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Microsoft is testing a ribbon interface in Windows 8

A controversial inclusion in an early beta
Mon Apr 04 2011, 13:32

SOFTWARE FLOGGER Microsoft is planning to bring its controversial ribbon interface to Windows 8.

Microsoft's ribbon user interface made its debut in Office 2007 and has polarised user opinion ever since. Microsoft has used the ribbon interface in a growing number of applications and judging from leaked Windows 8 screenshots, it is going to integrate the ribbon motif in Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has been doling out early beta releases of Windows 8 to its employees, though a glut of screenshots have appeared on the web. A newfangled start screen that takes cues from Windows Phone 7 also tipped up, and while that is unlikely to draw much criticism, the ribbon user interface is somewhat more questionable.

It could be that Microsoft knows very well that its Marmite ribbon interface will divide opinion and is using the early builds of Windows 8 to test the waters. After all, the buttons on the screenshots are merely placeholders and Microsoft is well known for demonstrating features in Windows beta releases that disappear by the time the final product is released to manufacturing.

So far the biggest piece of news Microsoft has released about Windows 8 is that it will support the ARM architecture. This means the Vole is planning to put Windows onto smaller devices, going beyond netbooks to compete head on with Google's Chrome and Android operating systems in tablets.

Although that announcement was seen as a bold move by Microsoft, these screenshots show that it is taking smaller steps when it comes to tinkering with its user interface. µ


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