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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Microsoft Office 2007 Beta News and Video

I’ve been playing with this beta for a week now. You may have seen a few screenshots of the new "ribbon" interface that will replace the menubar and toolbars in Microsoft Office 2007. It doesn't seem so mysterious to me, but then I'm not really Office's average use case. If you want a better idea of what using Office's new interface is really like, I recommend this streaming preview video (direct link to WMV stream) that Microsoft has put together. It's a 13-minute marketing piece so be prepared for some awkward scripted dialogue from Real Microsoft Employees (Dear Product Manager Julie Larson-Green: The camera is over here. Please look at it.), and unless you're a corporate executive you'll probably get the gist of it in the first five minutes. Personally I'm excited about the new interface, but then I’m not a power user and am used to picking up new interfaces at the drop of a hat. For the average cube-dweller, I'm not yet convinced that it wouldn't cost companies a bundle in time spent relearning. PC World's Techlog has an interesting piece about Microsoft's impending elimination of the menubar in its products as well.

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