September 3, 2011

The boyfriend posted about Microsoft’s new Explorer design in Google+. And the only reason why I’m posting about it now is because we had completely different first impressions about it.

His first thought was that it looked ridiculous, that this couldn’t be what they’re planning on doing.

My first thought was that it now looks just like their Office products. Except it doesn’t have that Office button that no one knew what it did.

And once I had gotten used to the new Office look, it was actually pretty great. Especially since I suddenly realized how much more I could actually do in Word and Excel. Hello format painter and final without markup and conditional highlighting and smart art. Where were you hiding all my life? Yes, I’d never call myself a “power user” and probably for a significant amount of my time using these programs I never have to do any of that stuff. But the ribbon really does have the ability to highlight functionality that would otherwise be hidden. And it’s collapsible.

So while it has potential, my only thought is “how much do I really do in Explorer”. Not a lot. While in Word and Excel I really am changing things a lot, I rarely (if ever) change my view options or anything like that. And using the right-click menu has always been just fine – unlike in Word, where I had to go to the menus to find what I wanted. Weirdly, I don’t think I’ve ever used a keyboard shortcut in Explorer – I guess old habits die hard.


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