Microsoft Trolls Hard, Introduces Ribbon-based UI For Explorer In Windows 8

You guys remember that lovely-looking Metro-UI-ified Windows 8 screen grabs that got leaked a while back? Hahaha. Yeahno. This is what you’re getting in Windows 8. The Ribbon. That revamp of the UI that came with Office 2007 and certain Windows 7 apps like Paint and Wordpad. Yep. Despite the refresh being anywhere from two to four years old, depending on how you want to count it, it will only now end up in the central program in Windows. And by “only now”, we of course mean “maybe 2012? Who knows.”

Of course, the Ribbon isn’t the most confusing part of the news. Granted, the Ribbon isn’t one of Microsoft’s better design choices (seriously, icons are all kinds of different sizes, text everywhere, drop down menus inside drop down menus, this thing’s a mess). However, the most stark contrast is between this and the simple, beautiful, and slick interface of Windows 8 that’s apparently designed for tablets but also, if the teases and interpretations are correct, for desktops.

When we first got a look at the Metro UI for Windows 8, a lot of questions were raised. Was this change mandatory? Would we still be able to use actual windows in our Windows? Was Microsoft going to ditch their legacy desktop OS as cleanly as they ditched WinMo? The answers seem to be no, as actual work is going into improving Windows 8’s traditional desktop interface. However, we’re told that the tile-based interface will also work with a mouse and keyboard. So were left in the middle, wondering how it will work.

In any case, what do you think of the new interface? Do you prefer the new big ol’ buttons? Or the medium-sized ones? And the return of the “up one folder” button? Or would you rather Microsoft just chill the hell out on the Explorer refreshes? Sound off in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Microsoft Trolls Hard, Introduces Ribbon-based UI For Explorer In Windows 8”

  1. “Granted, the Ribbon isn’t one of Microsoft’s better design choices”

    That’s your opinion. Ribbon is widely regarded as being great in usability and discoverability, user-friendly and probably the best way to organize menus in an application.

    1. Fair enough. I never liked the ribbon, but it wasn’t the worst thing Microsoft is ever done. I still think (in my opinion) that the Ribbon is about ten steps below the Metro UI in terms of design and aesthetic.

      1. Design and aesthetic, yes, but what about function? The Metro UI looks good for entertaining, but when it comes to productivity, I think there’s such a thing as _too_ streamlined.

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