or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Microsoft highlights Office 2008 origins in new sneak peek
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Microsoft highlights Office 2008 origins in new sneak peek

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Microsoft's latest update on Office 2008 for Mac is its largest yet, offering a sweeping overview of the new features and also underscoring the roots of the completely new interface.

The software developer's official sneak peak website provides visitors with a visual explanation of each feature in the new Office suite, which will represents the first major change to the Mac version of the software in roughly four years.

Features common to every program, such as the My Day scheduling tool, are highlighted alongside changes to individual programs such as Word's Publishing Layout View for creating newsletters and flyers.

But while the web page supplies the basic details, the company explained in its Mac Mojo blog that the path taken to reach this final look and feel was a complex one that sought to borrow from Office 2007 for Windows without diluting the Mac interface.

The Windows team's core achievement for Office 2007 was the Ribbon interface at the top of the screen, said Microsoft Mac Business Unit researcher Nadyne Mielke. The system completely scraps the traditional menu system in favor of a tabbed strip with dynamic buttons that change depending on the immediate context. These buttons are highly visual and are meant to help users find features that would have otherwise been buried layers deep.

"A feature can be the coolest feature in the world, but its usefulness is degraded if no-one can find it," Mielke said. "One of the most compelling results [of the Ribbon] was that their users liked seeing graphical representations of actions because it helped them visualise what they were about to do."

Microsoft's Office 2007 Ribbon Interface (Windows)

This interface was helpful but not necessarily what Mac users would expect, however. Since the Mac OS X interface dictates a menu bar with certain fixed categories, copying the Ribbon wholesale simply wasn't going to work, according to the Microsoft blogger.

The result was the Elements Gallery: the new layout incorporates the tabs and button strips of the Windows interface, but has a common set of buttons and still holds the traditional Mac menu bar. Users can see the obvious actions that can be taken at a given moment, such as changing a PowerPoint slide transition, but can always find certain common actions (such as creating a text box) in the same location.

Microsoft's Office 2008 for Mac Elements Gallery Interface

After some initial adjustment, the Elements Gallery proved to be a useful change to the design and shifted from just a change applied in Word to the guiding principle for the entire Office package. The control method now only requires "finishing touches" and will be ready for the final release sometime in early 2008.

"It's almost time to let our software out into the wild," Mielke said.
post #2 of 40
Looks rather cluttered and confused to me...

The www.macoffice2008.com comes up as completely black to me, the flash doesn't play (Windows, Firefox).
post #3 of 40
Ribbons and menus and buttons, oh my. I could care less. Just make Entourage finally work properly with Exchange.

(oh yeah, and keep the project center; it rocks)
post #4 of 40
But with the new iWork, I'm not if I'll even need Office 2008.

Perhaps a case of too little, too late? Or maybe just too late \
"Heavy is the head that wears the crown"
Reply
"Heavy is the head that wears the crown"
Reply
post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Looks rather cluttered and confused to me...

The www.macoffice2008.com comes up as completely black to me, the flash doesn't play (Windows, Firefox).

give it a few min. then it comes up
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Being an Apple basher means you never, ever have to acknowledge success.
Reply
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Being an Apple basher means you never, ever have to acknowledge success.
Reply
post #6 of 40
deleted
post #7 of 40
is there a beta community that i don't know about?
or is it the microsoft strategy to throw it out there and see how shitty it is before fixing it?
post #8 of 40
The Windows version of Office 2007 is great. but the screen shots of 2008 look just insain! so much crap, whereas the whole point of the ribbon is TO HIDE CLUTTER, not make more of it.

As a day in and day out power user of Office 2007 since early March I can say that I would not go back...but from the looks of it, I would not touch 08 with a 10- foot pole.
MS just doesnt get that a good Vista app is a poor OSX app, and I would also say that Apple apps dont make the best windows apps either...iTunes is standard because it talks to iPod and connects to the store, other than that, it is just a bad application on windows...and Office is pretty much a bad application on mac.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
Reply
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
Reply
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Looks rather cluttered and confused to me...

