By Dervish / Last update February 14, 2022

Microsoft is making various improvements for Windows 11, including improvements to the Start menu, taskbar, and, among others, support for acrylic effects in the title bar of Win32 desktop applications.

Microsoft is planning to make the change part of the next Windows 11 preview, which will be delivered to Insiders as soon as next week.

In fact, as early as January 26, in Microsoft's online live broadcast, some keen netizens caught the Win32 application title bar with acrylic effect.

Although the image quality is not very clear, the key features can still be seen. The taskbar of the Win32 application is made of acrylic and looks like the Aero of Windows 7.

I think the reason for Microsoft's change this time is that Aero in Windows 7 eats too much GPU performance, so Microsoft canceled it later. The current acrylic transparent effect is essentially to achieve the best appearance with the least performance. There are trade-offs.

Microsoft is now planning to change most of the interface to the Fluent design, including bringing acrylic transparency to Win32 applications, making the Windows 11 user interface feel more beautiful, refined, and modern in terms of experience overall.

It is understood that Microsoft may use the acrylic effect for the title bar of all classic applications, while retaining the mica effect for the window. Unlike acrylic effects, mica is an opaque effect that works on application windows, title bars, and even backgrounds. Acrylic is a fancy, more resource-intensive Windows Aero-like effect that displays desktop wallpapers and other windows behind active applications.

It's not entirely clear when Microsoft will bring this small interface update to Windows 11 users, though. The source said the improvements Microsoft is currently working on will roll out as a Sun Valley 2 update this fall.