Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Are We There Yet?

Bulk of the Office 2007 UI is ready...

"People have speculated rampantly about how closely Office 2007 Beta 2 will reflect the final product. I've read everything from "nothing will change between now and the final release" all the way to "a lot will likely change between now and general availability."

Reality lies on a plane somewhere between these extremes.

First, some perspective: We started planning Office "12" (which later became known as the 2007 Office system) in earnest towards the latter half of August 2003. By the time we ship this version, we will have worked on it for over three years. The physics of software development dictate that there's no way we'll be making large-scale architectural changes during this last 15% of the product cycle. Not, at least, if we expect to ship the product later this year as we intend.

So, if you've been holding out hope that we're going to be replacing the Ribbon with a ray-traced speech-enabled version of Clipppy--or any other major change of overall direction for that matter--I’m sorry to say it won't be happening.

The UI concepts we put in place have been vetted over several years, over thousands of tests with 10,000's of people across the globe. We wouldn't have made this investment if we weren't convinced that the new UI was the right thing for people who use Office.

Back to the original question: does Beta 2 reflect the final product?"   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)


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