Picture This: A New Look For Office

This morning at the CeBIT conference in Germany, we revealed the new visuals for the Office 2007 user interface. You can see a few screenshots of the new look on the Office 2007 UI Preview Site. If you’ve got a craving to see even more, I’ve created a mini-gallery of full-size screenshots from a recent…

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What software do you love?

Today marks the start of February, the “month of love.” In commemoration, I want to ask you a question: What software do you love, and why? Some members of the high-tech illuminati start and end their discussions of design in terms of RAZR phones, iPods, and other cool gadgets. That’s clearly where technology and coolness…

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Giving You Fitts

One of the most well-understood and salient principles underlying the ergonomics of graphical user interface design is Fitts’ Law. Named for Paul Fitts, a psychologist at Ohio State University, Fitts’ Law is a mathematical model of fine motor control which predicts how long it takes to move from one position to another as a function…

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Get Your Office 2007 Beta 2 Today!

Today’s the big day–I’m so pleased to announce that as of right now, you can download Office 2007 Beta 2 from the Office preview site at http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/. Click the button marked “Try it!” and enter a few pieces of information, and you’re on your way. I tried it out and was downloading in about 3…

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Let’s Talk About Customization

One topic that has come up frequently in our private beta newsgroups as well as here in blog comments from time to time is the issue of customization. As with every component of the Office 2007 user interface redesign, we put a lot of thought into how much customization to provide; today I’m going to…

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New Rectangles to the Rescue? (Why the UI, Part 4)

This is the fourth part in my eight-part series of entries in which I outline some of the reasons we decided to pursue a new user interface for Office 2007. Last time I discussed the UI mechanisms added to Office 2000 intended to reduce the perception of bloat: Adaptive Menus and Toolbar Rafting. I did…

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Are We There Yet?

People have speculated rampantly about how closely Office 2007 Beta 2 will reflect the final product. I’ve read everything from “nothing will change between now and the final release” all the way to “a lot will likely change between now and general availability.” Reality lies on a plane somewhere between these extremes. First, some perspective:…

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Silver Bullet

I couple of months ago I mentioned that we were working on a third color scheme for Office 2007, as well as continuing to tweak the visuals of the so-called “northwest” corner of the apps (the upper-left corner.) I was planning on waiting until we finalized the visuals before posting pictures and more information, but…

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Licensing the 2007 Microsoft Office User Interface

For the last year or so, one of the questions I’ve been asked again and again has been: “Can I use the new Office user interface in my own product?” On one hand, it’s an immensely satisfying question to hear, because it means that others in the industry believe in the value of what we’ve…

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Inside Deep Thought (Why the UI, Part 6)

This is the sixth part in my weekly series of entries in which I outline some of the reasons we decided to pursue a new user interface for Office 12.  You can read the last installments here: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5. Microsoft is tracking your every move! Soon after…

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