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Microsoft needs to get there crap together

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KoL    36
Microsoft needs to get there crap together, GUI wise

Why bother reading the post when the OP can't get their grammar together?

That would be hilarious if you weren't serious. Take a good look at the screenshots again and then ask yourself how you could think the OS X version looks better than the Windows version. Really look.

No need to blur the illegal download. They can't track you down by filename alone.

You really think the utorrent Windows version looks better than the OS X version? :blink:

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CuCumber    0
Really look.
You are right, toolbars with ugly blue gradient that doesn't fit in at all with anything are even uglier than I first thought.
they look the same to me,

Are you legally blind?

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Eric    1,605
You are right, toolbars with ugly blue gradient that doesn't fit in at all with anything are even uglier than I first thought.

Are you legally blind?

Absolutely not. I like to focus on the application I'm using, not the OS's UI. I think that gray is ugly. I would be blind having to look at that all the time.

Of course, you are posting in the Windows 7 support forum so I doubt you'll find many people agreeing with you. ;)

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Kirkburn    172
What about the consistency between the UI within Office itself, the Ribbon in Word 2007 and Menus and Toolbars in Outlook 2007.

Yes. Office 2010.

They didn't have time to implement it across all apps in 2007.

I'm pretty sure some gradients and a different color scheme is entirely superficial and not an actual improvement of functionality. It's just deviating for the sake of looking "nicer."

So, you don't actually know then.

The Office team is well known for doing masses of user testing. It's unlikely they'd make a change solely superficial reasons - but of course, if users liked the superficial changes and it helped them use Office, that's a fairly good reason to implement it.

I notice you've not complained about the "backstage" view. Is this acceptable deviation for you?

I haven't said that it's necessarily a terrible thing, I've only pointed out that if it is okay for Microsoft to do so with their non-Windows products, then it also has to be okay for everyone else to do it as well in whatever way they feel makes a better interface (such as Google Chrome for instance.)

Chrome looks pretty good though. True, it's a little nonstandard, but for good reasons. However, it doesn't really look non-native.

Your post raises an interesting point though, and that is how Microsoft has neglected its native GUI framework (partly because of their failed .NET strategy) to the point where it is so dated both in appearance and use that developers have no choice but come up with their own alternatives. You should be able to create awesome guideline-conforming interfaces with just what the OS provides. Rather than Office (or whoever) constantly making new private custom controls, Microsoft should focus on adding new functionality to the OS itself so it becomes available to everyone.

Right. Like the ribbon. In Windows 7.

Since Office 2010's UI is essentially an update to Win7's ribbon, are you suggesting that Win7 implements something that's under development from another team? It's not inconceivable that the Win7 ribbon could get an update once Office 2010 is released.

To be honest, you are suggesting that Windows dictates the UI for all programs. Can you possibly imagine the implications of that? One: lawsuits. Two: a major scaling back of UI advancements.

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Kirkburn    172
You might want to compare icons and shadows too.

Ask yourself, what's the point of the border and shadows?

Shadow: It's to make obvious the edges of the app, and what is overlaying what.

Border: It's also to help define the edges of the app, and give users a grabbable area to resize it.

A smaller shadow or border is worse for both of these, for most users.

Icons: the prettiness of individual icons is unrelated to the OS. Regardless, having huge bright icons at the bottom of your screen is pointless - they are not the focus of the screen: the active application is the focus. (Incidentally, this is why Aero is transparent.)

I agree that Win7's are "clouded" a bit by the borders, but they exist for a reason. The dock just has a little light to tell you something is running: it's almost unnoticeable and (imo) designed more for beauty than functionality.

"Task lists": both versions have benefits and drawbacks, tbh.

Edited by Kirkburn

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Salty Wagyu    106

Quite liking the windows 7 theme, it definitely isn't luna and it adapts to the wallpaper behind. I always used classic theme on XP due to the fact 99.5% of visual styles were crap or imcomplete in certain areas.

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Subject Delta    108
Except Aero in 7 looks pretty much looks exactly the same as Vista? The idea that looks affect performance is also absurd.

