Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th May 2010 15:41 UTC
Microsoft The Microsoft empire is built upon two pillars: the Windows operating system, and Microsoft Office. Windows 7 made its way unto the scene last year, and now it's time to work on the other pillar. Today, Microsoft officially launched Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. Regular customers will be able to purchase the new versions next month, starting at 119 USD.
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RE: Microsoft should be punished
by Phloptical on Wed 12th May 2010 22:48 UTC in reply to "Microsoft should be punished"
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

The decision to not include the classic UI as an option should have gotten the entire Office dev team bitch-slapped.

Reply Parent Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Much as I hate the ribbon, how long would you have Microsoft hold on if they wish to move forward? I don't agree with their UI direction, but I'll give them props for actually trying something new. We all complain that Microsoft holds too tightly to backward compatibility. Well, we can't have it both ways. Either they hold on, or they move forward. Two UIs means more code to maintain, more bugs, more bloat... and Office is buggy and bloated enough as it is and keeps getting bigger with each version it seems.
I think 2000 was Microsoft's magic number. Windows 2000 rocked, and Office 2000 was awesome. It's a pity they haven't been able to move forward without creeping featurism.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

The inclusion of an alternate toolbar theme represents backward thinking? Why is the ribbon UI better? What does it offer to the end user, other than more phone calls to me all day when they have to hunt and dig for the pivot table field list in Excel?

Is the classic theme as an option really an impedance to "the way forward"? All the Ribbon represents, is Microsoft taking a page out of Apple's sanctimonious UI design doctrine. And also, why is the classic theme (to some degree) still offered in the OS and not in the Office package?

For the record, I don't mind the Ribbon. But then again, I don't perform advanced functions in Office, nor do I consider myself to be a "Power User", nor does my job require me to perform tasks in Office quickly.

Reply Parent Score: 3

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

We all complain that Microsoft holds too tightly to backward compatibility

They have backwards compatibility in Office!?!?!?! News to me!!!
OpenOffice has more backwards compatibility for Microsoft Office, than Microsoft Office...

Reply Parent Score: 3

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

I have to agree I think Office 2000 is the best. I still use it However, its getting old now bits of it do not work nicely with Vista (uggh feels slightly nauseous) or Windows 7 and I guess this will get worse.

I need Access and am considering an upgrade, but the vast expense and that utterly vile, counterintuitive, ribbon interface really puts me off.

Maybe I need to learn a new database app.

Reply Parent Score: 2

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

The classic UI is dead... DEAL WITH IT.

The Ribbon is superior to menu drive systems.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

The classic UI is dead... DEAL WITH IT.

The Ribbon is superior to menu drive systems.


I'm not sure what superior means here - I only have to DEAL WITH IT if upgrade my MS Office. I can choose to not upgrade or use a different Office suite.

Reply Parent Score: 2

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

The classic UI is dead... DEAL WITH IT.
The Ribbon is superior to menu drive systems.


That's a gross generalization. The ribbon is different from classic menus. It is useful for very complex applications with huge amounts of option which MUST be all on the screen at the same time. But there are few apps like that around. Most apps aren't that complex.

And the ribbon is hardly the only solution. Graphical/3D editing programs use floating toolbars and dockable dialogs, for example.

Simple apps don't need such solutions and shoving it down their throat is a grave mistake. Take Notepad, for example. A regular menu (which is mostly level 1 depth) and a simple classic toolbar are all it needs. Adding the ribbon to it was a mistake IMO.

Because the problem with the ribbon and similar solutions is that they're context-aware and ever changing. It's harder for the average user to cope with that. In simple applications it introduces a level of abstraction that's simply overkill.

Now, getting back to Office: why the hell is it so damn complex? Who uses all that stuff? I don't doubt there are people who do, but I suspect something like 90% of people only need basic editing features. Alignment, indentation, fonts, colors, lists, tables, insert pic. Plus a few choice extra features like spelling, footnotes and tables of content.

Something like AbiWord or WordPad.

Reply Parent Score: 4

nboxer Member since:
2006-12-11

MS new direction is a dead end. Many accountants and other office workers are using office 2003. There is no mandate to use 2007 ... so 2010 is dead in the water. No one will be upgrading. Works fine in XP or W7. So there you have it. No one gives a RatsAss about sharepoint.. our world is spreadsheets, word proceessors and sometimes powerpoint. The rest is taken care in ERP systems.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

If you read the (extremely long) blog posts of the team that designed the Ribbon interface, they say that the one of their main reasons to move to design a different UI was to have only one place for each function.

The rationale was that if each command is in 10 different places there is no definitive place to look if you're trying to find one. For example in Word 2003 if you didn't remember where something was you had to look at the open toolbars, then look through 3+ nested levels of menus, then look at the side-panels, then look at some other kind of side-panels but with different name and then bring up all the hidden toolbars.

With ribbon there is only one place to look for commands. If it's not there then it simply isn't anyware.

He also said that the old UI was holding them back. They wanted to add more stuff to Word and they either had to hide them under 3 levels of menus or invent some confusing new UI widget to contain them (like the two different kind of side-panels). With the Ribbon they can simply add another tab of controls, or if the change doesn't warrant adding a tab, they can put it on a context sensitive one.

I know that a modal interface is a bad interface most times, but when a program becomes so complex maybe it's not so bad. For novice users 90% of what they do is in the main tab and for the remaining 10% they would probably have to search the UI to find what they wanted. For experienced users a good portion of what they do is also on the main tab and for the rest they probably know the shortcut.

So, you may like the Ribbon UI or not, but if you think about it, having an option for the classic UI would be contrary to their design goals.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

So instead of endless menu tree's, we're stuck with the potentially endless scrolling ribbon to accommodate more buttons/widgets/what-have-you that I might want to drop on my ribbon? "Where's that button?" Oh yeah, I have to scroll 4 inches to the right off the screen for it.

The ribbon is like working in your cubicle with all the drawers to your desk and filing cabinets open, but yet you can't close.

I'm not saying we should go back in time to that POS Wordperfect 5.1, but come on!? I would like to get out of Office 2003 where I work. Mainly because we can then export SAP data and not have to worry about row limits in Excel. Unfortunately though, I now have to plan a 6 month long detailed project to roll out a stupid f'ing Office package to a global set of users, in order to minimize impact to the business.

Reply Parent Score: 2