Microsoft has taken to its official Windows 8 blog to defend the decision to include a ribbon interface in its upcoming operating system.
users must really hate that ribbon.
Windows Live division president Steven Sinofsky took to the Building Windows 8 blog Sept. 2 to defend the
choice of including the "ribbon" user interface in the upcoming operating
"We chose the
ribbon mechanism, and to those that find that a flawed choice, there isn't much
we can do other than disagree," he wrote. "We were certain, and this proved
out, that the dislike of the ribbon is most intense in the audience of this
As part of its
Windows 8 work, Microsoft revamped Windows Explorer with an eye toward
optimizing file-management tasks, creating a streamlined command experience and
even reviving some popular features from Windows XP. The Windows team
eventually decided to employ a streamlined version of the ribbon interface,
which offers tabs and icons in a horizontal or vertical panel, as the unifying
element for this updated Explorer.
would allow us to create an optimized file manager where commands would have
reliable, logical locations in a streamlined experience," Alex Simons,
Microsoft's director of program management, wrote in an Aug. 29 posting on the Building
Windows 8 blog. "The flexibility of the ribbon with many icon options, tabs,
flexible layout and groupings also ensured that we could respect Explorer's
In his latest
posting, Sinofsky also defended the choice of "Metro" style for Windows 8's
overall look as an opportunity to embrace the new. "We've seen a clear turn
where Aero is the past and Metro is the future," he added. "And with that a
strong desire for the existing Windows experience to take on a new look or a
Metro redesign." The "Aero" aesthetic informed the look of both Windows Vista
and Windows 7, and emphasized design elements such as translucent panels.
Windows 8 will more closely resemble Microsoft's recent efforts with Windows
Phone, offering users a set of colorful tiles linked to specific applications.
For those who want a desktop experience more reminiscent of past Windows
versions, Windows 8 will apparently offer the ability to switch to that sort of
Over the past
few weeks, the Building Windows 8 blog has focused on everything from support
for USB 3.0 to the aforementioned Windows Explorer revisions. More information
on Microsoft's design choices for Windows 8 is coming at this month's BUILD
conference, scheduled for Sept. 13-16 in Anaheim, Calif. Rumors suggest the
company could hand out tablets loaded with a test build of the operating system
at the event.
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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.