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|24th May 2006, 20:37||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 Preview
So what has Microsoft wrought? The company has completely rethought the productivity application user interface. Gone are the menus and toolbars from every previous Office version, replaced with what Microsoft calls a "results-oriented" user interface. That's not just marketing talk, either: The Office 2007 user interface has been designed with precious little effort to conform to the old ways of doing things. It will be simultaneously obvious and confusing, depending on your level of experience with previous Office versions. It is, if I might be so bold, the most innovative user interface work that Microsoft has ever unleashed.
You might wonder why such a dramatic change was required. Consider the first version of Microsoft Word. Word 1.0 contained about 100 commands and was able to provide access to these commands via a very simple menu system and a single toolbar. Almost twenty years later, Word 2003 included more than 1500 commands. And over the years, Office (and with it, Word) had to be retrofitted with a variety of bloated menus, toolbars, and new UI constructs such as task panes and smart tags, just to provide access to all this functionality. The UI is so convoluted, in fact, that the top Office feature requests are features that are already in Office. It's just that users can't find them.
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