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Office 12 Exposed

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the bread-and-butter dept.

Microsoft 594

damieng writes "The Programmers Developer Conference (PDC) has unveiled the user interface for Microsoft Office 12. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Aqua and brushed metal looks from Mac OS X the menus now appear to operate more like a tab popping-out the right toolbar instead of a sub-menu."

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Office Vista? (5, Interesting)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | about 9 years ago | (#13546897)

I wonder if they're going to codename it Office Vista, in keeping with common versioning practices.

Re:Office Vista? (4, Funny)

Gaima (174551) | about 9 years ago | (#13546943)

A more interesting question is, are they going to have 7 versions of Office too?

Re:Office Vista? (1)

baadger (764884) | about 9 years ago | (#13547023)

No just seven components:

Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, Access and Frontpage.

Re:Office Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547103)

They will probably need to have 7 Versions of Office for each version of Windows Vista. So that'll be 49 versions in total

Re:Office Vista? (5, Insightful)

LLuthor (909583) | about 9 years ago | (#13547108)

Don't they already?
  1. Professional Enterprise Edition
  2. Professional Edition
  3. Small Business Management Edition
  4. Small Business Edition
  5. Student and Teacher Edition
  6. Standard Edition
  7. Basic Edition

Hole With No Bottom (5, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | about 9 years ago | (#13547033)

"...in keeping with common versioning practices."

Now there's a hole with no bottom. It's like a song where you point to the audience and they comlpete your sentence:

I wonder if they're also going to spend vast amounts of time on changing the interface and rearranging the menus, requiring 95% of its user base to relearn everything they already know without providing anything resembling additional functionality, "...in keeping with common versioning practices."

I wonder if they're going to implement some kind of DRM no one cares about, so that even though we all know Word is still just a word processor, we're all forced to upgrade in order to open files our boss "protected" on his brand new PC, "...in keeping with common versioning practices."

I could go on and on...!

But let's face it. The average requirements and usages of word-processing software have not really changed in five years or more. We hit true WYSIWYG and haven't seen a real change since, but they keep revamping the interfaces and tweaking the DRM and releasing it as "new versions."

Wait... did I just describe the state of word processors, or the state of enterprise software in general? I can never keep track.

Re:Hole With No Bottom (5, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 9 years ago | (#13547095)

"We hit true WYSIWYG and haven't seen a real change since,"

Not with Word we haven't. I still can't print the exact same Word file on two different printers and get the same pagination. Thank God we're switching to PDF-based prepress systems to sort of eliminate this problem. If I'm in a rush and this problem occurs, I tell the support staff to just fudge the layout (insert carriage returns, screw with margins, whatever) to make it work so I can get something out the door.

Re:Hole With No Bottom (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 9 years ago | (#13547231)

. . .requiring 95% of its user base to relearn everything they already know. . .

Don't be silly. Everyone knows the reason not to change to OpenOffice is to avoid retraining.

. . .did I just describe the state of word processors, or the state of enterprise software in general?

They're starting to run out of chrome and tailfins. Now they're starting to put tits on the squid.

KFG

slashdotted already (1, Insightful)

Big Nothing (229456) | about 9 years ago | (#13546907)

Four seconds after the article is posted, the site is down...

Is it really too much to ask that the editors use caching services as default?

Re:slashdotted already (5, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 9 years ago | (#13546984)

Yes [nyud.net]

Re:slashdotted already (2, Informative)

spuke4000 (587845) | about 9 years ago | (#13547097)

Try Greasemonkey [mozdev.org] with this [userscripts.org] or this [userscripts.org] to automagically insert links to mirrors after any link on /. (only works on Firefox as far as I know).

Re:slashdotted already (1)

baadger (764884) | about 9 years ago | (#13547132)

Here [pastebin.com] is the user javascript (I use it with Opera 8 but it should work with Firefox & greasemonkey too) to add cache links. I wrote it myself because I wasn't too happy with existing ones.

