Paul Boutin over at Slate considers the two big Microsoft rollouts this week, and concludes that it's the office suite that matters, and Vista is just along for the ride. And he hates it, because it's important and bound to be the de facto industry standard and it's not like the one he's used to:
Initially, I didn't see the point of the UI's tabs, thumbnails, and rounded edges. Was Microsoft simply trying to embrace the Web 2.0 aesthetic? I e-mailed PC World editor Harry McCracken to ask if I was missing something. McCracken praised the Ribbon as forward-looking, the sort of user interface you'd design from scratch for late-model PCs. "The old Office UI dated back to the days when just rendering a drop-down menu used considerable computing power," he told me. "The new Office UI usually shows things rather than explaining them."