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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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.

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