I thought we were done with the ribbon in Windows?

So, reports are coming in that Microsoft may bring the ribbon nightmare back.

For those who dont know (from Wikipedia):

In GUI-based application software, a ribbon is an interface where a set of toolbars are placed on tabs in a tab bar. Recent releases of some Microsoft applications have embraced this form with a modular ribbon as their main interface. The Ribbon GUI provides the user interface of an application with a large toolbar filled with graphical representations of control elements which are grouped by different functionality.

The Ribbon can also contain tabs to expose different sets of control elements eliminating the need for a lot of different icon-based tool bars. Some of these tabs are contextual and appear only when a certain type of object is selected, providing specific tools for items such as tables or images.

Microsoft touted the ribbon as the “the modern way to help users find, understand, and use commands efficiently and directly—with a minimum number of clicks, with less need to resort to trial-and-error, and without having to refer to Help.” Microsoft originally implemented ribbons as part of its “Fluent User Interface” in Office 2007.

Well, it didn’t really work out that well for Office 2007. It was widely panned because it seemed to be more confusing than the previous interface it replaced.

Anyway, now we seem to be hearing that the ribbon might come back in Windows 8.

In Windows 8, Ribbon usage is accelerating again, and Microsoft’s next major OS will include this UI in the most visible of all possible places, Windows Explorer. In early builds of Windows 8, this Ribbon UI is only half-finished and, frankly, of dubious value. 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.


I’ve never been a fan of the ribbon myself..

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