If you make any changes you can do so at pastebin (it's a mini CVS).

ewww (2, Informative)

jon787 (512497) | about 9 years ago | (#13546910)

thats ugly looking, seriously. Although I'm not found of the OSX interface either.

Re:ewww (2, Insightful)

donnyspi (701349) | about 9 years ago | (#13547032)

Ok, so the parent doesn't like the interface so he's modded as "Flamebait"? That's ridiculous.

Re:ewww (5, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | about 9 years ago | (#13547093)

thats ugly looking, seriously. Although I'm not found of the OSX interface either

It's not the look that really matters - we've gone through endless cycles of what looks "neat", skinnable apps, and now 3D spinning apps (though I find it hilarious that the brushed aluminum look is being attributed to Apple. I used brushed aluminum on my first website about 15 years ago. It's hardly a unique appearance).

What is really interesting, however, is that they fundamentally changed the usability of the application - the manner in which toolbars look and layout has changed, as have many of the other user-interaction elements. This is something that Microsoft has been very hesitant to do, as one of the reasons people stick with Office through the versions is consistency - Drop Office XP in front of someone who used Office 95 a decade ago, and they'll largely find it the same (just with more/better features).

With Microsoft significantly changing things, they have the risk of it being such a schism that people seriously evaluate the option of going to Open Office or other alternatives. If your users are going to need training, and are going to bitch and complain about their cheese moving, then you might as well re-evaluate the whole thing.

Office 12 and Windows Stability (-1, Troll)

Zemplar (764598) | about 9 years ago | (#13546917)

Only ONE post and their server is toast!

Ha Ha! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547122)


Zemplar's a troll!

Re:Office 12 and Windows Stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547244)

Only ONE post and their server is toast!

Oh Noes! They're actually running Linux [netcraft.com] .

I'm not an expert... (5, Insightful)

theotherlight (904426) | about 9 years ago | (#13546918)

...but it looks as though they've thrown every bit of GUI common practice and standardization out of the window.

Re:I'm not an expert... (1)

zootm (850416) | about 9 years ago | (#13546950)

I'm still waiting for Coral to load the images, but at risk of being proven completely wrong, is it possible that the throwing out of "standardisation" is because of new standards for Vista?

Re:I'm not an expert... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547061)

>is it possible that the throwing out of "standardisation" is because of new standards for Vista?

"If it's not broken, don't try and fix it."

Then again, this IS Microsoft...

Re:I'm not an expert... (1)

theotherlight (904426) | about 9 years ago | (#13547064)

I have no doubt that's exactly what it is... but even still... Why disregard all previous GUI common practices just because there's a new OS coming out? I'm all for experimentation and touch-ups, but a complete overhaul seems a bit steep, no? (I'm not arguing, just looking for a bit of discussion -- doing a bit of devil's advocate work maybe.)

Re:I'm not an expert... (2, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | about 9 years ago | (#13546994)

I do not know, but until now I have not seen any program which menu *really* makes sense. Not even the OSS systems.

Specially int the Office programs (Word, Excel, etc etc) which have a hundred different options hidden inside the submenus. I think it is time to think on a new approach like the Search-dont-sort google approach but for menus... that way instead of going deep into the sub menu mess you would only need to select a specific command with one click acording to what you are selecting.

As an example, how about right click/configure on a word document page bringing of the Page Configure option, or something like that?

Re:I'm not an expert... (1)

daniil (775990) | about 9 years ago | (#13547022)

...which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Re:I'm not an expert... (1)

Kolisar (665024) | about 9 years ago | (#13547034)

They always do. It seems that every time a new version of Office comes out they introduce new UI elements and then, right before the next version comes out, they release the previous versions UI elements to third-party developers. This has been going on since the very first version of Office.

Re:I'm not an expert... (5, Insightful)

bedroll (806612) | about 9 years ago | (#13547188)

Don't fault them for trying to better their UI. When you use it and it doesn't work for you, then seek alternatives. If it doesn't work for most people, they'll switch back, but you'll be able to fault them then.

