The latest rumor is that Windows 8 will incorporate the "ribbon" interface with Windows Explorer. The feature - which put more functionality front-and-center rather than hidden behind drop-down menus - was first incorporated into Office 2007. With the release of Windows 7, it was also added to Paint and WordPad. A version of the "ribbon" interface is also included in Microsoft Office for Mac 2011.
According to Within Windows, Microsoft is thinking about adding the ribbon to Windows Explorer in the next iteration of the OS, but nothing is set in stone.
"In early builds of Windows 8, this Ribbon UI is only half-finished and, frankly, of dubious value," the blog wrote. "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."
The Mac Business Unit over at Microsoft is hard at work on Office for Mac 2011, and released some new details about the product, slated to ship in the 2010 holiday season. The biggest change, at least visually, is the inclusion of the ribbon interface, which has been a part of the Windows Office suite since 2007. Microsoft did say that they took great care to make the ribbon on the Mac side of things feel very Mac-like, so that’s a plus, we guess. Another big change/addition here is that Entourage goes away, and gets replaced with Outlook for Mac. You’ll be able to import a PST file and get right to work, and you’ll have Time Machine and Spotlight support as well, which we think is fantastic for those of you who live in Outlook and currently rely on a product like Parallels or Fusion to make that happen.
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