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Microsoft Shows Off New Vista Basic Look

Microsoft last week confirmed that when Windows Vista ships it will offer a more attractive look-and-feel to users who don't have the graphics horsepower to run the new Aero interface.

Windows Vista is the first Microsoft operating system to scale the interface to the PC's graphics capability, and for those computers with the required adaptor, will display Aero, which includes visual extras such as translucent screens, animated program flipping, and icons showing thumbnails of opened files.

Machines unable to handle Aero -- and all those running the entry-level Windows Vista Home Basic -- will instead show an interface Microsoft's labeled the "Windows Vista Basic" theme. Current and previous builds of Windows Vista -- including the Beta 2 released last month to the public -- use a metallic theme some have dubbed "Scrap Metal."

"Community members have rightfully complained about this theme," admitted Nick White of the Windows Vista launch team on the group's blog. "We agreed (actually we always knew we'd fix it in a future build)."

White also posted screenshots of the new Basic theme, which like Windows XP, is a variation on blue, but wouldn't commit to a date when the theme will debut.

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