Do remember that their office suite competes in a market that sees little innovation, because little is needed. This means that in order to maintain dominance they must either provide a technically superior product, provide a better user interface, or lock down file formats. Technical superiority is debatable, they may or may not do that already. Locking down file formats is what we DON'T want them to do. That leaves UI for competition. If they don't change it up enough then products like WordPerfect or OpenOffice.org will catch up with them in the UI and make it so that they have to compete via the other methods. Since technical superiority will probably always be debatable, it leads them back to locking down file formats... and we still don't want that.

Anyhow, if anyone can rewrite the rules of UI and get away with it, it's the people with most of the market share. They happen to be it.

Re:I'm not an expert... (5, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#13547196)

it looks as though they've thrown every bit of GUI common practice and standardization out of the window.

This is how improvements to user interfaces can be brought about. In theory, Microsoft had a good GUI with Word. In practice, it was a complicated, bloated piece of shit that was a nightmare to try to use, especially if there were more then one user using it.

It appears that Microsoft has taken the complaints of users (well, complaints I've had for quite some time anyway) and worked on a new GUI that addresses these concerns. There's no reason the GUI should look the same it did back in Word95. [rinet.ru]

One of my big problems is that the toolbar is too complex. There are too many submenu's, trying to customize it so it displays relevant things (and keeping it's settings which was always buggy) was always a chore. The whole "let's hide most of the menu in the drop-down menu" thing was annoying. Now with it being in the toolbar represented via graphics, with a very small amount of parent menus, I'll be able to find what I want much more easily. This is a good thing(TM).

Is it different? Sure. Will some people be confused? Definitely. Is the difference a great enough improvement to deal with the confusion? IMO, most definitely.

Now if only they'd do something about those damn Virus-writer (sorry, "Macros") and make it less bloated and buggy.

Re:I'm not an expert... (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 9 years ago | (#13547236)

"...the cat's out of the bag & in the river...",

or more likely, we now realize that Bill Gates has hidden a Mac PowerBook motherboard inside his Dell laptop!

Bill has jumped on the other side of the Gate and it really a Mac Head ;-)

Bo

Exposed? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13546920)

bleh. Exposed.
'kay, fp.

5 seconds into the article... (-1, Offtopic)

SilentBob4 (805119) | about 9 years ago | (#13546923)

SLASHDOTTED!

RTFA? (4, Funny)

thermopile (571680) | about 9 years ago | (#13546924)

Not a single comment and the site is alread slahsdotted. sigh.

But this is an interesting trend: Apple has monopolized the headlines recently. ArsTechnica is all about Apple, Slashdot can't seem to get enough of them, and now Microsoft is emulating its Apple product?

What's next, Intel Processors branded with "Apple Outside" stickers on them?

Re:RTFA? (5, Informative)

strider44 (650833) | about 9 years ago | (#13546988)

Behold! The wonders of Coral Cache [nyud.net] !

Re:RTFA? (2, Funny)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | about 9 years ago | (#13547146)

Behold! The wonders of Coral Cache

Thats amazing. The Coral Cache reproduced the slashdotted site's error message perfectly. Will wonders never cease.

Re:RTFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547016)

what do you mean AND NOW microsoft is emulating Apple????

welcome to 1995

Re:RTFA? (2, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | about 9 years ago | (#13547088)

1995?

IIRC Windows 1.0 [wikipedia.org] was a balant ripoff of Apple Macintosh graphical OS. back in 1985...

Re:RTFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547037)

Not a single comment and the site is already slahsdotted. sigh.

But this is an interesting trend


What? R'ing TFA before posting? :-)

Fast work (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13546927)

Slashdotted before a single comment... Man we're good.

slashdotted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13546930)

slashdot effect already?