The www.macoffice2008.com comes up as completely black to me, the flash doesn't play (Windows, Firefox).

Yeah I tried to go to their site on IE running on Windows (at the office mind you!) and it never came up either. Go figure. A Microsoft Windows based product not compatiable with a Microsoft Macintosh based product!
post #10 of 40
I am going to come right out and say this (I'll probably get flamed, but it's not a big deal): Microsoft sounds increasingly like a modest, humble company that is trying to do its best, while Apple (esp. SJ) comes through as more and more arrogant by the day.

Quite a turn of personalities (and judgments) in my mind!
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Looks rather cluttered and confused to me...

The www.macoffice2008.com comes up as completely black to me, the flash doesn't play (Windows, Firefox).

It works for me using Safari 3.0.3 public beta. Try downloading Safari 3 and see if it works.

Good luck.
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am going to come right out and say this (I'll probably get flamed, but it's not a big deal): Microsoft sounds increasingly like a modest, humble company that is trying to do its best, while Apple (esp. SJ) comes through as more and more arrogant by the day.

Quite a turn of personalities (and judgments) in my mind!

Odd that...

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am going to come right out and say this (I'll probably get flamed, but it's not a big deal): Microsoft sounds increasingly like a modest, humble company that is trying to do its best, while Apple (esp. SJ) comes through as more and more arrogant by the day.

Quite a turn of personalities (and judgments) in my mind!

MS is a snake in the grass, they are not nice, but they are a convicted monopolist in the US and in a lot of trouble in the EU...they have to seem humble, not overtly kill competition and whatnot...or they get fined or worse!



Apple seems to be transforming into a parody of its self: if Steve Jobs farts, there will be a news conferance, a cheezy demo and an obligatory ass licking from Pouge..They don't announce jack at their trade shows, where the real fans are, where the paying customers are, they invite Leo Laporte, Engadget, a hand selected AP guy and of course Steves bitchboys Pouge and Mossberg...because the last thing apple wants is comeone to stray from the prepared PR copy and boiler plate...just loike all other companies, but with Apple the GP gives (or at least gave) a crap...


and lets talk product: Vista may have been buggy for a while there, but MS has a product that is going on one year in the wild, is close to being fully vetted for use in corporations and working on the service pack...meanwhile Apple has delivered nothing but a cell phone while promising a vista killer thatapperantly now will not ship till 1 year AFTER vistas release (Oct 06 was the release to Volume License customers)...

And apple is so secretive on everything, they for a while there seemed to be ""open" but now they allow no 3rd party dev for the iPhone, and seem to undercut 3rd party mac apps at every turn: they are paranoid, NDAs for people testing the OS? what didnt they show in the public WWDC stuff? they already showed us all of the new stuff, so why the NDAs? the testers arent seeing OSX source code...

Steve, or someone inside of Apple is ruining it...quickly, the company has changed directions in the last few years

Mac will die in 2011, and OSX will be abandonware because Steve will never open it!
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
Reply
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
Reply
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...

"A feature can be the coolest feature in the world, but its usefulness is degraded if no-one can find it," Mielke said. "One of the most compelling results [of the Ribbon] was that their users liked seeing graphical representations of actions because it helped them visualise what they were about to do."

...

This betrays a fundamental misunderstanding what people like me want out computer software. The coolest feature of any software title is the skill of the user. The best software gets the f--k out of the way and allows me to do my work.

With the talent working for Microsoft, it ought to be developing new miracle software. Instead, these talented people spend their time adding dubious features to Word and PowerPoint while ensuring that Entourage has only passing compatibility with Outlook. The end result is software that gives you the choice of accepting what Microsoft gives you or killing hours of productivity trying to do it your way.
post #15 of 40
Really slow (did I say SLOW) website.
Flash! What happened to Silverlight?
I hate all Flash websites.
post #16 of 40
Umm, is it just me or does that look like a bad version of vista? That's just plain disgusting...I'm already confused looking at it.

