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Office 2010 Technical Preview Leaked 341

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-didn't-take-long dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft was planning on giving out the Office 2010 Technical Preview to select testers in July on an invite-only basis. Office 2010 will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and both flavors have been leaked to torrent sites and the like. Multiple screenshots of each application are available. '... some applications have changed a lot more than others. The ribbon seems to be on every application now, which is great for consistency's sake. ... The biggest change, in my opinion, is that the no file/orb menu is no longer a menu. When you click the colored office button, you get a screen that is shown in the second screenshot for each application.'"
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Office 2010 Technical Preview Leaked

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  • by ironicsky (569792) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @12:21PM (#27987017) Journal
    I've gotten used to the ribbon by force, but Im still not the biggest fan. I find the location of alot of commands to be counter intuitive. For example, no Page Setup in the print option from the Office Orb item. Office 2007 introduced alot of good features such as saving as a PDF but I wish they would give users the option of collapsing the ribbon back in to proper menu's for consistency with every other app not made by Microsoft. Its great they are trying something different but seem to have little buy in from software vendors, otherwise all apps would be ribbons instead of menus
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wootest (694923)

      I actually agree with them on the Page Setup thing. You're changing how the document looks and it affects the layout - it should belong near the canvas like everything else that has to do with formatting.

      The Ribbon is a good fit for document-based, layout-heavy applications with many commands. It's barely a good fit for all Office applications. It should have stayed in Office, or at least never leaked to applications with much smaller footprints. I'd also like for them to upgrade it with a command search th

    • but I wish they would give users the option of collapsing the ribbon back in to proper menu's for consistency with every other app not made by Microsoft

      Right-click on the ribbon|Minimize the Ribbon
      Done.
      • by blincoln (592401) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @01:21PM (#27987389) Homepage Journal

        Right-click on the ribbon|Minimize the Ribbon

        That doesn't give you the old menus back. It gives you the ribbon tabs which expand back to the full ribbon when you click on them.

        My theory is that MS implemented the ribbon because they seem to have a mistaken belief that their UI should be consistent across platforms (desktop PC/server, table, tablet, handheld). In the end, they have a UI that doesn't work well for any of them. The Start Menu is a terrible paradigm for a handheld device, and the ribbon is a terrible one for desktop PCs.

        This is even infecting their design of server-side applications. All of the MMCs for e.g. IIS 7 are more like navigating through Windows Explorer in icon mode than previous versions.

        Different device types should have different interfaces that take advantage of the strengths of that platform. Keeping them consistent is less important than making them as user-friendly as possible.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by DarkOx (621550)

          My problem with the ribbon is that its in the way. Most of us are working most of the time on documents we intend to print portrait on 8x11 paper when we use Office software. The trend as of late is to monitors that are 16x9 or 16x10 aspect. That is not conducive for portrait work in the first place, its a real PITA when you start sucking up the remaining vertical space for your 200px think ribbon.

          Ribbon might have been a good idea if it was done vertical up the side rather then along the top.

          • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @02:31PM (#27987825)

            The ribbon takes less space vertically than the default toolbars in Office 2003. Plus it can be minimized, in which case it takes the same space as Office 2003 with zero toolbars.

            I keep seeing this complaint, and it just goes to show that when people don't like something, they'll pull reasons for it out of thin air. Did it ever occur to you to actually *measure* whether the ribbon was bigger or smaller than the last version? Or did you just need a knee-jerk reason to hate it, and this is the first one that popped into your mind?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by DarkOx (621550)

              Most of the default tool bars in 2k3 can be pulled off and moved to the side. You cannot do that with the ribbon. You also don't need to display the tool bars at all they can be turned off leaving only the menu.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Yes, when people don't like something, they'll pull reasons for it out of thin air. That makes the reasons invalid, not the dislikes.

              You see, most people don't know why they like something, particularly something like a computer UI. There may be valid reasons why they like or dislike something like the ribbon, but they can't figure them out and certainly can't articulate them. Heck, most people don't see little details, even if they're influenced by them (something I picked up in a brief exposure to g

          • Yeah, I've always found this move to 16:9 for computers odd. 16:9 is fine for content viewing (well movies, mostly..), but it is just stupid for content creation. If I'm working on something for film or television--or a landscape picture, I want a landscape space on the screen with room for palettes; if I'm working on an A4 document (or anything else portrait), I want a portrait space, as well as palettes. The ratio that fits this best is 1:1. Palettes on the bottom for landscape, palettes on the side for p

        • by GeckoAddict (1154537) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @03:03PM (#27988051)
          I know I've posted this before, but MS actually has a presentation [msdn.com] about why they made the decisions they did with the Ribbon, and it was persented at MIX last year. They talk about all the usability and UI research that they did on Office 2003 that caused them to develop the ribbon for 2007, and then they spend some time talking about how they came up with the idea and worked out the details of the ribbon.

