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New Office GUI

Looking at the new office 2007 GUI and I am quite impressed.

http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/03/09/547281.aspx

I have been following his blog for months now and am amazed in all the hard work and research they have done in basically reinventing the GUI from the ground up.

I wonder if this will make a big impact or will it be just another "ho-hum Microsoft has some new eye-candy"?
DJ
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
I've been impressed too - it's good to see Microsoft innovating, especially with Office, which has been stagnant for years. I hope it's a success for them, although I don't think they need to worry on that front.
John Topley Send private email
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
Meant to say - it's interesting that the title bar is assymetric and that the title is now back in the centre, Windows 3.x style. Also, that nasty jagged curve on the left corner of the title bar shows that Microsoft still can't do smooth corners like Apple can!
John Topley Send private email
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
Yeah, I agree. Very nice stuff. Microsoft gets a bad rap on so many things. But they really do strive for good usability. They actually test their designs instead of just assuming that developers instinctively know what they are doing (which is false 99.9% of the time). I think that it will change the way that apps are done going forward. At least until they do more usability analysis and find some other way to make it even better.

But the naysayers will just go on and on about how slow adoption will be because it is a different interface and about how some people are still using Office 2000 and Windows 3.1 and DOS (as if anyone cares about those people anyway). Yadda, yadda, yadda...
Turtle Rustler
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
Very nice. I really like the prominent Styles toolbar with the preview panes showing what different styles will look like and the large "Change Styles" button.

If Microsoft could make styles easier to use, I think more people would take advantage of some of the features that they offer (contents page generation, document template creation).
bert
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
Interesting too that Microsoft seem to be ditching long dropdown menus...
bert
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
One thing that kind of sucks about the new ribbon bar is it almost forces one to use glyphs. With the old menu system, glyphs were mostly optional. With the new ribbon, it would like lame to have text-only menu entries.

Now's a good time to major in graphic design. :-)
MBJ Send private email
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
One of the main reason for the new GUI was most of the new feature requests were for features that already existed in the products. People just couldn't find them using the long menus and multiple layers of dialogs.

They thought real hard on this problem to make this the most researched and tested GUI ever. They have taken many types of users and tested the GUI over and over.

Once you get over the different look I think most users will find it quite easy to use and be more productive then ever.
DJ
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
This has got to be the most uninteresting thing to come out of Microsoft ever.
NetFreak Send private email
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
It has the look of all those Web 2.0 apps floating around.  Looks pretty. 

However, I've been trying to use the new IE7 Beta for a while and it's the worst, most annoying, confusing and cludgy interface I've ever had to deal with.

If office follows suite, I'm terrified to use it.  I personally don't think that moving things around that used to be hard to find makes things easier.  It just makes the things I used to know where they were harder to find now.

Oh well, we tend to get used to it don't we?

I still use Office 97.  It's a great little work horse with spell-check and spreadsheets.

---

Theory: The OS seems to work like a game console.  They release a new OS so you can re-buy the same software you already have, only with better graphics.
nobody
Thursday, March 09, 2006
 
 
I don't think you can compare the new Office GUI to IE7 - that's a train wreck of a UI.
John Topley Send private email
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
Joel's article on "Fire and Movement" springs to mind.
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
The Office product is supposed to be a PRODUCTIVITY tool for the creation of content and not a bloody game GUI.  Content space is sacrificed for empty eye candy.  This is not an improvement.  I will have to spend several hours reconfiguring the user interface to give me the visual content space I had with Office 95 out of the box.  For this I should send Microsoft another $200 for an upgrade?  No way!  I have better things to do with my time and money. 

I guess I am simply an old timer who thinks creating actual content has meaning and value.  Apparently the important thing now is flashy bling and the less content the better. Actual productivity gets lost in the process.  Oh, but that's not a problem.  We can outsource the creation of  content.  All we need to do is look like we are busy by having flashy screens flickering in front of us.

Gack!
Lionell K. Griffith Send private email
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
Have you actually read any of Jensen's blog?
John Topley Send private email
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
Yes.  How is anything I wrote contradicted by anything in the blog?

Its Fire and Motion intended to fog the minds of the competition.  Nothing is added to one's productivity or effectivness in producing actual content.  Space for content is taken away.

I don't see anything but empty eye candy for the sake of eye candy.
Lionell K. Griffith Send private email
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
Well from reading the blog I'm guessing that Microsoft has reams of usability data that contradicts your assertions.
John Topley Send private email
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
"The Office product is supposed to be a PRODUCTIVITY tool for the creation of content and not a bloody game GUI.  Content space is sacrificed for empty eye candy.  "

They say that the ribbon takes up LESS space than the combination of tool bars and menu. That's why the other poster asked if you had actually READ the blog and related postings in this thread before simply running off at the mouth about something you obviously know nothing about!