Mirror? (1)

nkwate (15056) | about 9 years ago | (#13546938)

anyone know where this is mirrored or can you put it up?

This is important (3, Interesting)

moonbender (547943) | about 9 years ago | (#13546940)

This is important because Office is often one of Microsoft's first vehicles for new GUI themes and functionality. It's also influential, many Windows developers will try to emulate the style Microsoft introduces with Office - presumably because it's known to users, and they consider it modern. (Too bad the site is already slashdotted.)

Re:This is important (2, Interesting)

TrippTDF (513419) | about 9 years ago | (#13547147)

-but it will be poorly done. the XP theme wasn't so hot to start with, and then you have people emmulating it badly, and it makes the whole system ugly, as one app is going to look different compared to another. Is there a style guide for this sort of thing??

OS X seems a little better about that, partially because Apple is making a lot of the sortware themselves.

Re:This is important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547166)

Yeah, new versions of Office is where MS usually starts breaking their own style guides and using custom widgets rather than the standard OS widgets.

I'm seeing a pattern here. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13546942)

Why do fancy graphics always get higher priority than usability?

Re:I'm seeing a pattern here. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547171)

Why do fancy graphics always get higher priority than usability?

Err, since you haven't actually used the software yet, how do you know what level of "usability" enhancements there are? What if many/most of the ui mods were specifically to enhance usability, and they figured while they're at it, that they'd "spruce" things up as well?

Insightful, yeah, right.

Another page out of Apple's book... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13546944)

Coming soon: Office Nano - productivity tools for managing post-it notes.

Don't mess with something that works (4, Insightful)

rodsoft (892241) | about 9 years ago | (#13546947)

What's the problem with menu bars the way we know them? It's always the same... we get used to something and in the next version there's a brand new way to do the same thing, forcing us to get used again.

Re:Don't mess with something that works (0, Offtopic)

chroot_james (833654) | about 9 years ago | (#13547041)

pansy!

Re:Don't mess with something that works (1)

rodsoft (892241) | about 9 years ago | (#13547119)

what is "pansier"... not liking ridiculous changes every version or prefering eyecandies to usability?

Re:Don't mess with something that works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547152)

This is a GOOD THING (tm).

Anything that requires everyone to learn everything gives a chance to say "heck, why not switch while we're at it, it's not more work then still going with our previous vendor".

Great Freudian Slip (1)

crimethinker (721591) | about 9 years ago | (#13547217)

we get used to something and in the next version there's a brand new way to do the same thing, forcing us to get used again.

I think you meant "forcing us to get used to it again," but I like the Freudian slip. Microsoft is using you, me, the lot of us, through vendor lock-in, childish marketing postures ("we won't support the open document format no matter what, screw Massachussets"), and bundling agreements that would make even the Mafia jealous (OEM's prices per-unit prices much higher if they don't sell 100% windows).

-paul

Re:even worse are misleading options (5, Funny)

Psykechan (255694) | about 9 years ago | (#13547235)

Check out this picture [nyud.net] and despair.

Will be saved in: MS Word Document
File Type: C:\Users\Pat\Documents

If they can't figure out what goes where while they are rearranging the save dialog, what hope do the end users have of finding things.

I wonder (0, Troll)

Bananatree3 (872975) | about 9 years ago | (#13546948)

I wonder how big this thing is going to be. I mean, this is probably going to be the biggest, most bloated office product on the market. I am not knocking its features, but just looking at the system requirements for the previous Office XP, 2003, 2000, etc., this will be one BLOATED office product.

PDC? (1, Funny)

dhclab49 (567553) | about 9 years ago | (#13546949)

Doesn't it stand for "Professional Developer's Conference" ?

Re:PDC? (1)

Audity (600754) | about 9 years ago | (#13547036)

Yes, it does.

Standard Windows Interface (2)

eebra82 (907996) | about 9 years ago | (#13546957)

Am I the only one who's still on the standard Windows interface? I've never liked the themes that Windows XP included, really..

