Microsoft has removed the ability to have the windows and taskbar independently coloured, like in Windows 7. Also, the Windows 7 version of the appearance options allowed for the transparancy to be changed, while the screenshot below shows this option removed, along with the advanced appearance settings.
Also, applications such as Internet Explorer 10 now take on the colour of the current Windows 8 theme:
The boot screen follows a very minimalist style with just the Windows logo and the progress animation showing, as can be seen below:
So, gone are the rich, sophisticated and attractive GUI effects seen in Vista and 7 and in is the new minimalism, which may well not appeal to many. The changes (improvements?) are not all about visual style however, since there's a lot of under-the-hood improvements too, as site admin, vNext, remarked: "Windows 8 is incredibly stable and fast, it's far better than Windows 7 in all ways". vNext also summarizes the current state of Windows 8 as being in final preparation for release:
Microsoft's work will be finished soon, the Windows Team is working on the final preparations, such as the last minute bugs, adding new themes, wallpapers, new background to the lock screen, etcetera.
It will be interesting to see just how fast the finished product is. By the sound of it, it may well be even faster than the aged Windows XP, which would make for a welcome performance boost. It also raises questions about why every generation of operating system until this point has gotten slower and slower. Sure, Windows 7 is somewhat faster than Windows Vista, but that ran like a dog (up until the service packs at least) and failed in the marketplace, so Microsoft was forced to improve on it.
There are several more screenshots at WinUnleaked.
Click here to view the article