Seriously people. Get a freaking clue. It is so easy to just bash this because it is Microsoft. If it had been Apple everyone would be shouting again about how cool it was.
please...
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
please...
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
The words have to match reality for them to not be bullshit.  There is a caption bar, a menu bar, three tool bars and one or two tool bar of space between the various bars.  That's over twice the necessary space and it all consumed by eye candy.

I suggest you LOOK at the screen shots rather than shooting off your mouth.
Lionell K. Griffith Send private email
Friday, March 10, 2006
 
 
I just checked the Word screenshot against my Word 2003. The new ribbon actually takes up a little less space than the old way by removing the drawing tools at the bottom and the lineal at the top. The difference is marginal but the verdict is in favour of John and please (and this only bacuse my screen is wide enough to keep the formatting toolbar on the same line as the Standard toolbar)
Peter Monsson Send private email
Sunday, March 12, 2006
 
 
I've looked at it many times and it doesn't appear to take up any more space. Even if I am able to remove toolbars and such in Word 2003 to use up less UI space it doesn't mean that I would be more productive that way.

The bottom line is that people whining about how much more space it takes up are just being foolish. The extra amount of space it takes (if any) is not going to impact you in the least. And it certainly isn't worth the over-the-top comments that it is getting in this thread.
please...
Sunday, March 12, 2006
 
 
Geez, people, buy a bigger monitor (or two).  The GUI is supposed to be easier to use - clearly I haven't tried it - but it looks pretty good to me from the screen shots.  I think there is a lot to be said for making something more attractive.  It makes sales.  Content, at this point, isn't really that important.  You can write papers with Office 95, but if Microsoft makes it slightly easier to use and much more attractive, people will buy it. 

**I am going to test the "beautiful GUI over more content" theory here pretty quick.  I will report the results.
Joshua Volz Send private email
Sunday, March 12, 2006
 
 
This is going to be one of the most interesting changes we seen. As a few said, it is more then just a fluff change. However, when you consider what is at stake, quite an impressive move by a company.  It certainly shows some real initiative here.  Either MS is rolling the dice, or this is real bright move, or a bad move!!  Your choice here!!

The landscape of companies ruined as a result of being run by people who not had a clue what to do with their product when faced with competition is rather large. Too many companies run by pop and potato chip salesman have run software companies into the ground.  WordPerfect comes to mind.

The management at MS could really just sit back and ride around in their big boats and squander away the stock options. This mentally is typical of poor run companies (do nothing at all to the products…flog them TOO LONG). I’ll take my money and run…who cares about the future of the company!!

When you look at the auto industry in North America, and how they well lost the passenger car industry to foreign companies, you get an idea of how poor companies can damage an economy. Way too many of the car product lines are well over their stay and are due for a change. (but now they don’t even have the money and resources to re-do the lines….what a mess!!). 

Gee the auto industry and WordPerfect should have lunch!! The folks at WordPerfect just did not have a clue as to what to do with their product. They had NO idea where to go! And, with the poor management in place at WP, they could not give the product a future direction. They sat back and watched helpless as their market share slipped from 80% (actually more then that).    Like the Jonny Cash song goes….

…..burn burn burn…..the ring of fire……..

Anyway, a well run software company came along and rolled over WordPerfect like a hot knife through like butter. Sheep with soft underbellies for lunch!! WordPerfct did not even stand a chance with their poor management. MS came along and simply ate their bacon. It was barely even a fight!!

I have said many times, I wish I had been CEO of WordPerfect, as the world would be different. I see so many places where I  would done better….

Now the whole US auto industry is in serious trouble, and has lost most of the passenger car industry to foreign companies. Those foreign companies are now starting to produce large trucks and SUV’s.. As far as I can tell, this move will spell the end of the US auto industry as we know it.  Unless a big change occurs, or the US adopts a fortress Europe like mentality and simply keeps out foreign products by law, then the auto industry is doomed. Really sad when you think about this. How many families will be calling home their children from good colleges and univerisites due to them loosing their job in the auto indudary?.

How the US auto industry is going to keep their industry is beyond me. They are just like WordPerfect sitting there…watching the ship sink…but again don’t have a clue as to what to do. (by the way…once again, I also believe I exactly what to do with the auto industry).

It will be MOST interesting to see how consumers take to this change in MS office.

I can’t remember a time in our industry when something so important is being changed. The stakes here are huge, and this going to be really worth watching indeed…..