I hate the way they design products nowadays. It's like the programmers are bound to watch Toy Story before they decide the looks of the shell?

Hopefully this version won't require a 256 MB video card, or else I'd have to switch to a non-interlaced and edged font, like System. ;)

I for one... (1, Funny)

gmikej (856115) | about 9 years ago | (#13546958)

welcome Gates ripping off OSX.

It is similiar to an old friend. It gives me a comfortable feeling... knowing that everything is going to be all right, and the world is NOT coming to an end.

Grandpa: "See kids? The ocean levels are not raising, the ozone layer seems to flux from time to time (but it will still be around for many years), and Microsoft is still ripping off ideas from everyone else without even attempting to innovate."

hey i saw it (1)

tont0r (868535) | about 9 years ago | (#13546960)

and looked at it for 3 seconds and moved on with my life. as MS programs progress, it looks prettier and prettier (with obvious inspiration from the competition).

beta server (1)

brenddie (897982) | about 9 years ago | (#13546964)

/.ed already
I gues is hosted on a beta server too

Toast (3, Funny)

JonLatane (750195) | about 9 years ago | (#13546968)

It looks like they used Microsoft Access 12 for their server's database.

Mirror (3, Informative)

dr_d_19 (206418) | about 9 years ago | (#13546980)

...here [nyud.net] .

Like Aqua huh? (1)

dusik (239139) | about 9 years ago | (#13546986)

>> "Office 12 Exposed ... more than a passing resemblance to Aqua and brushed metal looks from Mac OS X ..."

So... Exposé?

Microsoft continues the tradition... (4, Interesting)

/ASCII (86998) | about 9 years ago | (#13546987)

of making sure that the UI for their #1 application never ever matches that of the OS. I can't understand how anybody can think this is a good idea. But seeing how Apple do the same thing [daringfireball.net] , I guess somebody thinks it is a good idea. Though I don't hear anybody scream at Apple for plagiarising Microsofts ideas.

Re:Microsoft continues the tradition... (2, Funny)

Mornelithe (83633) | about 9 years ago | (#13547227)

Indeed, this is just another example of the oft repeated truism about Linux on the desktop. With its two major toolkits (Qt, GTK), Linux will never succeed. It needs to be more consistent, like Windows with its... (IE, Office, Media Player, Visual Studio, ...) 5+ different toolkits that Microsoft uses, and many other toolkits that other applications use (Trillian, iTunes, Winamp, ...).

When will the Linux community learn that it has to be consistent to be accepted at large? They must be consistent and use a different toolkit for every application, not just two.

mirror (-1, Redundant)

winkydink (650484) | about 9 years ago | (#13546995)

here [networkmirror.com] .

Oh Snap! Ol'brushed metal is back (2, Funny)

Willeh (768540) | about 9 years ago | (#13547003)

Looks like this guy: http://daringfireball.net/2005/09/anthropomorphize d [daringfireball.net] , our lovely brushed metal friend has found a new home in Redmond, with no thanks from his two-timing agent. Evil always find evil, i guess.

Disclaimer: I don't know how to put that link in as some text atm, but whatever.

OT regarding your sig (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 9 years ago | (#13547199)

"Will wank off Linus Torvaldsen for fame. "

perhaps you meant Linus Torvalds

or maybe you just have a thing for scandinavians....

I don't like it (4, Interesting)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 9 years ago | (#13547006)

I'm sure Microsoft put some time and effort into this, but I don't like it.

Its hard to put my finger on it, but its inconsistent (button size, text placement, icon usage, drop-shadows, etc.) and asymetrical.

Just IMHO.

Re:I don't like it (2, Interesting)

zootm (850416) | about 9 years ago | (#13547101)

I have to say I quite like it. There's something there that's at least acknoledging that "the way we do things" is not the be-all and end-all of usability. By reducing things to contexts, they might be able to expose everything you need without increasing complexity.

