Skip to navigation
Latest News

Windows 8 to use Ribbon, Phone 7 design?

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Screenshots

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 4 Apr 2011 at 10:22

Screenshots from early builds of the next version of Windows suggest Microsoft is favouring its Ribbon inteface.

Early versions of Windows 8 have popped up online over the past few weeks, with the pre-beta code apparently leaked as Microsoft sends it to partners.

Windows watchers Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott posted screenshots from the builds on their blog WithinWindows. While the images aren't official, they suggest the direction Microsoft is headed with the Windows UI.

The Ribbon interface was first introduced with Office 2007, but the screenshots show the concept being extended to the Windows Explorer.

"In early builds of Windows 8, this Ribbon UI is only half-finished and, frankly, of dubious value," the pair note. "In fact, based on the divergent ways in which various related UI elements are repeated around the window frame, we get the idea that the use of the Ribbon in Explorer is, in fact, quite controversial inside the halls of Microsoft’s Redmond campus."

Windows 8 Screenshots

"In the current pre-release builds we’ve seen, the Ribbon is a serious work in progress and is quite unattractive," they add. "It’s unclear whether Microsoft intends to move forward with this UI as-is, or whether it will appear only in certain UI types."

Microsoft also looks to be considering incorporating design elements from Windows Phone 7, with the login screen looking similar to the phone lock screen on the mobile OS. It apparently allows users to access music controls without logging in.

Windows 8

Microsoft is keeping tablets in mind while developing Windows 8, so incorporating aspects of the mobile OS won't come as too much of a surprise.

Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.

Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

The ribbon UI might work.

I am still not a fan of the ribbon UI in Office 2007 but think it may be a sensible step for Windows if it is to work on a tablet device.

Small buttons and right-click menus are not good on touch devices.

By ronwatson71 on 4 Apr 2011

Thoughts

a: Could you please stop the Viewsonic add taking over the entire screen (Opera)

b: I hope that they do well and get the product working well, smaller footprint or, heaven forbid, more add/remove options, or something like Windows Embedded standard

By rhythm on 4 Apr 2011

looking at the date April fools?

Mark

By mprltd on 4 Apr 2011

Ghastly waste of space

So now that we are all forced to use letterbox monitors that suit the AV industry we are now being forced to use more acres of wasted space on touchscreen mobile device interface tweaks. One wonders why anybody would want to use Microsoft products at work the way things are going. Ironic really that they state that tablets are a fad when their 13 year old designers are trashing the usability of their products under their noses by designing for them alone.

By coastwalker on 4 Apr 2011

They should ...

Put the ribbon down the left or right side of the window, not at the top (at least as an option). This would make better use of available pixels on the wide aspect screens that seem to be ubiquitous these days.

Also they should pinch the Firefox idea of having a "menu" button at the left end of the title-bar. This should show or hide the ribbon for a minimal interface.

By JohnAHind on 4 Apr 2011

"Also they should pinch the Firefox idea of having a "menu" button at the left end of the title-bar"

That was Opera (red button, genius). Although, someone must have done it before them?

Anyway, all looks good to me, but for those of us who us keyboard shortcuts where-ever possible, let us turn it off. Everything said so far about Widescreens - spot on.

I just wish it wasn't Windows 7 with some new buttons. Lets go for a more significant design change? Early days I guess.

By onegin101 on 4 Apr 2011

Hmm

On the basis of the concept shown, I'll still be using Directory Opus to manage files.

By halsteadk on 4 Apr 2011

Other improvements

First, Microsoft should address these issues:

http://www.windows7taskforce.com/

eg. Don't cancel an entire "Move" or "Copy" action because of a single error;
Create a unified control panel;
Output to more than one audio device simultaneously;
Built in ISO mounting

etc...

the UI doesn't need to be changed imo.

By drspa44 on 4 Apr 2011

I hope this can be disabled, one of the main reasons I still use Office 2003 is because of the UI.

I like the 'classic' UI which for me just works without a hassle.

Even on windows 7, I made the taskbar behave like the old one because I just dont like the newer one (including restoring the show desktop icon because I just instinctively go towards that area).

By tech3475 on 4 Apr 2011

I think

the circle start button should expand when you click on to it. It could contain various inner circles and outer circles to represent the different types or categories of programs. The user needs to click or spin the circle/s to see more - but it would be terrible if it was overloaded with too many items - but that would be down to how its organised.

By nicomo on 4 Apr 2011

I sincerely hope this is an April Fool...

Because the ribbon, as implemented in Office 2010, is a complete joke.

It slows down my work at least 580%.

In fact, it makes me glad we still use Office 2003 and Windows XP at work.

maybe we need to start a Campaign for Real Menus (CAMREM)?

By Penfolduk01 on 4 Apr 2011

Marmite anyone??

