In a long blog post on discussing how Windows Desktop evolved over the years, Microsoft detailed how they are going to change the Windows 8 Desktop looks so that it will go great with the WinRT apps and the new Start Menu. As we reported before, the Aero Glass theme is now gone and is being replaced by a flat, light and Metro looking theme as you can see in the image above.
We have made a number of improvements to the desktop visual appearance in Windows 8. Although we wanted the desktop to feel familiar, we also wanted to take some ideas from our new design language and apply them where we could.
We applied the principles of “clean and crisp” when updating window and taskbar chrome. Gone are the glass and reflections. We squared off the edges of windows and the taskbar. We removed all the glows and gradients found on buttons within the chrome. We made the appearance of windows crisper by removing unnecessary shadows and transparency. The default window chrome is white, creating an airy and premium look. The taskbar continues to blend into the desktop wallpaper, but appears less complicated overall.
To complete the story, we updated the appearance of most common controls, such as buttons, check boxes, sliders, and the Ribbon. We squared off the rounded edges, cleaned away gradients, and flattened the control backgrounds to align with our chrome changes. We also tweaked the colors to make them feel more modern and neutral.
You can read more on it at Building Windows 8 blog.