          It's an interesting presentation if you work on UI design and have some time, or are curious as to why the hell they went to the ribbon.
    • Need to insert a column or row in Excel? Go to the tab labeled Insert and...

  • by hey! (33014) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @12:22PM (#27987027) Homepage Journal

    was for developers to stop creating their own interfaces for things like printing or saving files. Our applications would be more usable if we just used the underlying platform's routines and conventions.

    I wonder whether Office turning its back on Windows UI conventions isn't a long term hedge against the desktop OS monopoly collapsing. Without a monopoly, is Windows worth the effort and cost for Microsoft?

    Imagine that Windows fails. Office remains an economically important platform. Who knows? Maybe we'll have a return to the days of dedicated word processing hardware, with devices that "run office".

    • by wootest (694923)

      I'm inclined to believe Microsoft when they say that the vast majority of the features requested were already in the product. At that point, you have to do something about the user interface. We can argue over whether the Ribbon was the best way to go, but if you want to take Microsoft to task for *spuriously custom* UIs, there are much better examples than the Ribbon.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a good point, but I think Office has these special UI elements for psychological, not technical reasons - they differentiate Office from the rest of the OS (and horizontal competitors like OO.org) in your mind & make you think Office is somehow special/unique/valuable. The earliest example I can think of is Office 2000 (iirc), which had gradients in the title bars before the rest of the OS supported it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        This is a good point, but I think Office has these special UI elements for psychological, not technical reasons - they differentiate Office from the rest of the OS (and horizontal competitors like OO.org) in your mind & make you think Office is somehow special/unique/valuable. The earliest example I can think of is Office 2000 (iirc), which had gradients in the title bars before the rest of the OS supported it.

        Then why Wordpad and Paint in Windows 7 have ribbons, too?

        In practice, Microsoft has been pushing for Ribbon [microsoft.com] as the new standard of Windows UI for some time now. There's a long-winded document describing all the dos and dont's of Ribbon (it's patented, and the license to use it only allows you to do so if you comply strictly with the UI design). Visual Studio 2008 SP1 includes Ribbon support for MFC applications. And there is a WPF Ribbon control developed by Microsoft and available for free via CodePlex.

    • by Val314 (219766)

      Office allways did its own way in GUI widgets.

      Lets look at Word 95 [sunflowerhead.com] that hast "Microsoft" as a non-standard Text in the title bar
      Or the new Open dialogue that came in some version and later was made the default in Windows.
      Or hacks like (some?) Office 2003 on Win XP that made the documents of the MDI apps appear as separate "Apps" in the Task bar.

      So: i wouldn't read anything into this. the ribbon is comming in Windows 7 to some apps and most likely in Windows 8 to the rest of them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The ribbon UI is abundant in Windows 7, and is provided as part of the MFC update to Visual Studio 2008. It's not turning its back against the OS, it's showcasing it.
      • by ubrgeek (679399)
        That's great for consistency, but like half of the posters here, I can't stand the thing. The first thing I do when I sit down at a new Windows installation is right-click on the desktop and switch the "appearance" back to the "old" windows UI (Is it called "original"? I don't remember). I want the ability to do the same with the ribbon. I can't get used to it. I'm a moron, fine. But if it gets in the way of my productivity, then it's a badly designed UI. MS designed the ribbon for new Office users - peopl
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by man_of_mr_e (217855)

          I think you're the reason Microsoft is making this the only UI. Too many people refuse to change. It's been almost 10 years that Microsoft has had a new start menu, for instance, and how many people simply don't use it?

          Why should they have to maintain multiple interfaces for decades? Isn't 10 years long enough? The idea of having a way to go back to the old method is to provide a segue, so that people can slowly learn the new version, but people don't do that. They just stay on the old one and never bo

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Two points here:

      1) The Windows and Office team are completely, utterly, 100% distinct from each other. They don't share code (other than the obvious APIs), and they don't talk things over with each other. What Office does has no bearing on what Windows programmers *should* do.

