I’d say that they are and it’s a good thing. Let’s face it: most consumers aren’t going to get jazzed about "BitLocker" and "User Account Control"; they want the eye candy. Why is that important? It’s important because it’s the first and last thing they see. Hey, it’s everything in between too. If there isn’t a large visual perceptive difference, most folks will try to hang on to Windows XP until 2021!
As our Gotta Be Mobile peeps just found out, all of a sudden we can run Aero Glass in Vista on older machines. Warner and I share a fondness for our Toshiba M200 Tablet PC and we can now both run Aero Glass without any hacks or registry edits. I enabled it back in March, but it took a little bit of work. Now, it just works. Why is that? The screen shot tells the story.
No you don’t need tons of video memory to run Aero Glass (but it helps). You need a WDDM driver and a graphics card with DirectX 9.0 and 32 bits per pixel support. However, our two-year old M200s have an arsenal of extra video RAM at their disposal. Instead of relying on the now-anemic 32 MB of dedicated RAM in our NVIDIA Ge-Force Go 5200 FX GPUs, the newest Vista drivers allow for RAM sharing. Good move to get these drivers to allow memory sharing because it really makes the experience downright pleasant!