No it actually isn't, seeing as in Windows Vista some of Aero is actually offloaded to the CPU and most of the graphical information is loaded into memory, depending on how many windows are open it is actually quiet possible for it to affect performance

Well it's personal preference in the end. I use Vista & I do actually like Aero, but OsX's Aqua seems alot more professionally designed.. And I think the point of grey is to be boring or neutral. Do we really want window frames that are so pretty we stare at them all day?

I don't think Microsoft "need to get there crap together", but I think they could do alot better than Aero, but they could also do alot worse.

Professionally designed... It looks to me like some guy who was majorly stoned thought that dull grey, with bright and obnoxious buttons and scrollbars somehow made a good combination. Really though, I don't find myself sitting there staring at the windows, but I sure do find windows to be more pleasant to use when they look nice.

No doubt there are programs that will automate the patching process, but that doesn't change the fact that it's completely unsupported and that Windows is designed specifically to not support any user customization.

No, Windows is designed not to support use of unsigned visual themes because inconsistencies in their visual design elements could theoretically cause problems.

You don't need to hack any system files thanks to Rafael's UxStyle service which allows you to use unsigned themes without ever touching any system files.

And if you don't like the way it looks, why not just make your own theme instead of complaining about how the Windows UI team has made it look.

And if that is too hard for you then there is loads of good designers out there who has made their own effort to make some very awesome UI's which can freely be downloaded and applied.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=UxStyle

You took the answer right out of my mouth, not to mention if you have any issues you can just remove UxStyle and reboot your computer and everything will be back to normal.

Huh? :blink: how is offloading the GUI onto the GPU putting looks over performace exactly? as that is exactly what MS did with Aero as it wasn't all about looks but also performace, as till then the CPU did all the work rendering the GUI.

The is nothing wrong with Aero I like it. However, to be honest OSX is miles ahead of Windows in terms of looks simply because there is one little concept that Apple has nailed yet it's still elusive to MS, consistancy. It's only a small thing but it makes all the difference, i.e. having WinXP/9x icons and dialog boxes floating around and no apparent set design guidelines for the apps, it's a bit hodge podge really. I'm not knocking Windows, I'm an avid Windows user and always will be just it still needs some polishing to get to the level OSX is at (GUI wise). Well that is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt.

Actually, Apple's UI design is terrible. Sadly I don't have the screenshot but one of our members actually produced a screenshot to show just how inconsistant their UI design is. To also illustrate how wrong you are on the other point, I have uploaded a screenshot with some UI elements from some commonly used Windows applications (Photo viewer, Explorer, Media Player, Media Center) which actually shows how consistent their design is. Same button design, same parts of the UI

post-286512-1259369181.jpg

Outblinging the competition has been a major goal for Office for a long time.

Really. I must have overlooked that part in the release notes :rofl:

Can you maybe...errm... provide some proof of that one?

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Growled    3,880
Actually, Apple's UI design is terrible.

There is no ultimate right and wrong when you are talking style. There is only right and wrong for each individual. What seems terrible to you is just perfect for someone else and that's the way it should be. Each of us is different and have different tastes.

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Subject Delta    108
There is no ultimate right and wrong when you are talking style. There is only right and wrong for each individual. What seems terrible to you is just perfect for someone else and that's the way it should be. Each of us is different and have different tastes.

Actually I was talking in response to someone's comment about how the UI elements in OSX are more consistent than those in Windows, and the fact is they are wrong. All you need to do is look at Safari, iTunes, Quicktime... Their buttons have different designs, they are layed out in different parts of the UI. Those in Windows are actually far more consistent. Navigation buttons always in the top left, control buttons (such as play, next, previous) ETC always in the center, and all with a consistent and similar design.

Whoever made the argument made it the wrong way round, its actually OSX that is inconsistent, and that is a fact. I don't really want to, but I may well be forced to install OSX again to actually prove that point, but in comparison with Windows 7 it is inconsistent.

Also, not sure who brought up the crap about uTorrent, but calling out superiority of an OS based on a third party app is pretty moronic :/

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markjensen    98
Microsoft needs to get there crap together, GUI wise

Why bother reading the post when the OP can't get their grammar together?

Just curious, but since you are being pedantic, do you also advocate not bothering to read posts when someone can't bother even using a spellcheck that underlines their errors with red?