I think we're never going to know how well this works until we actually get to use it though — it's too different from other interfaces around to draw quick conclusions, I feel.

Re:I don't like it (4, Interesting)

jallen02 (124384) | about 9 years ago | (#13547130)

Well.. in a way it makes sense. You place the most emphasis on items that get used a lot and remove emphasis on the lesser used items. Kind of like their "lets see if you can find where I hid the menu" game, but possibly more useful. If I had to choose between reduced visibility relative to other menu items or no visibility for menu items that don't get used a lot I pick reduced. I hate the hide the menu item game.

What would be really cool is if the menu sizing thing is adaptive to your usage habits. I guess it is just so hard to do it right. I say this because look at programs like PhotoShop and Visual Studio. They are both relatively complex with a completely customizable UI. Only YOU have to do the customizing. What if some sort of automated customization based on usage patterns was possible on some limites scale. Better than the hide the menu game.

I liked another posters idea of the "Google" search for menu items instead of static menu structures. The problem is you want to navigate menus with mousing only. Maybe some sort of spcial grid where you mouse through a box and as you move to certain areas it will zoom into that cluster of menu items and a standard area to mouse over that zooms you back out. I can imagine a fluid series of movements taking you down the equivalent of three or four menu levels rather quickly through a kind of set of 3D nodes. Only its more like a 3D chess board so that the structure is easy to follow and less fluid than a true 3D menu system with floating clusters of nodes that are only loosely connected.

Oh well. Thats all UI research, not something you can just spring on people. Or maybe.. if it were perfectly intuitive?

Jeremy

Grasping at straws (4, Interesting)

LehiNephi (695428) | about 9 years ago | (#13547020)

For a while, we've seen many complaints about MS Office becoming more bloated and increasingly expensive without adding significant value to the customer. Now, MS is coming out with a new version of office that again offers no reason to upgrade, and now they change the interface? This seems to me like change for change's sake--they're grasping at straws to make it look like you need to upgrade.

What they are doing is taking an already extremely complex piece of software, and suddenly changing how to do everything. Suddenly, switching to OpenOffice seems like less of a change than upgrading to the next version of MS Office.

Re:Grasping at straws (-1, Redundant)

dusik (239139) | about 9 years ago | (#13547055)

>> "Suddenly, switching to OpenOffice seems like less of a change than upgrading to the next version of MS Office."

Yep. And that's a Good Thing (TM) :)

Re:Grasping at straws (2, Insightful)

bushidocoder (550265) | about 9 years ago | (#13547153)

Given that they haven't announced anything about Office 12 except that the new file format and Metro support, how do you proclaim to know that it brings no significant value to the customer?

Open Office (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547194)

Actually, that might be the reason they're making such drastical changes of the interface. Making sure that people get used to the new way of doing things before the switch to OOo gains real momentum. Which would make it it harder for Joe Uswr to "make the switch" at a later time.

exposed (1)

brenddie (897982) | about 9 years ago | (#13547031)

why does it sound kinky
do we get to see a toolbarbutton-slip

Other site with screenshots (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547042)

just what I always wanted from a word proccessor! (4, Funny)

Lord Bitman (95493) | about 9 years ago | (#13547045)

Even Less of the screen actually showing my document! Hooray progress!

Re:just what I always wanted from a word proccesso (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547182)

Get a bigger screen.

That will make the help desk people happy (1)

Advocadus Diaboli (323784) | about 9 years ago | (#13547046)

Long time ago I my job was end user support for a our company office. It was when Microsoft switched from Winword 1.1 to Winword 2.0. If I would have got a dollar for ever question of the kind "once there was a menu/function/whatever in this menu, where is it now" then I would be rich now!

Well, luckily that job is history and I can watch the chaos from far away. :-)

But of course, if you can't offer new functions you need to change the user interface so that it at least looks new.