      2) I'd prefer an innovative new UI like the Ribbon to the crazy unusable UI changes that, for example, Adobe has made. I can't even express how irritating and frustrating the new Adobe Flash CS3/4 interface is compared to the older Mac

      • I was really hoping Adobe would fix the Flash interface. I quite like After Effects (once I got used to it) and I do like Adobe Illustrator. I was hoping for something in between. But as you say, more layers of suck on the already sucky interface of MM Flash.

        I think Flash needs to be split in two. One an IDE and one a plain jane vector animation application. Trying to be both makes it so frustrating I can barely bring myself to use it.

  • by rx-sp (1161741) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @12:28PM (#27987053)
    I know Office extremely well... Or at least I used to. With these latest releases, it's like the developers have taken magic mushrooms and decided to visit Venus. Seriously, what's going on? Why has everything changed? Who are these changes designed to help? Why did they decide to abandon the system of menus that's been in service since 1984? Just because they've been in service since 1984? That's like Ford abandoning the idea of a steering wheel because it's been used in cars since 1900. When I look at things like this, I see how far from the straight and narrow Microsoft has strayed. They are really losing all track of what's important to users. They've just lost touch completely. I'll say one thing for Bill Gates, and one thing only, but the guy could keep his organization together and produce some half-decent software. Ballmer's just a nutjob who's steering the company into the ground.
    • by DeadChobi (740395) <DeadChobi@@@gmail...com> on Sunday May 17, 2009 @01:05PM (#27987287)

      Menus are an archaic throwback to a time where we had to press keyboard combinations to access anything. They aren't well organized for mouse users, but the fact that they're organized in an "up-down/left-right" fashion makes them perfect for people who use the keyboard to navigate. I find the ribbons make me much faster at formatting documents than the old system of menus. What's really nice is that I don't have to enter 4 sub menus just to insert a math equation or a symbol into my work. And the visual table insertion tool is really useful for those of us who don't want to think about how many, just how it should look.

      Seriously, if you keep one hand on the mouse and one on the keyboard, it's much faster to create equations and documents in Word than in OpenOffice. I used to be a staunch OpenOffice supporter, but it's nice to not have to memorize keywords and keypress combos just to be halfway efficient at writing documents.

      $200.00 is $200 well spent for me.

      • What's really nice is that I don't have to enter 4 sub menus just to insert a math equation or a symbol into my work. And the visual table insertion tool is really useful for those of us who don't want to think about how many, just how it should look.

        Either you're a Microsoft shill, or you never took the couple minutes of effort to use the Customize... feature of many office versions to add your own commonly used feature to a toolbar. The first things I add to any pre-2007 Word tool bar, for example, are

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Goldsmith (561202)

        I couldn't disagree more that the new UI is faster for equations or symbols. In the old UI, I was able to put a button wherever I wanted that would open the equation editor, or open my preferred add-on equation editor. Like buttons? Go crazy, make all your own buttons, record macros, download add-ons. Not so with new versions of Office.

        Is it word or powerpoint that doesn't have a built in subscript button? That I have to worry about that, that the UI is so different between tools is very frustrating.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by centuren (106470)

      I haven't seen or read anything about the new interface before this, so the screenshots weren't especially helpful in seeing what people are complaining about. So I found a video, while not the best walk through by a long shot, shows some of the new interface in action [youtube.com].

      Generally, I like new ideas being tried out, even when part of the benefit of a product is everyone being familiar with the previous way it did things. In this specific case, I don't particularly have much of a stake in how it turns out. I ju

    • Yes, and why the hell did they abandon the command line for all this mouse bullshit? Why has everything changed? They must be eating mushrooms and are crazy!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Because Office provided pretty much everything anybody ever wanted (and far more than they ever used) many years ago.

      Companies hit this point and it's an "oh, shit" moment because now they have to come up with something other than features and stability to get you to buy the next version.

      Enter the eye-candy and change for the sake of change.

    • Recently, I've become a heavy user of Autodesk products, mainly Inventor and AutoCAD Mechanical - and in the 2010 version, which came out a month ago (yeah, someone must have made a prank with the wall calendar at the Autodesk offices and they didn't notice until it was too late), they switched to ribbons. So, Inventor 2010 looks just like Microsoft Office, with the big icon in the corner and so on - thus the look is there, but the feel, it's different. They dropped most of the context-driven dynamic ribbon

  • by WarwickRyan (780794) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @12:40PM (#27987135)

    I really can't understand the hate for Ribbon on slashdot. It all seems to be centered on "but they changed it".