I have a good example post for that:

Get a grip. How quickly you forget that Apple agred to make IE their default browser when Microsoft saved them from bankruptcy by writing them a cheque.

And since a relaity check is clearly in order, ...

Feel free to check my posts, but I am pretty certain I have never advocated disregarding posts from people with typographical errors.

Remember, not everyone who posts here uses English as their primary language, and try cutting some people a bit of slack, eh? ;)

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hdood    145
No it actually isn't, seeing as in Windows Vista some of Aero is actually offloaded to the CPU and most of the graphical information is loaded into memory, depending on how many windows are open it is actually quiet possible for it to affect performance

I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't talking about architectural changes, I was talking about the look. You could change the appearance of Windows radically without it having any real effect on performance. You could change the Aero look (which is separate from the architectural changes that were introduced at the same time) to look like OS X or some crazy new thing and it wouldn't affect performance.

No, Windows is designed not to support use of unsigned visual themes because inconsistencies in their visual design elements could theoretically cause problems.

I don't believe I said anything about the reasoning behind locking it down, only that it is. The reason is also for consistency's sake so that all Windows systems will look the same, and so that HP won't fill your window borders with HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP.

You took the answer right out of my mouth, not to mention if you have any issues you can just remove UxStyle and reboot your computer and everything will be back to normal.

Nevertheless it's still a hack. Modifying the apperance is something Windows is designed specifically to disallow, just like other OSes like OS X.

Really. I must have overlooked that part in the release notes :rofl:

Can you maybe...errm... provide some proof of that one?

You can "rofl" all you want, you simply have to take a look at Office over the years to see it. Unless you just got a computer, it's blatantly obvious. Do you seriously believe they added a gradient and new color scheme to Office 2010 (or XP or 03 for that matter) for any other reason than to make Office stand out? Don't be naive.

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Kirkburn    172
You can "rofl" all you want, you simply have to take a look at Office over the years to see it. Unless you just got a computer, it's blatantly obvious. Do you seriously believe they added a gradient and new color scheme to Office 2010 (or XP or 03 for that matter) for any other reason than to make Office stand out? Don't be naive.

Answer me this: where in Windows would you look to find the program to make Office consistent with? Wordpad?

Office XP and 2003 are generally consistent with XP, 2007 with XP/Vista and 2010 with Vista/Win7 in overall look - but toolbars and task panes aren't something that really exist in the OS proper - they have nothing to be consistent with.

It's fair to admit that ever since Office 97 the team made some odd (and sometimes mistaken) choices in terms of design - even they admit it - but it's not really fair to say that the 2007/10 ribbon is inconsistent: in 2007 it had little to be inconsistent with, and in 2010 it just builds on that which is already included in Win7.

I don't believe I said anything about the reasoning behind locking it down, only that it is. The reason is also for consistency's sake so that all Windows systems will look the same, and so that HP won't fill your window borders with HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP-HP.

Emphasis mine.

I'm not sure, but you seem to be arguing both sides of the coin? You can't realistically have complete consistency and open theming.

An OEM could do that anyway, they just need to include something like Windowblinds in the default install.

I can't say if the license agreement restricts this though - but if it does, then it is in opposition to the argument that MS would have to manually lock it down to prevent such abuse by OEMs.

Edited by Kirkburn

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hdood    145
Answer me this: where in Windows would you look to find the program to make Office consistent with? Wordpad?

Office XP and 2003 are generally consistent with XP, 2007 with XP/Vista and 2010 with Vista/Win7 in overall look - but toolbars and task panes aren't something that really exist in the OS proper - they have nothing to be consistent with.

Toolbars are standard Windows controls (although Office did not use the Windows one). They certainly do exist in the OS. As for task panes, well, no, but they can still be styled in a manner that is identical to the other OS controls. When the changes they make are only to small details such as the color scheme or borders, it's even worse, because it's so unnecessary. Why do I want my office software to have a different color from the rest of the system? Who is Office to dictate this? Why doesn't it use the Windows status bar or scroll bars?

Is the message that is being sent that you have to write your own GUI framework to be competitive on Windows, because the one provided by the OS has barely seen any change in a decade and half?

