In my quest to find out the truth about Aero Diamond, I got the official word from a Microsft manager who worked directly with or overlooked the codename “Diamond” project.
Diamond was the codename for the Media Center functionality in Vista. Aero is the codename/feature name for the 3D desktop. Looks to me like someone jammed them together.
Technically, Aero Diamond did not exist. Aero did, and so did Diamond, but not as Aero Diamond. So what this ATI presentation slide was referring to was only to the Media Centre experience. Someone along the way must have combined the terms Aero and Diamond to describe the UI in Vista’s Media Center, but that mislead many Vista community members.
From that point onwards, people labelled Aero Diamond as an UI experience a tier above Aero Glass and began to speculate what it looked like. Of course, during the few years as a rumour, no one could ever discover what it looked like. This lead some to believe it was Microsoft’s secret theme for Vista, but no one could prove it. And now we now why.
Aero will ship. Diamond will ship. Aero Diamond did not exist and will definetely not ship with Windows Vista.
Update: In a later interview with Tjeerd Hoek, director of user experience for Windows Vista, details of a codename “Aero Diamond” were finally revealed. Whilst this does confirm the existence of an “Aero Diamond”, however it was never intended to ship with Windows Vista and basically describes a set of future UX concepts.