Windows Vista Maxized Window

Microsoft has apparently received a lot of complaints from users who receive black borders on their windows when they maximize them. You may not think this is that big of a deal but for those people who choose colors like red or orange you can drastically notice the window color change, for example from red to black, when you maximize it. Microsoft originally did this because when you maximize a window you are trying to focus on the contents and a black border makes that easier to do.

Users didn’t like that though so Microsoft decided to compromise a little bit. Now the window borders will take on more color depending on the Aero color choice that you make. The image above is from the blue theme that I chose for the sake of the example, otherwise I personally like the Graphite one.

Here is why Microsoft gave in and made the change:

With 300 million users, even 1/10th of 1% of people don’t like something, and only 1% of those REALLY don’t like it, that is still thousands of people who will email us daily, blog about it, tell their friends, etc.  The trick of working in Windows is to have a thick skin while still remaining sensitive to potentially serious issues.

In the end, we decided that we like the black and think it is the right thing to do, but we want to respect the user’s color choice for users who bother to make a change.

Yesterday, on that same blog, the team was also answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the Windows Vista Basic theme. They answered almost every question that I have asked myself at one time or another:

  • Why isn’t the Close button oversized compared to the Minimize and Maximize buttons, like in Aero?
  • Then how is the DWM getting away with it?
  • Why didn’t you change the legacy window manager then?
  • Why aren’t the caption buttons bigger in Aero Basic?
  • What if I don’t like them this small?
  • What’s with the extra border?
  • But I’m running Aero Basic not Aero so I don’t have glass, so why put a thick “glass” border there?
  • What if I don’t like it?
  • Why does Aero have a solid 1-pixel black border inside the frame, and Aero Basic doesn’t?

They even went as far to show us a per-pixel image of the new theme:

Vista Basic Pixels

I was actually surprised at how in-depth they got with the whole subject. Now that they actually explained all of their reasoning then I guess I won’t be questioning as much why they couldn’t find some way to make the Basic theme look more like the Aero one. :)