It's fair to admit that ever since Office 97 the team made some odd (and sometimes mistaken) choices in terms of design - even they admit it - but it's not really fair to say that the 2007/10 ribbon is inconsistent: in 2007 it had little to be inconsistent with, and in 2010 it just builds on that which is already included in Win7.

The problem is that "just building" on something makes it inconsistent with the rest of the OS. If I decide to make my menu red and start on the right side of the window then that is inconsistent despite the fact that it's basically the same functionality and I'm just building on the concept of menus.

The Ribbon didn't exist at the time of 07, but they still went out of their way to give the window borders (as an example) a custom look rather than using the system default. Why? Because they wanted it to look cool, something the standard Windows controls simply don't provide (why?).

Microsoft used to frown upon applications ignoring user preferences and just doing what they feel like, but now they're doing it themselves.

Well, only sort of anyway, because when you look at the Windows ribbon in Paint and WordPad, you see what the Ribbon would look like if it was integrated with standard windows and controls. It's much more toned down and these programs feel like plain old boring Windows programs just with a Ribbon. This is what they expect people to use, and the design they're pushing. It says something when Office doesn't feel that this is good enough. Why can't it be good enough? If it isn't good enough, shouldn't it be changed?

I'm not sure, but you seem to be arguing both sides of the coin? You can't realistically have complete consistency and open theming.

Well, you can across applications, because the OS expose all this through APIs. A different visual styles automatically applies to all software that is using the standard controls, and even those that have custom controls can derive enough style information to get by. The only programs left behind are those that are entirely based on custom controls that ignore all user preference (such as Office).

Obviously it wouldn't be consistent across different systems, but that's Microsoft's argument really and not mine. I just want things to be consistent on one system.

An OEM could do that anyway, they just need to include something like Windowblinds in the default install.

I can't say if the license agreement restricts this though - but if it does, then it is in opposition to the argument that MS would have to manually lock it down to prevent such abuse by OEMs.

Well sure, but that comes at a premium they're likely not very interested in paying. The argument itself actually comes from Microsoft, believe it or not. Note that I was suggesting it is a combination of all three reasons, not any one of them isolated.

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y_notm    8
You can "rofl" all you want, you simply have to take a look at Office over the years to see it. Unless you just got a computer, it's blatantly obvious. Do you seriously believe they added a gradient and new color scheme to Office 2010 (or XP or 03 for that matter) for any other reason than to make Office stand out? Don't be naive.
In Office 2007, each of the applications took on a light blue hue, and users could optionally choose from a whopping set of two additional color schemes, gray and black. Office 2010 tones down this coloring effect, removing issues where the blue UI actually detracted from the content being edited and, in some cases, visually skewed the color of graphics and charts in documents. This time around, the application UIs are more translucent on the top, providing a visual cue to the windows or desktop found beneath. And as with the individual application icons, each has a subtle color hint, mostly through the new File button (or pseudo-tab), helping to establish each application's identity.

Seems like a pretty valid reason to update the colors to me. Office 2007 was "too flashy," MS has actually toned the "bling" down. Same reason Photoshop uses a neutral gray color for its window. It's boring, perhaps too boring for the average consumer, but it improves the functionality of this particular app.

Furthermore, Office has always pushed the bounds of the Windows UI paradigm, and most cases pushed it forward. Most Office UI controls become generalized and integrated as common controls inside Windows (customizable toolbars) or .NET UI (office 2003 UI, ribbon) frameworks. Without Office doing this, the Windows UI probably wouldn't be where it is today.

The same thing happens on OSX - itunes or iLife push past the standard controls in OSX all the time.

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Lamp0    638
Professionally designed... It looks to me like some guy who was majorly stoned thought that dull grey, with bright and obnoxious buttons and scrollbars somehow made a good combination. Really though, I don't find myself sitting there staring at the windows, but I sure do find windows to be more pleasant to use when they look nice.

Well call me stoned because I think it works beautifully.

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majortom1981    241

You guys do know you can change the shell from explorer.exe to anything you want right?

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Subject Delta    108
You can "rofl" all you want, you simply have to take a look at Office over the years to see it. Unless you just got a computer, it's blatantly obvious. Do you seriously believe they added a gradient and new color scheme to Office 2010 (or XP or 03 for that matter) for any other reason than to make Office stand out? Don't be naive.