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Kallal@ msn.com
http://www.members.shaw.ca/AlbertKallal
Albert D. Kallal Send private email
Sunday, March 12, 2006
 
 
Hi Albert

Sorry to go off topic here, but since you appear to be an expert in the auto industry, and I am a software developer for an auto maker(trouble one), I am interested in your anouncement that you know how to fix it.
J. B. Send private email
Monday, March 13, 2006
 
 
"The landscape of companies ruined as a result of being run by people who not had a clue what to do with their product when faced with competition is rather large. "

Microsoft's problem is that they don't know what to do when there is NOT a competitor.

IE languished when Netscape went away. It seems that only after the (re?)emergence of FireFox that we are getting IE7.

I've found Publisher to be a great product compared to the competition (Pagemaker).

Or maybe it's that it's easy to criticize MS until you have somone to compare them to. Then you realize they could be worse.  (I.e., Publisher sucks until you you try pagemaker ;-)
Mr. Analogy {Shrinkwrap µISV} Send private email
Monday, March 13, 2006
 
 
I player around about half of an hour with the december beta of the new office suite an was able to intuitivly do everything i tried promptly. They did a great job, and as a part time trainer for MS Excel i am looking forward with great pleasure to hold trainings with this office suite where i can consentrate on business issues that should be solved instead of talking about menues, submenues or the 6th way to do some operation.
Stefan M. Moser Send private email
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
 
 
Its really nice! I like it.
ChristopherAtJoelOnSoftware Send private email
Thursday, March 16, 2006
 
 
>Sorry to go off topic here, but since you appear to be an expert in the auto industry,

Well, unfortunately it is off topic. However, the one thing that separates great auto makers from ones that are struggling is that product development, and product direction has a STRONG engineering side directing the company.

If you hire people based on gender, or other affirmably action concepts, then you become an employer, and not a strong engineering company that builds great products.

Just look at the team that destroyed the van product. Who where they..and how did they get hired?  Great experiment eh? Hire a bunch of mom's to build a van....

Just talk to the people loosing their jobs because of this stupidly. They certainly were not a core team of talented people that should been working on that product.

The most amazing thing right now is that more then ever, talented people need to be placed in the right positions with the ability to make decisions. This concept applies to software…or autos. People still do not seem to understand the concept that great designs are CHEAPER then what they cost!!

Simply give back the company to the talented engineering people and success will follow.  Hire people based on talent and that is the end of it……

So, in fact, this is kind of on topic, because the instant a company does not believe that talented people make a difference, that is the beginning of the end...

WordPerfect simply had to give back the company to those who understood how to build great products. MS ate WordPerfect’s bacon, and there are many things that MS did that WordPerfect did not counter (as a market leader).

For example, even today in office 2003, in word, the 4th option in the help menu is

    WordPerfect help

Amazing, is it not? Do you think WordPerfect EVER even acknowledge the existence of word? (well, when they had 80% of the market….I guess not!!!). MS had to compete, and win one customer at a time. They had to figure out how to make customers CHANGE!!! (so can the auto industry do this also).

Gee, you mean ms word 2003 (the latest version) STILL GIVES help to those that switch!! Gee, can WordPerfect even open MS word documents? Gee, does WordPerfect give any help to people that want to SWITCH from word?  My post is too long here already, but you can see obvious mistakes that WordPerfect made.

I could write pages and pages as to how WordPerfect could done better….(and, I could write pages and pages as how silly practices  is killing some players in the auto industry).

If a company is full of smart people, then the answers are quite obvious as to the solution. And, even worse, in many of those companies, those people who know what to do are the ones that either shut up, or complain and loose their job. The unfortunate answer to the auto industry are answers that are not politically correct.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Kallal@ msn.com
http://www.members.shaw.ca/AlbertKallal
Albert D. Kallal Send private email
Thursday, March 16, 2006
 
 
Albert, I agree with what you are saying, but I am curious as to what you are basing this assumption on that domestic automakers stopped hiring talented engineers.  I believe that domestic automakers went through a phase of globalization, and lost focus on the domestic front. But now globalization is complete, you will see them turn things around in North America, once they restructure.  I would not count out American automakers just yet.
J. B. Send private email
Friday, March 17, 2006
 
 
In the past 10 years, there's not been a real innovation in software. 90% of users use 10% functionality of Office, which has been the same from version 2.0 on.

How much loger are we willing to pay big dollars for new shiny icons? At the same time, we tend to forget about the real problems. Since the dawn of "electronic office" idea, the net amount of paper used has been growing.
bachtiar
Saturday, March 25, 2006
 
 

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