Pertaining to the Metro-style look and feel, which is a key feature of the upcoming Windows 8 OS, Microsoft has made changes to give structure and emphasis to screen areas such as tool window title bars, auto-hidden tabs, tab groups, and separators that do not require uppercase titles. Metro is Microsoft's attempt to offer a look and feel that can work on tablets, phones, and PCs. Also pertaining to Metro, Microsoft with the Visual Studio 11 release candidate has removed capitalization for window titles, auto-hidden tabs, and tab group members. With the release candidate, all caps is used only for top-level menu titles.
Microsoft also is attempting to improve the overall sense of Metro styling within themes by drawing its own window chrome, which is the term Microsoft applies to the frame that surrounds a workspace within a window. "By drawing our own window chrome we have succeeded in both making more efficient use of space and in increasing the overall sense of Metro styling," Hammontree said.
Addressing usability concerns, Microsoft has reintroduced color to select commands, IntelliSense, and Solution Explorer hierarchy icons. "Post-beta we have employed a simple rule set that combines icon selection heuristics for common actions and content conventions with a basic five color palette," Hammontree said. "When taken in conjunction with the flatter and simpler glyph style shapes of our Visual Studio 11 icons these rules give us a recipe for applying color in a very straightforward and consistent manner."
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