I shouldn't have to learn a piece of software; it just be intuitive enough to use.
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

MS is a snake in the grass, they are not nice, but they are a convicted monopolist in the US and in a lot of trouble in the EU...they have to seem humble, not overtly kill competition and whatnot...or they get fined or worse!



Apple seems to be transforming into a parody of its self: if Steve Jobs farts, there will be a news conferance, a cheezy demo and an obligatory ass licking from Pouge..They don't announce jack at their trade shows, where the real fans are, where the paying customers are, they invite Leo Laporte, Engadget, a hand selected AP guy and of course Steves bitchboys Pouge and Mossberg...because the last thing apple wants is comeone to stray from the prepared PR copy and boiler plate...just loike all other companies, but with Apple the GP gives (or at least gave) a crap...


and lets talk product: Vista may have been buggy for a while there, but MS has a product that is going on one year in the wild, is close to being fully vetted for use in corporations and working on the service pack...meanwhile Apple has delivered nothing but a cell phone while promising a vista killer thatapperantly now will not ship till 1 year AFTER vistas release (Oct 06 was the release to Volume License customers)...

And apple is so secretive on everything, they for a while there seemed to be ""open" but now they allow no 3rd party dev for the iPhone, and seem to undercut 3rd party mac apps at every turn: they are paranoid, NDAs for people testing the OS? what didnt they show in the public WWDC stuff? they already showed us all of the new stuff, so why the NDAs? the testers arent seeing OSX source code...

Steve, or someone inside of Apple is ruining it...quickly, the company has changed directions in the last few years

Mac will die in 2011, and OSX will be abandonware because Steve will never open it!

ditto to all of that - the overt hubris is troubling to say the least - hopefully some small failure will jog SJ and apple back into a semblance of sensibility...
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by onceuponamac View Post

ditto to all of that - the overt hubris is troubling to say the least - hopefully some small failure will jog SJ and apple back into a semblance of sensibility...

PS - where is Mel Gross to defend SJ and Apple??? maybe he's stuck on a flight back from London - or worse stuck trying to respond on an iphone in the UK where he can't find a less than 3G GSM signal... : (
post #19 of 40
Yeah. That ribbon looks A LOT easier to use.
post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Odd that...

Yes, believe me, even I think that's odd....

It also tells me something about the mood out there that Apple should pay attention to.
post #21 of 40
How can they so fundamentally misunderstand the requirements of the UI? A few points:

1. The reason that most people don't use many of the vast number of features that Word offers is that they DON'T NEED TO. There's no need to make it easier to find these features for these users - simplifying the UI to hide away the less-regularly used features would be much more helpful to many.

2. Because of this misunderstanding Microsoft are going to land us all with a new UI that uses up lots of valuable screen real estate, reducing the area available for what the software is actually used for - EDITING TEXT! This is evidence of the Microsoft programmers seeing the software as being more important than the material that people are producing with it - totally back to front.

3. The cynical might suggest that the sole reason that Microsoft are doing this, ie exposing the vast range of features the Office products offer, is to make it clear what "good value" they are at their inflated prices. If this were true it would be evidence that Microsoft is more concerned to maximise the perceived appeal of the product, and hence their profitability, than make a tool that is optimally suited to what people want to do with it.

4. In Office 2007 it is very difficult to hide the ribbons away, and if you do they just come back again. If they do the same in Office 2008 then I, for one, will not want to update. However I do need an Intel-native version of these tools so I will be forced to look for alternative products. What an opportunity for someone else to come along with true drop-in replacements that Microsoft are creating... I just hope someone takes them up on it.
The truth is behind you
Reply
The truth is behind you
Reply
post #22 of 40
As long as you can switch the Elements Gallery OFF, what's the issue? You're back to a nice clean Mac like toolbar and 3cm more space on your screen.

