Another week is almost drawing to a close so this brings another comprehensive look at the week's interesting technology news all rolled into one article, this week Paul tells us how Windows is superior to Mac (find it yourself!) and how Office 12 won't be so lame as Office 2003 (GUI-wise). I picked out 2, the rest can be read by following the link below, enjoy.
Office 12 to Feature New UI and This Time It Won't Be Lame
The Microsoft Office team has historically done its own thing with UIs, eschewing the standard Windows way of doing things and creating something slightly unique and, often, confusing. For Office 12, the next major version of Office, Microsoft plans to change the UI yet again. But this time the company might get it right. Instead of making a different UI for no good reason, Microsoft is actually thinking about the way people use the Office applications. One of the big problems is icon overload: The sheer amount of toolbar buttons confuses people. So the company is developing a new ribbon UI element that in many ways will replace the toolbars in Office. In each application, the ribbon will change its icon set based on what you're doing. So if you're writing text, you'll see text-oriented icons, but when you switch to an embedded graphic, the ribbon will display only those icons that are related to graphics. As with Office 2003, the goal of the UI is to expose existing functionality so that users can discover it more easily. But unlike Office 2003, this change might actually work. Whether it will be enough to make customers upgrade remains to be seen.
Windows XP SP2: 200 Million Downloads and Counting
At the Microsoft Worldwide Partners Conference this week, Microsoft noted that it has distributed more than 218 million copies of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) via Windows Update and Automatic Updates. In February, Microsoft reported the figure as 170 million downloads. According to the company's internal figures, SP2 makes XP 13 to 15 times less likely to be hacked when compared with the base version of XP or XP with SP1. Meanwhile, since March, Microsoft has also distributed more than 2 million copies of Windows Server 2003 SP1, an update that provides many of the same security features that XP SP2 provides.
View: Short Takes for week ending July 18th @ Win Info