More Office 12 UI screenshots and info...
This is Excel 12. Assuming you are familiar with the basics of the Ribbon from my last post, this screenshot is notable for a couple of reasons. First you can see an example of the new look charts. Secondly, take a look at the button labelled IGX Graphic on the Illustrations chunk. What's an IGX graphic you ask. Well, it's a new form of image based on XML (isn't everything these days?). When you saw the PDC demos where a bulleted list of text was dynamically converted to a stunning graphic, THAT was IGX at work.
This is PowerPoint 12. The graphic you can see on the slide is an IGX Graphic. The most interesting thing about this screenshot though is that it illustrates Contextual Tabs. The yellow tabs you see only appear when the commands they contain are relevant. In this image you can see the Shape Tools contextual tabs. Others you might come across include Tables, Pictures, IGX Graphic tabs.
The next part of the new UI I want to mention is what the dev team are currently calling the Floatie. I don't have a screenshot of that right now, but I can explain. The concept here is that you are working in a document. Let's say it’s a Word document and you are working in a table so the Tables tab is shown on the Ribbon. You want to change the font style in a cell to bold. You don't want to have to switch to the Write tab just to do that, then switch back to the Tables tab again. So the Floatie is like a mini toolbar that appears alongside the right-click pop-up menu you are familiar with. It contains common commands you might want to apply to the selected item. So if you have a chunk of text selected that would be commands like bold, italic, underline etc.
Finally for this post, here is snippet of the Word 12 status bar. In the move to a results-driven UI, some commands (mostly those that affect the way the application presents information) don't fit neatly into the Ribbon. These commands now live in the window frame itself.
Here you can see the Page Zoom command and View options have moved down into the status bar area. The way the zoom command now works is really cool BTW. Take a look at the PDC webcasts to see that in action.