Apple got all the pub earlier in the month by trotting out their new iPhone to widespread oohs and ahs. Now it's the buttoned-down software giant's turn in the sun. Microsoft's Flagship Office 2007 hits the store shelves today along with its new OS, Vista. Wired News has a rundown of the new features, and how Microsoft figures you'd like to get your prompts from something other than a talking paperclip:
The toolbar-style menus of older Office releases have been replaced by a new navigational interface dubbed Ribbon. The unifying UI element, which appears across the suite of applications, is designed to help users of all levels find relevant menu items and formatting options quickly. The single, tabbed bar will feel familiar to those used to Office's old floating palettes.
But while the palettes were mainly limited to formatting tools, Ribbon exposes nearly every menu feature by changing appearance based on what the user is doing. In fact, Ribbon will likely introduce many users to features previously hidden in labyrinthine submenus.
"Nine out of 10 feature requests we got for 2007 were already in the 2003 product," says Microsoft senior marketing manager Paul Coleman. "People just couldn't find them."