I wonder what possessed them to use ORANGE though as the colour. Do their UI designers still use candy coloured G3 iMacs?

Perhaps they should look at modern Apple applications instead of 'traditional' applications. Candy colours went out years ago.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

I wonder what possessed them to use ORANGE though as the colour. Do their UI designers still use candy coloured G3 iMacs?

Perhaps they should look at modern Apple applications instead of 'traditional' applications. Candy colours went out years ago.

....ahem, what about aluminium, or whatever colour Mac's been using the past decade? Yeah, sure, that's a different story cause it's a Mac. If Mac came in brown it would be fashion colour

I'm actually really looking forward to the Office 2008, and i'm just sorry it got delayed, could've used it today.
Want to save America?

Vote Ron Paul for President in 2012
Reply
Want to save America?

Vote Ron Paul for President in 2012
Reply
post #24 of 40
In our office, after two, some three month using the new layout on windows, more then half are using the older version again. Because nobody can find what they need, normally you click a menu and you see what you need, but now you have to start searching. There are a lot of things still confusing, terrible interface. Waste of money.

I didn't see yet the macos interface, but am happy to read there is a normal menubar.
post #25 of 40
Wow, that looks horribly cluttered and down right painful.

Moreover, that picture is missing the window title bar, so it's going to be even thicker then the Windows ribbon.

That ribbon (plus the menu bar, plus the dock, plus page rulers, plus scroll bars) will leave a pathetic amount of room to type.
post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

MS is a snake in the grass, they are not nice, but they are a convicted monopolist in the US and in a lot of trouble in the EU...they have to seem humble, not overtly kill competition and whatnot...or they get fined or worse!



Apple seems to be transforming into a parody of its self: if Steve Jobs farts, there will be a news conferance, a cheezy demo and an obligatory ass licking from Pouge..They don't announce jack at their trade shows, where the real fans are, where the paying customers are, they invite Leo Laporte, Engadget, a hand selected AP guy and of course Steves bitchboys Pouge and Mossberg...because the last thing apple wants is comeone to stray from the prepared PR copy and boiler plate...just loike all other companies, but with Apple the GP gives (or at least gave) a crap...


and lets talk product: Vista may have been buggy for a while there, but MS has a product that is going on one year in the wild, is close to being fully vetted for use in corporations and working on the service pack...meanwhile Apple has delivered nothing but a cell phone while promising a vista killer thatapperantly now will not ship till 1 year AFTER vistas release (Oct 06 was the release to Volume License customers)...

And apple is so secretive on everything, they for a while there seemed to be ""open" but now they allow no 3rd party dev for the iPhone, and seem to undercut 3rd party mac apps at every turn: they are paranoid, NDAs for people testing the OS? what didnt they show in the public WWDC stuff? they already showed us all of the new stuff, so why the NDAs? the testers arent seeing OSX source code...

Steve, or someone inside of Apple is ruining it...quickly, the company has changed directions in the last few years

Mac will die in 2011, and OSX will be abandonware because Steve will never open it!

Congratulations! a_greer;1144785 . Your insightful comments have just earned you a nomination to this exclusive club. Thank you. And remember you got to play to win!
post #27 of 40
I was looking forward to Office 2007/8 to replace the age old Office 2004, but now that I have iWork 08, I couldn't care less about MS Office.
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


Steve, or someone inside of Apple is ruining it...quickly, the company has changed directions in the last few years

Mac will die in 2011, and OSX will be abandonware because Steve will never open it!

This has to be a joke right? ROFL
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #29 of 40
What a joke. I don't seem to have any problems finding Photoshop features yet they achieve this without having to pasted every fucking button on the screen. Idiots.
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Looks rather cluttered and confused to me...

The www.macoffice2008.com comes up as completely black to me, the flash doesn't play (Windows, Firefox).

