As some of you may have heard, Microsoft has been making an effort to be a trifle innovative in the user interface of Internet Explorer 7 and the forthcoming Office 2007 for Windows. The default look, for example, ditches the traditional menu bar, which means you no longer see such familiar labels as File, Edit, View and all the rest. These are conventions that have been part and parcel of graphical user interfaces on personal computers for over two decades.
Instead, all commands and drop-down menus are accessed by icons. I suppose, once you remember which icon engages which function, you might get used to the new scheme, or you can just use the “Tools” settings to revert to the “Classic” menu, which will end your struggle.
While I suppose some might actually prefer the change, if only to be different, it seems to be a feature in search of a purpose. I don’t know about you, but I fail to see the logic in making a change for change’s sake, and ditching tried-and-true graphical elements without having a strong reason to do so.
That, of course, takes us to Apple and how much it should meddle with Leopard to deliver new eye-candy and, perhaps, to alter a look and feel most of you have become comfortable with.
Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.
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