What Flavour Aero Shake?

Ever used Aero Shake? Do you even know what Aero Shake is? What flavour Aero Shake do you prefer? The one that isn’t disabled? Any idea what we’re talking about?

“Aero Shake” is a feature of Windows 10 that is disabled by default since December 2020. It’s also known as “Shake to Minimise,” a feature of the Windows 10 user interface that allows you to minimize all windows except the active one.

It’s a shortcut if you will to quickly minimize all open windows on your desktop except the one with focus you are currently working in. How does it work?

  1. Click the title bar of the window you want to remain open
  2. Hold the mouse down and move the window back and forth quickly – shaking it.
  3. After a couple of shakes, all other open windows will minimize to the taskbar, leaving only the one you’ve shaken open.

Only after an update at the end of last year did I even know this user interface action existed, or that it had multiple names. No idea how long it’s been in Windows – the Aero interface debuted in Windows Vista. Was Aero Shake there then? No idea if anyone else ever used it. No idea how to turn it back on since a Windows update turned it off.

I suppose some users with crowded desktops might have found it useful to clear the clutter, leaving one foreground window with focus. Not sure I can think of an example, though.

If you look up how to re-enable it, Aero Shake seems to need a Reg file or some editing of registry values. Not exactly user-friendly.

So the question is, why did Microsoft bother to include this in the first place? Second question, why did they then decide to turn it off – but not remove it? Did many people with muscle issues complain they set it off by accident?

Third question: what else is lurking in the Windows interface that most of us never heard of? Are any of those extra UI features useful? Were they ever? How do you find out about them? Do you actually need anything more than point, click and drag?

Now we’re up to eight questions. How complex do you need to make a user interface (that’s nine)? Just because a feature is cool, doesn’t mean people need or want to use it.

Does it matter since Microsoft has consigned it to the Recycle bin of history? Who will go to the effort of registry editing (that thing Microsoft hates ordinary users doing) to get it back?

Perhaps Aero Shake should have been a milk bar drink after all, and not part of the Microsoft school of Fuzzy Felt design. AJS

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