Fluent UI strategy

I saw a great quote about the Ribbon here the other day.

In summary an Office User Experience [edit] person shows the ribbon to Bill Gates.

Bill says you will have a classic mode right?

UX [edit] person says no, that doesn’t fit with our vision for the future of Office.

Exqueeze me?

Having agreed to stop whinging about the ribbon, I wont pass comment except..

Jensen Harris said on his blog that Office 2003 was the classic mode of 2007. I’d say that is rather dismissive of the hard work of his colleagues in the product teams.

Imagine you’ve spent several intense years unpicking the Excel calculation engine to rebuild it multithreaded, and then someone says if you don’t like our crappy new UI just use the old product. Thats hardly going to make you feel good about yourself is it?



5 Responses to “Fluent UI strategy”

  1. Jon Peltier Says:

    “Jensen Harris said on his blog that Office 2003 was the classic mode of 2007.”

    And a lot of would-be upgraders agree.

    For me it’s not a matter of learning the new interface. I know pretty much where everything is. It’s a matter of efficiency, productivity. The mouse buttons and wheel will wear out sooner, because of the greater demands Office 2007 places on this equipment. I’m not cynical enough to suggest that MS produced the Office 2007 “Fluent” interface to enhance mouse sales. I think the Office team came up with this great new innovation, and didn’t realize that it had drawbacks that will chase away many users.

  2. Harlan Grove Says:

    As for the bright sparks working on the calculation engine, just reported today in the Excel newsgroups (microsoft.public.excel),


    returns 100000 (at least that’s what XL2007 displays) while universe & dog would expect the result to be 65535. With this formula in A1, it gets better.

    =A1+1 appears to return 100001


    =A1-1 appears to return 65534.

    Myself, I treat howlers like this as ample justification for avoiding Excel 2007 for anything serious until (1) Microsoft explains how something like this could happen and (2) fixes it.

    With a bug like this now in the public domain, would Excel 2007 be an acceptable platform for SOX-compliant business models?

  3. Simon Says:

    Jon everything I want seems to be buried 2 or 3 levels under the blob. Instead of on a button face like in 2k3.

    I prefer to separate the User Experience team from the product (Excel) team. One seems to be a supreme waste of time (at best) and the Excel guys are doing some great stuff (miscalcs aside!)

    Harlan – I just tried that and can confirm that buggy behavoir. In fact any 2 nos that when multiplied in the old world would give 65535, in the new world seem to give 100,000 (or 100,001). Looks like someone overflowed an int, or a register?.

    Hence why many of us prefer to wait for SP1 (that will fix this right??).

    What would be nice now is to publish the broken snippet of source code and the fix so we can get some sense of how widespread the problem might be. And how complete the proposed fix might be.

  4. Harlan Grove Says:

    If there were any justice in this world, the US Treasury Department, the SEC and the Federal Reserve Bank would force Microsoft to make public precisely the information you mentioned before Excel 2007 would be deemed an acceptable system for compiling SOX-compliant financial statements. If wishes were fishes . . .

  5. You say 100,000 I say 65,535! Let’s call the whole thing off! « Gobán Saor Says:

    […] somewhere around this boundary “magic number“, lies the reason for the bug). Unlike many others, the new ribbon UI doesn’t bother me, it’s a slight annoyance, but within a day or so […]

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