With software acceleration, older machines will also be able to run the Aero theme without taxing GPU.
Leaks pertaining to Windows 8 is slowly trickling in, and today we learn about its capability to use software acceleration to power the Aero UI, usually turned off on systems with low graphical muscle on Windows 7.
According to winreview, Windows 8 will be able to run Desktop Window Manager using software acceleration, allowing systems with older or less powerful hardware to run the Aero theme without taxing the graphics card too much. In their test, Winreview found out that the Aero UI was rendered completely through software and only used a few MB of video memory.
Apparently, a similar feature was also tested on Windows Vista, however it never made it to the final product after the visual effects implemented for the Aero UI were deemed to be too resource intensive for software rendering. For Windows 8, multiple of such visual effects have been toned down or completely removed to help render the Aero UI with minimal hit on CPU cycles and overall system resources. Do note that Windows 8 is still under pre-beta status and some of the features may or may not make it to the final product.
Windows 8 is expected to hit retail in 2013.