Microsoft has modified its new interface for Office 2007 after complaints from beta testers that the "ribbon" system took up too much screen space.
Office 2007 had ditched the traditional drop-down menu approach of most Windows applications in favor of the ribbon, which displays functions in new categories such as Home, Insert and Mailing in a strip across the top of the screen.
Users, in the next technical refresh of the Office 2007 beta, can set the ribbon to automatically minimize whenever it is not being used, effectively making the ribbon headings look like traditional menus.
Microsoft Australia technical specialist John Hodgson said the change is a result of complaints from some beta testers. "One of the feedbacks we got is that it takes up too much room," he said during a presentation at Microsoft's Tech Ed 2006 conference this week in Sydney.
Despite the change, Microsoft remains committed to using the ribbon interface, though it isn't included in all Office components. Visio, for example, has no ribbon options at all, and Outlook does not use the ribbon in all contexts.
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