I have been using Office since Office '97 actually. I have also noticed the same thing happening to Windows, that has became better looking with every release as well. I think it is a little thing called progress :)

Well call me stoned because I think it works beautifully.

Windows 98 works beautifully as well, that doesn't however stop it from looking like a proverbial pile of dog puke.

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+devHead    1,986
Thank you for reading my drunken non sense.

You're welcome. Actually, I think the brushed steel grey look of the Mac OS looks way too 1999 to me. And it's 'their' crap together. When you are speaking of a possessive, it's 'their' or 'theirs'.

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Lamp0    638
I have been using Office since Office '97 actually. I have also noticed the same thing happening to Windows, that has became better looking with every release as well. I think it is a little thing called progress :)

Windows 98 works beautifully as well, that doesn't however stop it from looking like a proverbial pile of dog puke.

The combination of dull grey, with bright and obnoxious buttons and scrollbars works beautifully.

Can I say that? Does that work as a sentence?

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hdood    145
Seems like a pretty valid reason to update the colors to me. Office 2007 was "too flashy," MS has actually toned the "bling" down. Same reason Photoshop uses a neutral gray color for its window. It's boring, perhaps too boring for the average consumer, but it improves the functionality of this particular app.

2010 isn't really toned down, they've taken it even further with gradients and all. The Paint ribbon and overall look is what toned down looks like.

Furthermore, Office has always pushed the bounds of the Windows UI paradigm, and most cases pushed it forward. Most Office UI controls become generalized and integrated as common controls inside Windows (customizable toolbars) or .NET UI (office 2003 UI, ribbon) frameworks.

Customizable toolbars didn't come from Office (the Office-type toolbars don't exist in Windows), and well, I can't really think of anything Office has brought back to Windows. Certainly not "most controls." Imagine if Windows could be pushing new things. Why can't it? Who knows.

Without Office doing this, the Windows UI probably wouldn't be where it is today.

Which is where, exactly? Little has changed in the last 15 years and the last new controls came from what, IE4?

Most of the nice-looking things in Windows 7 are either custom Microsoft controls (or entire internal windowless frameworks, also unavailable to anyone else) or clever tricks done with standard controls and custom (private) visual styles.

I have been using Office since Office '97 actually. I have also noticed the same thing happening to Windows, that has became better looking with every release as well. I think it is a little thing called progress :)

Have you noticed that the two never match though? Office always deviates from the version of Windows that is current when it's released. Why?

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Kirkburn    172
Which is where, exactly? Little has changed in the last 15 years and the last new controls came from what, IE4?

Most of the nice-looking things in Windows 7 are either custom Microsoft controls (or entire internal windowless frameworks, also unavailable to anyone else) or clever tricks done with standard controls and custom (private) visual styles.

The ribbon, which is in Windows 7.

How many times does this need to be mentioned to you? It came from work on Office.

Have you noticed that the two never match though? Office always deviates from the version of Windows that is current when it's released. Why?

Well part of it is because, as I already mentioned but you ignored, it is not designed for a specific OS. 2007 was designed for XP and Vista.

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Kirkburn    172
Toolbars are standard Windows controls (although Office did not use the Windows one). They certainly do exist in the OS. As for task panes, well, no, but they can still be styled in a manner that is identical to the other OS controls. When the changes they make are only to small details such as the color scheme or borders, it's even worse, because it's so unnecessary. Why do I want my office software to have a different color from the rest of the system? Who is Office to dictate this? Why doesn't it use the Windows status bar or scroll bars?

Is the message that is being sent that you have to write your own GUI framework to be competitive on Windows, because the one provided by the OS has barely seen any change in a decade and half?

Sorry, where in Windows do you find toolbars, let alone those that can cope with Office? (I hope you realise I am not talking about the File/Edit menu bar.)

It wouldn't use the basic Windows status bar because it has lots of extra functionality, and it would look rather out of place with the rest of the Office UI. Internal consistency is just as important as external.

The problem is that "just building" on something makes it inconsistent with the rest of the OS. If I decide to make my menu red and start on the right side of the window then that is inconsistent despite the fact that it's basically the same functionality and I'm just building on the concept of menus.

