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If You Love or Hate the Ribbon, You'll Love or Hate Win 8

The Ribbon has been out since Office 2007, and legions of users still hate the darn thing. Microsoft, however, loves it and plans to use it in Windows 8, specifically to manage files. You can say goodbye to the old Windows Explore, and hello to a whole new interface.

The new Ribbon-based Windows Explorer will have a File tab, as well as View, Share and Home. The Ribbon is customizable and offers shortcuts for Windows Explorer commands.

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/31/2011 at 1:18 PM

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 Rich Malpass SC

Over the years the lotus style menus + toolbars grew into a big kluge for Office. Think about it. Having a selection in two places doesn't make it any easier to find because now you have 2X places to look. In the beginning toolbar buttons were a subset of the menu. Beginning with Office 97 it flipped. I'll never forget the first time one of my friends pointed out an Excel feature that was only available through a toolbar button. From a support perspective, it's a nightmare! From a user's perspective, well just choose your friends carefully. If you customize your toolbars one way and I customize mine another than we might as well be using two different applications - we will be limited in our ability to leverage each other's knowledge. Ribbons bring standardization and that's a good thing.
Keep in mind as you seek a particular selection that ribbons scale to fit the size of the window. Ribbon items never disappear off the right side of the window. If you can't locate a selection, try maximizing the application window and the ribbon will expand to provide more details.

Wed, Sep 21, 2011 cSilva London, UK

I don't understand MS arrogant attitude. It's not like office is free. Customers pay a lot of money for it and they should be heard. Office is a productivity tool, if changes reduce productivity then you should do something about it. Otherwise your products loose value and become useless. MS is not Apple! stop trying to try to make your products sexier. It doesn't work!!! P.S. I've been using the ribbon for 3 painful years. No more!

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 Pedant

No. We would NOT be seeing complaints about the classic drop-down menus if the ribbon had been introduced first. The primary problem for experienced users is that the aim of the ribbon is different from the aim of the old menu system. Specifically, the old menus are geared toward *utility*. The ribbon is geared toward *discoverabilitly*. That is, the old way is designed to make it easy for someone who already knows what he wants to do to do it quickly and easily. The ribbon is designed to make it easy for someone to find out what can be done. Like at all. Once you know what can be done, the ribbon is actually *worse* for productivity and useability than the old menus.

Wed, Sep 14, 2011

Now don't you think if Microsoft had developed the Ribbon back in Windows 3 or prior, the community would complain if microsoft just now developed the file/menu? I would bet the complaints would be almost identical.

Sun, Sep 11, 2011 Pode

I've used the ribbon for years and still hate it. It not only made 2007+ difficult to use but it made older versions which I'm forced to use confusing too. If ribbon is the future for Microsoft then Microsoft is not the future for me.

Tue, Sep 6, 2011 clarence Indiana

At first I despised the ribbon. Then, after a few sessions working with it in Word, Paint, Excel, I grew to like it. Plus if the "quick" click isn't readily available customize the tool bar! The bigest problem with Office isn't the menu system, it's the ever expanding feature list!

Thu, Sep 1, 2011 Give Us a Choice

Way to tick-off your customers, Microsoft! Nothing like a "my way or the highway" attitude to inspire customers look for alternatives to your software.

Thu, Sep 1, 2011 Small School District in Western Montana

I am a ribbon hater. It takes more clicks to do simple tasks than the "old" way. I push people here to use something other than MS Office and this may bring me to push Linux or some other OS rather than Win 8. Most of what is used here is now cloud based anyway so a move to something like Chrome OS might be feasible.

Wed, Aug 31, 2011 Wisesooth

If people started using FoxFire and Open Office en-mass, that would get MS attention (eventually). Apparently MS management learn their lessons the hard way.

Wed, Aug 31, 2011 dswilson

ARGH! Why do you think so many large corps still use Office 2003? Training on the ribbon issues! Offer a choice, and let the customers, decide which they want to use....

Wed, Aug 31, 2011 Alert Computing, LLC Sedona, AZ

I don't see what all the fuss is about with the ribbon. I just minimized it and added the buttons I used most by customing the quick access toolbar-no big deal...

Wed, Aug 31, 2011 PNWACE

As a sysadmnin I agree the ribbon is not an enhancement. I thought at first I would like it, in practice I don't. I think that arrogant MS should wise up and give people a CHOICE of what menus/tool bars and or options to use. I also think that MS needs to realize that while techies can easily adapt many many users do not. Each time a UI changes it is a major deal, not always a good one to those folks who don't adapt well to relearning. It also is a matter of efficiency, if it does not help productivity, (in my case it does not because I'm hunting for the features I use) why do it? Often I find myself just wanting to do it the old toolbar/menu driven way.

Wed, Aug 31, 2011 ctcmptrdr

Another reason to use a 3rd party file manager like PowerDesk Pro... I have a netbook and the !@#$%^ ribbon in Office 2007 consumes a 1/4 of the screen. I've been very tempted on multiple occasions to install OpenOffice just to get the screen real estate back.

Wed, Aug 31, 2011

The Ribbon is one of the worst anti-functional enhancements to office I have ever seen. As a 15 year veteran to office, I have been rendered helpless on countless occasions to the non-intuitive ribbon interface. I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would think it is better. Long Live Menus…

Wed, Aug 31, 2011 vic

Now that may be the first carrot I've seen leading back to Windows, well at least on a part time basis. I still have WinXP at home

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