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What is Aero Glass?

A. Windows Vista has a new UI called Aero, and if your system meets certain high-end graphics requirements, you get Aero Glass. In Aero Glass, elements of the windows are translucent, and dialog boxes open in an expanding fashion, starting off small and growing larger as if approaching. Figure 1 shows an Aero Glass interface, whereas Figure 2 shows a simple Aero interface. You can also see in Figure 1 that the minimize, maximize, and close window buttons glow when the cursor hovers over them. Aero Glass is far more graphics intensive than standard Aero, and in Microsoft's words, is the "full-fidelity Longhorn \[now Vista\] experience." Users with hardware that can't run even standard Aero can use a classic-style UI that emulates the Windows 2000 UI.

To run the Aero Glass, your graphics card must have a Longhorn Display Driver Model (LDDM). You can find more information about LDDM at . NVIDIA offers a Vista Beta 1 LDDM driver ( ), and ATI also has LDDM drivers available ( ). To get the full Vista experience, the graphics card needs to support the complete DirectX 9 API and a lot of memory (64MB minimum, 128MB recommended).

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