Definitely a case of you either love it or hate it.

I personally think it's great and was very pleased to see it show up in Outlook 2010.

It should definitely be a case of enable/disable ribbon interface.

By vikarmo on 4 Apr 2011

CAMREM

@ PenfoldUK01 - What a great idea! I find the ribbons on Office and Live Mail hugely inefficient. Since all users use software in different ways for different tasks the move away from the old format customisable icon based toolbars is a real step backwards as far as I am concerned.

My singular hope for Windows 8 is that it is well thought out and not rushed through testing. But the cycnic in me feels that the development stage will over run and testing will be limited to hit a predetermined launch date.

By ironbath on 5 Apr 2011

Nothing's new

It's a bit annoying that Microsoft's approach to GUI design is based on "oh, they'll get used to it" as opposed to "let's make it convenient and customizable". I really hate hate hate office 2007 / 2010 ribbons.

By Lomskij on 5 Apr 2011

Hmmm..... dajavu....

Looking at the screenshot of logon screen showing the date and time, it made me think: I remember seeing something like that back in the early Longhorn days of Windows Vista.

By formula_86 on 5 Apr 2011

Got to be an April fool. It looks ridiculous in the OS.

Google's popularity proves that minimalist is where it's at. This would be a retrograde step by Microsoft if they were serious.

I've hoping we've been had April-fool style but just in case we haven't, let's protest Twitter style with #Windows8RibbonAreYouKidding

By alvin on 5 Apr 2011

Why, oh why?

The ribbon certainly slows production for those of us more used to sensible, customizable menu structures.
It seems that the "numpty bar" mentality is the way forward. Perhaps there is a social comment there!

Also, you state that the new login screen "allows users to access music controls without logging in" - why would this be useful?
The only reason I could see was to turn someone else's music down/off if they have been inconsiderate enough to leave it playing on a locked workstation! Should this happen in an office?

Wait a minute! It's come to me.... MS Windows is great for games and some music - not going in to the DRM debate here!, but for secure corporate computing, perhaps we should all be looking at what other options are out there?

By rob997 on 7 Apr 2011

Why, oh why?

The ribbon certainly slows production for those of us more used to sensible, customizable menu structures.
It seems that the "numpty bar" mentality is the way forward. Perhaps there is a social comment there!

Also, you state that the new login screen "allows users to access music controls without logging in" - why would this be useful?
The only reason I could see was to turn someone else's music down/off if they have been inconsiderate enough to leave it playing on a locked workstation! Should this happen in an office?

Wait a minute! It's come to me.... MS Windows is great for games and some music - not going in to the DRM debate here!, but for secure corporate computing, perhaps we should all be looking at what other options are out there?

By rob997 on 7 Apr 2011

Whoops...

Refreshed the wrong tab, hence the duplicate entry, apologies.
Wouldn't have thought that the submit button on the form should have refreshed as well though....

By rob997 on 7 Apr 2011

Form over function

I am amazed to see MS investing (wasting?)so much time on the Explorer interface when the real work need to be invested in its function. Anyone who is familiar with PowerDesk Pro or Directory Opus will be well aware where the real shortcomings of Explorer lie.

By prm14 on 7 Apr 2011

Never mind the ribbon

Far more fundamental than the look and feel and pretty Explorer. When are they going to address the stability issues? Windows 7 SP1 and it still regularly BSODs. Look on the sevenforums.com under .crashes-debugging

By pjajennings on 7 Apr 2011

Too many bells and whistles

Come on MS, there are people that work for a living with your OS ya know? Windows 2000 UI -RIP - was a working mans OS, but the new stuff you are shoving down our throats is more for Tweeters and Pocket Rocketeers. I didn't buy W7 because you dropped the Classic UI and I will not buy any OS without a truly professional UI option. Other OS's are starting to look better.

By BillB on 7 Apr 2011

Ribbon?

That's all well and good, as long it doesn't have to be relied upon, otherwise we'll have to have a version of UbitMenu for the entire OS instead of just the Office suite!

By mspritch on 7 Apr 2011

ribbon

there is no doubt the ribbon divides opinion however I personally think it works well and often increases productivity. Microsoft have made improvements to the ribbon UI in office 2010 and I think it would certainly work well in an OS. I really can't see the how people can prefer dull, boring menus that often take longer to find what is needed even after many times of use!

Also perhaps for the users who prefer windows 7 or XP's menus, microsoft could offer various different settings.

By eliot94 on 7 Apr 2011

Poor Programmers

At the risk of sounding racist (I’m Asian myself) is Microsoft more reliant on Indian/Asian programmers now a days? Outsourcing – means an intake of mediocre developers.

By Steve_long on 8 Apr 2011

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

advertisement

Most Commented News Stories
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest ReviewsSubscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.