Ribbon finally justified

In case anyone ever had any doubt, the justification for the ribbon was finally unleashed at the PDC today(/yesterday?). The new Office Web Applications (proper name? OWC?? ;-)) have a near identical UI to O14 (?), which is all XML goodness of course, no tatty automation in sight.

I say ‘justification’, I’m not sure preventing desktop devs from creating richly interactive systems, just so web users don’t feel they are getting the smelly end of the stick is a real ‘justification’. But hey ho, what do I know?

They had to bring out a web version to counter the Google (and Zoho and all the others) ‘threat’. And note it will work in the three main browsers (IE, Ff, and Safari (? I get more hits from nutscraper than Safari)). I’m looking forward to having a play with it, I think there is maybe a private beta coming up?

I’m sure there is a good reason for this rush to browser stuff, and I’m sure there is a rich vein of potential customers somewhere. Or maybe ‘someday’, I guess I still think there is life in the desktop market too. I wonder if .net developers will show any interest whatsoever in these new clients, or will they still be fixated on AJAX and Silverlight. I have my suspicions, what about you? (If these new Office clients are implemented in Silverlight, then maybe?) [Edit: they use all 3, HTML, AJAX, Silverlight]

I’m looking forward to hearing about all the new features for those of us focused more at the nitty gritty end of things. although I’m guessing that could be some time away?

What do you think about the web client? big thing or not?

Have you got any more (public) info about O14?

Does anyone else remember when you opened an Office doc in IE and all the menus got tangled up? Does it still do that? Or does anyone still do that? is perhaps the queston.

I do have a question though – If every desktop has MS Office on it why do they need this web stuff?

and another: if MSO won’t be on every desktop then what are they doing to make sure it is?

Because if you don’t need MS Office then you don’t need Windows, and the whole thing will come down like a house of cards. right?

[looks like I picked a good week to upskill in Linux]



14 Responses to “Ribbon finally justified”

  1. tykebhoy Says:

    They also introduced Vista’s evolution to Windows 7 (I suspect like Longhorn that name won’t last). They have admitted they made mistakes in Vista which made sense to the Developers but because they didn’t test enough with users weren’t liked by them e.g. Add a printer is restored to the Start Menu http://www.theage.com.au/news/digital-life/laptops/articles/microsoft-unveils-windows-7-features/2008/10/29/1224956098192.html

    I wonder if they will listen to users and put back in Office 14 what they took away in 12?

  2. Stephane Rodriguez Says:

    “Because if you don’t need MS Office then you don’t need Windows, and the whole thing will come down like a house of cards. right?”

    That already began with Excel services, didn’t it? In fact, this new Excel web access version seems to be a major improvement of Excel services. On the enterprise space, editing capabilities. On the consumer space, the ability to plug this stuff on any blog and doing so promoting Microsoft stuff. Ironically, plugging active content is two decade old! It was…OLE

    On the enterprise space, the fact that they are coming with 4 web apps seems to be a willingness to bring cloud awareness. I expect them to fine tune the limitations in order to avoid canibalizing their desktop Office sales. On the consumer space, it’s to avoid falling behind too much the internet native companies.

  3. Dennis Wallentin Says:

    We seems to get a better situation with VSTO add-ins in that they can be used together with more Office versions then previously,i.e. even with 2000! It comes with .NET 4.0 and I assume other limitations/requirements will be dropped as more info will be available.

    MSFT needs to be present on Internet with their webbased Windows and Office, i.e. their Cloud platform. It may speed up things so that the fat desktop’s days are counted faster.

    I hade a good laugh when I read ‘OWC’ in this post! They stoped developing the OWC kit with version 11.0 and now we know why.

    But none of the great news from Redmont solves today issues and I wonder how many that actually can keep the pace to switch to the latest versions that MSFT wants us to do.

    Kind regards,

  4. Simon Says:

    Dennis, It thought you’d like the OWC reference

  5. Biggus Dickus Says:


    Did you know about this? I didn’t – but got hints in the last week or so.


  6. Simon Says:

    You mean the lemming like march over the cloudy cliff?
    Nah, I don’t no nuffin’ officially. But what else would Ozzie do?

    I knew it from the first time I saw the dysfunctional UI (TM). Web delivery or deliberate sabotage are the only viable explanations for the Ribbon.

  7. Bob Phillips Says:

    It reminds me of our illustrious Labour government a few years ago. They were hearing all of the buzz around technology, and they thought that they could appear hip, up to date and relevant by embracing it. But of course, because they had absolutely no understanding of the issues, all they did was to fire off huge, expensive projects that were doomed to failure.

  8. Ross Says:

    Is there are market for web office? I have never met anyone who uses it? What problems does woffice (TM) solve that cant be solved better with other methods?

  9. Simon Says:

    keeping up with Google?

  10. Biggus Dickus Says:

    “woffice ” I like that !!!

  11. Biggus Dickus Says:

    I’m afraid it might be another example of MS working against their own interests in encouraging people NOT to use Windows. Sometimes I really don’t get it…


  12. Ross Says:

    “keeping up with Google?”

    That about sums MS up at the moment, “keeping up”,

    Not that there doing a good job of that!

  13. Simon Says:

    woffice? wtfoffice more like ;-)

  14. Biggus Dickus Says:

    “wtfoffice ” That’s funny tooo ….. !!

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