Hard Case: User Interface Overload



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Marc Menard

Hello Lloyd,

I think that Microsoft has two types of users in mind when going about developping or modfying the user interface: Home users, and the corporate users. That second group is where the problem lies. Most home users would benefit from customizing their interface to their liking (providing they actually know the possibility exists). But for the corporate world, IT's need to support everybody in an organization would definitely be impaired by allowing the users to play around in the interface. It would probably give a few headaches, like,

IT—what do you mean, you don't have a "reply" button on the home ribbon?

USER—Er... I put it elsewhere I think, but can't remember where exactly. Oopa.

Anyway, not something IT would like, I'm pretty sure. Where I work, it's a similar problem, although it pertains to language: We work in a French/English environment, and it gets frustrating at times to try and steer a colleague in the right direction, but his interface is in a different language than mine. Almost funny...




In Office 2010 you can easily customize the ribbon and add your own tabs.  All you need to do is right click on the ribbon and then click on "Customize the Ribbon"

Templates wouldn't be a bad idea though.  You could suggest it via the suggestion tool. 

I do like the use of the (excellent!) games in the piece.  Kudos for that!



I agree. The ribbon interface works well. I also agree that Microsoft should let us do some minor tweaking for operations within the ribbon. Or maybe a "User" tab so we can put our favorite buttons in that tab. 


Electronically charged



I forget where i heard this (i might have heard this from here), but i heard that Microsoft is doing away with Microsoft Works (and there was much rejoicing) and adding a alternative version of Microsoft Office 2010 (a free one too), but this alternate version would have the basic operations of Office - so Word, Powerpoint, and Excel (not sure about any others) - but not include all the ribbon features found in the full version.



That's sort of correct. They are phasing out Works and replacing it with Office 2010 starter edition. It's only going to include "Starter" versions of Word and Excel. This will be available only to OEM manufacturers and will strip out some of the VBA and macro functionality from the program. It will also only run on Windows 7 and Vista.



And it will be ad supported, from what I saw.

Yawn. Unimpressive. I will stick to OpenOffice, and keep recommending it to everyone who doesn't absolutely need MS Office... Which is 90% of the populace.



Also, rumor has it that there will be a similar version widely available that is ad-supported.

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