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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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

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Look, I'm not arguing about the ribbon itself. I despise it personally. But you're talking about a lot more than a theme here. You said the classic UI. That means toolbars, menu bar, and everything related to it. A theme is one thing, maintaining two separate UIs is another and would be a recipe for disaster when Microsoft clearly doesn't care about the classic UI anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

The old UI is already way over burdened. Keeping it around as an option would entail having to cram even more things into that already over-burdened UI as more features are added. And those features would be hidden from the user, as they'd be buried in that byzantine UI, and things would simply get worse and worse with each subsequent release.

Also, there's something to be said for forcing the users to move on to the new UI. If the old one were available as an option, lots of people would simply use that out of force of habit, even if they would've found the new UI to be way better. Which would lead back to my first point.

Maybe you should read some entries on the excellent blog of Jensen Harris, starting with this one:
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2008/03/12/the-story-of-the-r...

It'll show how the old UI simply could not be scaled any further. New features crammed into it were hidden from the user. Menus, toolbars, task panes, etc. Something needed to be done. And a clean break was best.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

New features crammed into it were hidden from the user. Menus, toolbars, task panes, etc. Something needed to be done. And a clean break was best.


If Microsoft were truly interested in a clean UI break, in UI consistency across Windows applications, and thereby in improving the "experience" for their users, then why didn't Microsoft simply publish a set of "ribbon rules" (a specification, if you will) to define that ribbon UI consistency, and then let any developer who wanted to simply go ahead and implement a ribbon interface for their application?

No, with Microsoft, instead we get this:
http://weblogs.asp.net/fbouma/archive/2008/07/20/the-evil-of-the-of...
http://www.itwriting.com/blog/591-microsofts-office-ui-patent-trap-...

This pretty much guarantees that some Windows applications (mostly, those from Microsoft) will have a ribbon interface, and other Windows applications (those not from Microsoft) won't ... making for a horribly confused UI environment in Windows.

Just typical.

PS: One remembers, of course, bygone days when Microsoft used to insist that "look and feel" was not protectable IP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corp...

The court ruled that, "Apple cannot get patent-like protection for the idea of a graphical user interface"


Edited 2010-05-13 07:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2