[OT] "They Criticized Vista. And They Should Know."

Chipp Walters chipp at chipp.com
Thu Mar 13 14:23:01 EDT 2008

On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 2:11 AM, Scott Rossi <scott at tactilemedia.com> wrote:

> New thinking is good.

Sure, I don't argue new thinking is a great way to do new things. Take the
iPhone for instance.  A lot of new thinking went into it, and it shows,
though the whole finger as pointing device I do take exception with.

But, killing the File, Edit menu when every other program in the world, on
all platforms, have it, is not, IMO, new thinking that is good. I don't care
how much research went into it..this one's brain-dead just wrong.

One of the problems MS and most other commercial software apps have, is the
whole feature-creep issue. Especially when they have other *free* apps like
Open Office on their heels. I'm pretty sure a driving force behind the whole
ribbon idea was 'how do we add new functions and distance ourselves from
competition?' -- whether stated or not.

The simple fact is, there's a healthy chunk of MS Word which no one will
ever use. With the focus on improved and added functionality, also comes a
more complex user interface. It can't be helped. Certainly gone are the days
of the simplicity of MacWrite.

One of the problems with the whole Ribbon interface, is it violates a
primary interface guideline all users have been taught since the very first
Mac: Things don't move around. If you know where something is on the screen,
it should always be there for you to quickly access.

Because of the complexity of the Office feature set, there just isn't enough
screen real-estate to show all features at all times, so they start 'hopping
around' the ribbon. This is confusing for many, especially my father and his
friends who've been using Word since the early days. I'm not say I could do
better...well OK, I could do better by just putting back the File/Edit menu.
The rest, I dunno-- perhaps simplify, or do what Adobe does and provide a
'legacy' workspace.

I believe someone needs to do some "New Thinking" elsewhere regarding
Office. One thing I'd like to see changed is the licensing model. I like the
idea of one license per user instead of one license per machine. I would
also like to see an evolutionary feature update mechanism, much like web
apps have. Perhaps even a subscription based approach would work well. Just
my 2 cents,

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