The Ribbon didn't exist at the time of 07, but they still went out of their way to give the window borders (as an example) a custom look rather than using the system default. Why? Because they wanted it to look cool, something the standard Windows controls simply don't provide (why?).

Huh, how is the Office border custom? It looks entirely normal to me on Vista.

Office itself has themes (blue/silver/black) in order to fit better with individual XP and Vista colour themes, but surely you don't expect them to have designed entirely different themes to exactly fit those OSes? It would be a support (and user) nightmare.

Microsoft used to frown upon applications ignoring user preferences and just doing what they feel like, but now they're doing it themselves.

Well, only sort of anyway, because when you look at the Windows ribbon in Paint and WordPad, you see what the Ribbon would look like if it was integrated with standard windows and controls. It's much more toned down and these programs feel like plain old boring Windows programs just with a Ribbon. This is what they expect people to use, and the design they're pushing. It says something when Office doesn't feel that this is good enough. Why can't it be good enough? If it isn't good enough, shouldn't it be changed?

Do you not understand how development works? In software, everything is improved over time. Windows 7 was finished before 2010, but after 2007. You seriously expect the Office team to have just halted all UI work when Win7's ribbon was finalised?

For the last time, Office is not a "normal" application. It is one of the most complex application suites around, and has to deal with much much more complexity than most other programs. Something that fits 90% of programs is unlikely to fit Office. The Win7 ribbon was generalised from Office in order to fit most situations - but that doesn't mean Office should have to suffer as a result.

I absolutely understand consistency is good: but it should not come at the cost of usability.

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hdood    145
The ribbon, which is in Windows 7.

How many times does this need to be mentioned to you? It came from work on Office.

Yes, no ****. I even mentioned that myself. Obviously I was talking about other things than the Ribbon concept. Even you understood that.

Well part of it is because, as I already mentioned but you ignored, it is not designed for a specific OS. 2007 was designed for XP and Vista.

2007 does not match either XP or Vista. It doesn't match anything. If Microsoft wants to push new designs, they should do it in Windows and make it available to everyone.

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Kirkburn    172
Yes, no ****. I even mentioned that myself. Obviously I was talking about other things than the Ribbon concept. Even you understood that.

So you want an example, as long as it's not the one given to you?

2007 does not match either XP or Vista. It doesn't match anything. If Microsoft wants to push new designs, they should do it in Windows and make it available to everyone.

Office 2007 matches a hybrid of the two. For something like Office, you don't make two completely different themes. Office 2010 leans more strongly to Vista/7.

They have freaking made the ribbon available. It's in Windows 7. What the hell else do you want?

The Office 2010 version isn't in Windows 7 because it's not finished yet.

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hdood    145
Sorry, where in Windows do you find toolbars, let alone those that can cope with Office? (I hope you realise I am not talking about the File/Edit menu bar.)

Uhm, the toolbar control that has been part of Windows since NT was first released. Menu bars are not toolbars (although you could create a toolbar that mimicked the functionality).

It wouldn't use the basic Windows status bar because it has lots of extra functionality, and it would look rather out of place with the rest of the Office UI. Internal consistency is just as important as external.

It can use the standard Windows statusbar just fine. WordPad and Paint do. Even if they wanted to implement their own control, they could still do it while keeping the same design. As for looking out of place with the rest of Office, well, does it look out of place in Paint? I don't actually care if Office has its own GUI framework, but it's reasonable to expect them to make it look the same as Windows.

Office itself has themes (blue/silver/black) in order to fit better with individual XP and Vista colour themes, but surely you don't expect them to have designed entirely different themes to exactly fit tose OSes? It would be a support (and user) nightmare.

What are you talking about? It could simply use the system color schemes.

Do you not understand how development works? In software, everything is improved over time. Windows 7 was finished before 2010, but after 2007. You seriously expect the Office team to have just halted all UI work when Win7's ribbon was finalised?

I don't expect anyone to do anything. Certainly not Microsoft. All I've been saying is that Microsoft themselves are condoning the free-for-all philosophy where developers should just come up with whatever they feel like instead of following any design guidelines or using any standard Windows controls.

Edited by hdood

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