    Slashdot is an technology community: we're the people who're either instigating change, or are always putting ourselves on the bleeding edge. We accept the fact that we often have to relearn things, because we then gain the advantages of progress.

    Ribbon's a really good example. Once you're used to it, you'll find it so much easier to use than the old system that you'll never want to go back.

    For example, take Excel 2007. One of the most common functions in Excel is creation of pretty reports using tables and charts. With Ribbon it's so much easier to create and use tables. The interface is fantastic. Far superiour to the old menuing system. The way that they've build the seperation of symantics and style, an made is easy to use is just fantastic. I mean, you've got an cell in an spreadsheet which contains faulty data.

    Like most slashdotters I was suspicious at first. You can't help but be after hearing such bad press. However within a day of actually using it, the benefits were clear.

    So, if you've not spent much time with Ribbon, do yourself an favour and spend a day playing with it in Excel or Word. You'll learn to love it, and then you'll never want to go back to the 'old' way.

    • Why do I hate the Ribbon.

      It took me about 2 months to get used to the UI differences between Windows 2003 and OpenOffice.
      At 9 months and counting- I still havn't regained my productivity in Office. There are some things which I just haven't figured out a quick way to do again.

      AND- ever since it was installed my laptop went from being a speedster to being a dog.

    • by jmv (93421)

      "If I need to read the manual before I can use the new version of X, the interface is crap". That's what I have against the ribbon. Thankfully, I rarely have to deal with MS Office.

    • by Gryffin (86893) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @01:28PM (#27987445) Homepage

      Why do we hate the ribbon? Because it's dynamic.

      Microsoft sees that as a plus: customize the UI based on what Office thinks the user is trying to do. Nice, in theory. But it depends on a level of application telepathy that doens't exist. (Yet?)

      Users see it as a minus: the commands they want aren't always where they expect to find them, so they end up wasting productive time trying to find them. More than a little frustrating when you have a deadline bearing down on you.

      If Office did a better job of reading the user's mind, the Ribbon would rock. But since that's not likely to happen, Microsoft should go back to UI Design 101: a good UI is a consistent UI.

      Don't suprise users by capriciously moving tools, or they'll hate you forever. Which is pretty much where 90% of Office '07 are right now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WarwickRyan (780794)

        It's dynamic, but only in relation to the menu which is maximised. All of the other options are there, you just need to click on them.

        Compared to 'dynamic' menus in the old version (i.e. everything greyed out), it's much better. Plus it's right 80% of the time, which means greater productivity 80% of the time at the cost of an extra click 20% of the time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Gryffin (86893)

          It's dynamic, but only in relation to the menu which is maximised. All of the other options are there, you just need to click on them. Compared to 'dynamic' menus in the old version (i.e. everything greyed out), it's much better. Plus it's right 80% of the time, which means greater productivity 80% of the time at the cost of an extra click 20% of the time.

          First of all, I'll concede that 80% figure. If it were any lower no one would ever use the damn thing.

          But, it's not "an extra click" the other 20% of the time. In my experience, and that of my cow-orkers, it's more like "roll the cursor over every icon in the current ribbon thet you don't immediately recognize and read the Tool Tip, in case the command you want is cleverly hidden in plain sight, and if you don't find it there, click through ALL the tabs at random and repeat the Tool Tip thing until you stum

      • A business coach friend said he can spend 3 hours plodding through MS Office 2007, or he can switch to his Mac and do the same thing in 1 hour. I also found that the ribbons are a total waste of time, so I switched to OpenOffice and it felt like bliss, because the fscking things are where they fscking are so you can fscking find them again the next fscking time...
    • by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @01:36PM (#27987481)

      Considering I'm not really a heavy Excel user, but I do occasionally create tables and charts.

      In my experience, it could not be 'much easier' with the Ribbon as it wasn't hard before the ribbon.

      Having used both I can confirm that it really isn't 'Much Easier' to do it via the ribbon because it really wasn't hard and only took one more click in the old version. (2003)

      If you think this new interface is 'far superiour' you have become a fanboy. Its not really a lot different, they mostly just jumbled up the toolbar by craming the menu and the toolbar together.

      The reason most of slashdot's problem with it is 'because they changed it' is because thats really all they did. To anyone who knew how to use the products before hand its an annoying change that costs people time. For people who think they've made things easier, all thats happened is that you bothered to take the time to look around for a change and find features.