The most important new "feature" of the UI (3, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#13547050)

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Aqua and brushed metal looks from Mac OS X

And everyone knows this is the most important part of the new UI *roll-eyes*

Unfortunately I can't comment on anything else because it's been slashdotted. However these tabbed pop-up things sound like they're a change for the sake of a change. That is bad. Making changes to the UI can be good when they improve functionality and ease of use. Making changes to the UI so they can sell yet another copy of your favourite bloatware office program is not good.

Word has a lot of elements of a UI that are good in theory. Now if only they could work on their implementation of these elements.

Crowded (2, Insightful)

CdXiminez (807199) | about 9 years ago | (#13547054)

My first impression: very crowded screens. Screen confusion taken a step further.

Re:Crowded (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547113)

Yeah, and apparently there's not even enough room for Clippy!

Why Why Why? (1, Funny)

Kent Simon (760127) | about 9 years ago | (#13547077)

does MS insist on "revolutionizing" UI's? With all of the importance developers place on standardizations of code, why do they feel that does not also apply to UI design? Even my grandmother is capable of using a menu bar, and every OS has some variant of that.

Re...cowards ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547083)

Fellow Cowards !

This site seems like a hoax site for me. It was not hosted by microsoft at all...

Check this http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http:/ /xbetas.com [netcraft.com]

Why do they have to break their own standards? (3, Insightful)

strider44 (650833) | about 9 years ago | (#13547094)

I'm not talking about the document format this time but visual standards. Every single major Microsoft product seems to look different nowadays. Seems funny that they actually expect people to use the API et al when they don't use it themselves!

Personally I like having applications be consistant. Even Linux with GTK and QT differences are quite consistant. It seems for Microsoft autohiding the menu or turning it a bright shade of blue wasn't enough. Now Microsoft are throwing out the perfectly good menu system for something that takes literally and it seems constantly a fifth of the screen space. For someone who refuses to use any browser other than Firefox simply because with Firefox I can squish every single button and bar and menu onto one small line, that's deeply offensive for me.

Besides this you need to move the mouse from one end of the screen to the other on the larger dimension every single time in this stupid tabbed interface.

Ah well it's Microsoft, the company responsible for some of the worst interfeces known to man.

Oh dear Flying Spaghetti Monster... (1)

cloricus (691063) | about 9 years ago | (#13547096)

...I am so turning my phone off when we roll over to this version of MS Office. The cries of pain from people in the offices when they try to make sense of this new (borked!) UI will be horrid. Dibs not retraining them or pushing for OpenOffice which will keep the existing UI!

Is it Free? (-1, Troll)

cameroon33 (720410) | about 9 years ago | (#13547098)

Oh, it's not? Guess I will stick with Oo, then.

How big? (1)

SpocksLoveChild (829854) | about 9 years ago | (#13547104)

So how much space does office actually take up these days? Granted it's not that important anymore, but none the less the I challenge anyone to point out a absolutely indispensable feature in word that wasn't allready present in word 2.0.

That being said, I do think theres alot of practical features in Excel which probably have been in added within the last ten years.

But I guess it's missing the point; Think about the many companies which have quite a bit of their core business application built on ms-office and VBA(and sometimes just excel sheets). That probably wouldn't be the case if office wasn't packed with all sorts of obscure features. That keeps businesses using office, but on the other hand it probably keeps them from upgrading the latest version as it would most likely break their spaghetti coded vba app's.

Re:How big? (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | about 9 years ago | (#13547161)

IIRC its something like 1.6 gigs of space required.

Not sure, haven't (and won't) install that beast again.

People at the office have been notified :) our future is openoffice.org.

Surprisngly, we only have 1 hold over still on Office.

the flattery (1, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#13547127)

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery .
This looks more like a parody of aqua though

Its.....butt ugly (4, Interesting)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | about 9 years ago | (#13547139)

What happened to all the 'clean lines' of the windows interface?

This is like someone mixed Mac OS X Aqua with LSD!

