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WINDOWS VISTA® ICONS INFORMATION PAGE
Windows Vista Icons.
The main difference with Vista Icons is their ability to deal with the high-resolution displays of the future, and a resolution-independent UI (User Interface).
At present, monitors generally have a resolution of 96-DPI (dots/pixels per inch). For example, 48x48 icons are displayed on screen in a half-inch square. Future LCD screens will support resolutions up to 240/320 DPI. Therefore, to be displayed at the same size without quality loss, icons must include much larger images. That's the reason why Vista introduces a new standard for Windows icon size: 256x256 pixels.
With the addition of Live Icons in Vista, the icons in Explorer change size dynamically, they scale up or down with the use of a slider.
The ability to have a 256x256 image as an icon poses the problem of its size: A complete icon with all 12 formats would use about 500kB on the hard drive. It is 20 times more than the 25kB for a complete Windows XP icon. In Windows Vista the problem was solved by extending the icon format to PNG.
PNG Compression (Open Format)
PNG is an extensible file format for the lossless, portable, well-compressed storage of raster images. PNG provides a patent-free replacement for GIF and can also replace many common uses of TIFF. Indexed-color, grayscale, and truecolor images are supported, plus an optional alpha channel for transparency. Sample depths range from 1 to 16 bits per component (up to 48bit images for RGB, or 64bit for RGBA).
Vista icons can be displayed in Windows XP as long as they only use the standard icon formats (48x48, 32x32 and 16x16). The PNG compressed 256x256 format will simply be ignored. A 256x256 icons could certainly be used in Windows Xp, but only if not compressed.
IMPORTANT: We no longer offer the original Windows Vista icons for download. These icons are copyrighted and the property of Microsoft, Corp. They have been removed from this server at Microsoft's request.
Free icons designed for Windows Vista
125 new icons and Live Icons in Windows Vista
[Unveiling the Windows Vista desktop and User Experience at CES] =>