      I've spent a couple years using 2007 now, I still hate it. From reading your post, I can say that your problem is that you never really knew how to use Office in the first place, so now that you've been hit in the face with a 2x4 of change you finally bothered to look into it more. This is not good if it happens to everyone.

      People who go crazy with Office 'Features' make documents that are fucking shit to work with.

      People who use many features in Word and Excel as a general rule are doing it wrong. Playing with all your fonts, sizes and such in Word is generally a sign you're doing it wrong. You use standard styles so the document can be restyled later as needed or converted to another format. Instead people like you who have suddenly found the ribbon start setting fonts, colors, sizes and other formatting options on the text itself trying to make it look like YOU think it should look, even though most of you couldn't pass highschool english if you're life depended on it.

      And I'm really happy that people are finding Excel's features, thats all I needed. Documents that are basically CSV's being turned into something akin to a powerpoint with a bunch of retarded charts and effects that matter not to the data nor do they present it in a better way, they just detract from it.

    • First off, I haven't played with it for days, I've been swearing at it for the last 6 months.

      If you're a beginner user of don't write long docs or have spreadsheets that have not too much special in them, or have Powerpoint with not too much thinking, fine.

      However, when you have been using the Office suite for some serious doc work where you use a lot of functionality, doc variables and on top of that you're using keyboard shortcuts because a mouse slows you down - well, forget the ribbon. Add to that the

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285)
      There are two major theories on UI. On is that the user develops muscle memory can find commands by simply allowing their muscles to move the proper place. That is, if the format menu is always in the same pale, and the paragraph selection is always in the same place, then the use can quickly select these items from memory. It is the reason why keyboards are laid out basically the same, and the reason why most of us do not have to look where things are in our car, but do have to relearn the interface when
  • Probably the only thing that can be counted on is that some to many of the changes will change again by the time the official release comes out. I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, just that it tends to happen with most large programs/suites. Release early preview, get feedback, make some changes, release preview 2, etc. Actually, I guess that would probably put it into the "good" category.

  • by nighty5 (615965) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @12:48PM (#27987175)
    As a power user of Word and Excel I find the inclusion of a native 64 bit version to be very welcomed indeed.

    Excel 2007 added some much needed features that has truely turned it into a portable database program, whereby increasing the amount of rows from 64k to over 1 million, and from 256 columns to over 10k among other notable changes. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa730921.aspx#Office2007excelPerf_BigGridIncreasedLimitsExcel [microsoft.com]

    Like most people, I was apprehensive of the ribbon UI however after about 2 weeks of solid use I fell in love with it. Microsoft really nailed it, something had to be done given the shear amount of features available in a modern editor.

    I hope to see some innovation from the OOo team to give their program a fresh face although I was impressed to see some improvements in their 3.1 release.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by johannesg (664142)

      Excel 2007 added some much needed features that has truely turned it into a portable database program

      Frankly I'm at a loss for words to describe the type of idiocy that leads people to use Excel as a database program. Especially when that is followed by an exclamation of joy that it is now possible to store billions of "records" in Excel as well...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I have several customers whose CEO/CFO know spreadsheets. They don't have the budget to have database (even Access) people on staff to adjust the interface when they want some numbers.

        It's totally the wrong way to go, but telling the guy who signs the checks that *he* has to change is not the best way to keep your job. All the recommendations, presentations and examples don't change the fact that the owner is comfortable with it.

        C'est la vie.

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      Oh dear.

      If you have more than 65536 records or 256 fields, you really really shouldn't be using Excel.

  • Inconsequential (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @01:08PM (#27987301) Journal

    '... some applications have changed a lot more than others. The ribbon seems to be on every application now, which is great for consistency's sake. ... The biggest change, in my opinion, is that the no file/orb menu is no longer a menu. When you click the colored office button, you get a screen that is shown in the second screenshot for each application.'

    Meh. What we really want to know is: How's the ODF compatibility?

  • Performance? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by graphicsguy (710710) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @02:52PM (#27987971)
    When my workplace "upgraded" to Office 2007, performance became abysmal. Powerpoint is now awful, and Excel is slow, too. Navigating slides is now an exercise in patience. (The performance of Vista, now available on XP!) Any word on whether Office 2010 can bring back reasonable performance?
  • Does anyone care? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @04:01PM (#27988447) Homepage Journal

    So many people haven't even bothered moving to 2007 due to the lack of *useful* new features, why do we care 2010 is coming?

    Same story with Vista, there was no real compelling reason to deal with it.

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