My bet? This is an optional interface. This is not the standard interface. There are people in my office who *refuse* to use OpenOffice.org. Not because it isn't an MS product, but because it doesn't work *exactly* like Office 2000.

There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that they'll use *that* nastiness.

Doesn't MS realize that the majority of business users will be using the same old Windows 2000 interface? Doesn't MS realize that if they cut that out, the *natural* upgrade path will be something linux XFce w/OpenOffice.org?

Re:Its.....butt ugly (1)

SpocksLoveChild (829854) | about 9 years ago | (#13547160)

There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that they'll use *that* nastiness. They will! Because Microsoft tells them too!

Re:Its.....butt ugly (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | about 9 years ago | (#13547238)

Well, ok, other than 'The Dark Lord will force them to bow at His Feet' factor, they won't ;-)

Retraining? (4, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | about 9 years ago | (#13547162)

That interface is completely different.

Which means that you can choose to upgrade to Office 12 and retrain or your users.

Or you can sidegrade to OpenOffice which has a much more familiar layout to Office users.

Wonder which one will be cheaper to do?

Looking at the screenshots I see bling being put before usability. Whilst the concept is nice - having a single wide toolbar is like the old Wordstar help pages - how usable will it be? I can see even more mousing will be required...

In many ways it will be better than having multiple toolbars, but I can see instances where you'll be switching between 'Writing' and 'Tables' or whatever all the time, which will be annoying.

Compare to, e.g., Pages' inspector and side panels - whilst Pages isn't functionality the same as Word, the interface is pretty good for the most part. The tabs at the top of the inspector are kinda the same as the tabs in Office 12 I suppose, it just comes down to implementation. Certainly with a single floating inspector that isn't too wide, it is much easier to mouse around it than if it was the width of the screen!

Knowing Microsoft ...

Who cares how the menus "pop"? (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about 9 years ago | (#13547170)

Who cares how the menus pop? I'm satisfied with the way twm displays menus.

Seriously though. I'm much more interested in an application that doesn't get in my way and that doesn't crash. MS Word has an appalling track record with respect to stability and I wouldn't be surprised if it still dies on you every now and then. Do you know the feeling when you edited a document during that crucial hour you were productive and then boooom! word dies and you wonder in your rage -just a very short stupid moment- why Osama doesn't do anything about that! Somehow, the color of menus just doesn't matter in those cases.

Having used this UI before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13547190)

I gotta say it's better than most people here are giving them credit for. It takes a few days to get comfortable with using the same system and once in a while I'd go hunt for a new command, but it has the added benefit of not having to go to a menu every time I wanted to do something; sounds trivial, but in the long run it's quite useful.
Is it a compelling enough reason to upgrade? I can't really comment on that, but the actual UI is definitely an improvement over what used to be.

Office again? (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | about 9 years ago | (#13547193)

Yea, let's make it look and work totally different from the way everyone is used to and even charge them for it! Do they really think that everyone is going to rush out and buy this when what they have already, works fine? Do they really think that everyone is going to spend the time to learn it all over again? Make it better, not different.

Server In Flames (3, Informative)

lordDallan (685707) | about 9 years ago | (#13547203)

[Rant] Is it so freaking hard to post the link as a Coral Cache link???

You just take the existing url www.test.com/stuff.htm and add ".nyud.net:8090"

www.test.com.nyud.net:8090/stuff.htm

Or for this site:

http://pdc.xbetas.com.nyud.net:8090/?page=o12previ ew1 [nyud.net]

That's it! It's easy and would let sooo many more people see the article.[/rant]

Brushed Metal? (1, Insightful)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | about 9 years ago | (#13547204)

Where do you see brushed metal anywhere in any of those screenshots? If by "Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Aqua and brushed metal looks from Mac OS X" you actually mean "Silver and shiney with a vague resemblance to every other shiny silver-based application out there" then you can just say so in your post without making baseless accusations like that one.
                  -Julius
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