Microsoft responds to critics, defends touch UI in Office 2013
If you read our preview of Office 2013, you know we liked it. A lot. But if we had one reservation it's that Office still isn't that finger-friendly, even with the addition of a touch mode that widens the spacing between onscreen objects and flattens the menus so that you don't have to tap quite as much. As if in response to critics like us (and readers too!) Microsoft has published a lengthy blog post detailing the thinking that went into the design of Office's new touch-enabled features. Which is to say, it's a more detailed recap of how the company's engineers tweaked the desktop interface for touch, and designed some standalone apps that better match the Metro experience of Windows 8. At the very least, it's a handy primer for folks who missed Steve Ballmer's keynote and haven't yet read up on radial menus or the Metro-styled OneNote MX app. Even if you have, though, it's worth a read: Microsoft offers some interesting insight into the various scenarios where it imagined each touch-enabled app being used, and what kind of posture the user is likely to have, even. Whether that's enough to prompt a change of heart is up to you, but it's interesting nonetheless to get a little more color on how it all came together.
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