Office 12 challenge...
Well it seems at PDC they have been showing of some of the enhancements to the User Interface in Office 12. Wow, wow, wow! What an improvement over the last version!
I was never really sold on the last version of colourising itself to match the Windows theme. It just made the Office menu, task pane, toolbars, etc. stand out like a pair of dogs balls – and meant that Office did not match the rest of the operating system from a general look and feel perspective. It really irks me how Microsoft provides a series of guidelines for the User Interface and then the Office team come along, then ignore and change the standard controls? There is a saying for this sort of thing, “putting lipstick on a pig”.
That is until now! Finally an Office innovation that looks like it will make a real / tangible difference to the user. Well done team!
The Office 12 challenge for Microsoft: I hope (they won’t) make these new ribbon (or whatever they are calling them) controls available to the masses to reuse, both internally and externally. These should now become part of the base operating system, to be used in other Microsoft applications where applicable; for example Acrylic, where there are toolbars splattered all over the show. They should also now become standard controls in WPF for all developers to use, as we would like to take advantage of these controls to provide equally excellent interfaces for our users - imitation is of course the highest form of flattery. This would provide a consistent interface metaphor across the platform regardless of the vendor, which surely is in the best interests of the end users - is it not?