Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 13:22 UTC, submitted by jayson.knight
Microsoft "For the last year or so, one of the questions I've been asked again and again has been: "Can I use the new Office user interface in my own product?" On one hand, it's an immensely satisfying question to hear, because it means that others in the industry believe in the value of what we've built and see how the sound UI research we've done can benefit their own products. Creating the new user interface has been our team's passion for the last three years, and we love sharing the fruits of this hard work. On the other hand, the new Office user interface was a huge investment by Microsoft and the resulting intellectual property belongs to Microsoft."
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Great!
by merkoth on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 14:08 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

Now FOSS office suites like OO.org, KOffice and so on will have only three alternatives if thew want to improve their UI:

* Pay MS and mimic the new MS Office UI.
* Keep using that ugly UI (c'mon, it's been around since DOS MS Word).
* Start throwing new ideas.

I'm all for the latter one, I'm tired of seeing FOSS apps always trying to mimic propietary apps. With its huge manpower, FOSS doesn't need to mimic anything. We can make it even better.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Great!
by dylansmrjones on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 14:12 in reply to "Great!"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

There is no need for licensing it, since MS cannot force us to license it. You cannot patent look'n'feel, nor have copyright to it (at least not in DK - perhaps you can in USA).

EDIT: In DK I don't have to license anything in order to use it - I only need a license in case I'm going to distribute something that belongs to somebody else. Since I'm not going to distribute any libraries belonging to MS, there will be no need for a license. You cannot patent or own the copyright on look'n'feel.

Edited 2006-11-22 14:17

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Great!
by jal_ on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 15:43 in reply to "Great!"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Now FOSS office suites like OO.org, KOffice and so on will have only three alternatives if thew want to improve their UI:

* Pay MS and mimic the new MS Office UI.
* Keep using that ugly UI (c'mon, it's been around since DOS MS Word).
* Start throwing new ideas.

I'm all for the latter one, I'm tired of seeing FOSS apps always trying to mimic propietary apps. With its huge manpower, FOSS doesn't need to mimic anything. We can make it even better.


I agree the choice should be the latter one, however judging the current FOSS user interfaces, I disagree the FOSS communicy is anywhere near capable of doing so. It actually does take years of structured research to create a completely new UI paradigm, let alone a good one (and I'm not saying I think the new Office look is).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Great!
by boudewijn on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 15:44 in reply to "Great!"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

Hey, that's what we're doing! No ugly ribbons for us :-). It's also partly why KOffice has had a design competition with interesting results: http://www.koffice.org/competition/guiKOffice2.php. While we won't be able to implement the weirdest ideas, we're working really hard to be a little original.


Boudewijn Rempt, Krita maintainer

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Great!
by BluenoseJake on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 19:29 in reply to "Great!"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

According to the article, they aren't charging for the license, it sounds like they are using it to enforce UI guidelines, please, read the article. It states:

"There's no fee, you don't owe Microsoft any royalties, and the license is perpetual"

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Great!
by andrewg on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 22:05 in reply to "RE: Great!"
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

The license will also not be granted if your application is a competitor to Office. So it is also being used to prevent competitors copying / mimicking the ribon.

Please read the actual microsoft press document linked to in the actual article here http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2006/nov06/11-21officeu...

except for applications that compete directly with the five Office applications that currently have the new UI (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Great!
by Kroc on Thu 23rd Nov 2006 11:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Great!"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

You're comparing a completed, available product with a bunch of mockups and ideas? Come back when KDE4 is final and can be compared with the then current iteration of Office, I highly doubt KDE4 will be anything near what's been dreamt up so far.

Reply Parent Score: 2