica. The Mica effect is already present in core Windows 11 apps like Photos and Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft will be adding it to more apps in the coming weeks.
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