New taskbar style
The new taskbar is a thinner and has a far more transparent background. The application buttons are thinner and wider, with a faint white border. The ‘hover’ state sports a trendy blue gradient button that reminds me of the new Vista Media Center style, also the Live Preview no longer reports the name of the application on top. Overall, a subtle change over the current design, but makes the taskbar more aesthetically pleasing and cleaner. Also on a side note, there are two new icons on in the Quick Launch bar, Show Desktop (left) and Flip 3D (right).
New button styles
It has a softer border with some outer shadows, as well as a lighter gradient on the back. The default select state has a cool blue inner glow. It is another subtle change, but makes the buttons far more attractive than before.
Updated start menu style
The differences here is pretty big. The text is a lot smaller, thus allowing them to fit more into less space, as seen on the right. Also the search bar is thinner with a dropdown-enabled search icon.
The power icon has been changed, and background changed to red. Also, various application’s icons has been updated.
New Office 2007 icons
Image: (Microsoft Design)
Color-coded glossy icons with a curved edge on the top left, featuring fairly recognizable icons for each of the products. A nice move away from the big square we have today.
If this is a sign of whats to come in Vista RC1, then I’m extremely enthusiastic about how polished it may be!