The problem we have here is that the Flash application is huge and takes forever to load. Not good site design IMHO.

Why can't some people in marketing realise that if not done right Flash hurts.

As for Office, I just hope they have a price for non-business users this time around.
post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post

or is it the microsoft strategy to throw it out there and see how shitty it is before fixing it?

This has always been Microsoft's software distribution strategy. Even with operating systems, amazingly.
post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

The best software gets the f--k out of the way and allows me to do my work.

A Computerworld article recently made a really insightful statement like this about Windows and Macs generally:

"You're not conscious of your TV while you're watching it. That's the way it is with a Mac. I found that much harder to achieve on Windows PCs, which are constantly drawing attention to themselves."
post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

give it a few min. then it comes up

LMAO at how slow and confusing Mafia$oft's website is. Ummm, yeah. Reassuring for how Office will run.
post #34 of 40
The only thing I want from Office Mac is 100% compatibility with Office for Windows. Can't they just port it over and leave as is. Why try to make it more Mac friendly - it's MS Office for 'cryin' out loud'? Just make it so we can open and save documents transparent to the operating system. That might be worth buying.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

....ahem, what about aluminium, or whatever colour Mac's been using the past decade? Yeah, sure, that's a different story cause it's a Mac. If Mac came in brown it would be fashion colour.

The point is 'everybody' except Microsoft and Adobe generally follow what Apple is doing in interface design so that their interface doesn't stand out like a sore thumb. Microsoft just seems to be 5 years behind what Apple did with Mac application design.

All Microsoft need do is look at the iWork and iLife applications and they've the perfect model for how applications should look and behave to be Mac-like. Even last years Apple application style would be years ahead of Microsoft's. Or look at Panic, Red Sweater, Omni...

Or they could just ape the Windows interface as it's often compatibility with Windows that is the only reason people are still using Office.
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

I wonder what possessed them to use ORANGE though as the colour. Do their UI designers still use candy coloured G3 iMacs?

The colours are tied to the application. Word is blue, Excel is green, PowerPoint is orange. There's also a grey mode if you decide that you don't like our blue or orange.

Regards,
Nadyne.

--
Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
http://blogs.msdn.com/nadyne/
Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
Reply
Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
Reply
post #37 of 40
Hey a MacBU employee on AI! That's great. Maybe the new interface isn't perfect but that's a nice touch. Thanks!

As long as you can customize things, turn them off, etc. it's okay. Good to know colors can be muted as well.

My opinion: menus were invented because after several buttons, there are just too many buttons. Too many palettes are annoying as well. I can't stand Photoshop sometimes. These applications are very complex and powerful, and there will always be trade-offs in terms of user interface. I just look forward to Word opening in under 30 seconds again now that it's Universal!
"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
Reply
"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
Reply
post #38 of 40
I've never had under 30 seconds. It spends at least that saying 'Optimizing Font Menu' for me. I've usually got a few hundred fonts installed and switched on.

Same for Excel. Very annoying.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

I've never had under 30 seconds. It spends at least that saying 'Optimizing Font Menu' for me. I've usually got a few hundred fonts installed and switched on.

Same for Excel. Very annoying.

You should try clearing your font caches (using Onyx or Tiger Cache Cleaner) and also delete your font cache file in the Microsoft preference folder in ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office Font Cache
post #40 of 40
Also, if anyone is interested, there is a new MacMojo post today about the new Office Interface with better screenshots.

Here are direct links to the shots: Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4

Interface: not bad. Whoever is doing their tool bar icons is doing a good job though. I'm not sold on the Elements gallery but I'll tell you what; it looks a LOT like the stationary in Leopard Mail.

Entourage: The lack of Entourage screenshots indicates a couple things. One of them is that they are revamping the interface and possibly coding it from scratch. They already have lots or reworking to do in transitioning to Xcode.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mac Software
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Microsoft highlights Office 2008 origins in new sneak peek