Never thought about that after having been using Aero for a few years since Vista was released. I always thought “Aero” just a word Microsoft picked from the dictionary. But hell no, just like they picked the beta fish as the default desktop wallpaper in the beta version, Aero has its own meaning.
It stands for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open. Simple and gets to the point. And according to Wikipedia:
Intended to be a cleaner, more powerful, more efficient and more aesthetically pleasing user interface than the previously used theme (Luna), it includes new translucency, live thumbnails, live icons, animations and eye candy.
Actually learned from the second story in “Seven behind Windows 7” on Microsoft PressPass, a store that features Song Zou, who helped develop Windows 7 feature like Aero Shake and the new taskbar. Way to go, my Chinese fellows.