Ribbon UI in Windows 8? Useful Or Clumsy?

Recent screenshot leaks have suggested that Windows 8 could solely feature ‘ribbon technology’ instead of toolbars that we use every day. In this guide, we will explore this rumour a bit further.
windows 8 ribbon

Previous to Windows 8, all Windows systems have used toolbars; however, as development progresses and more features are added to every program that we use, toolbars are starting to look overcrowded.

What are Ribbons?

As you can see from the screenshot, a ribbon has replaced the toolbar. If you open up Microsoft Word 07 or 10 you will see that the ribbon ‘system’ is in place at this point. This allows Microsoft Word to store more features, without it appearing messy. Could you imagine if Windows 8 brought in a bunch of new features and kept the toolbar layout? It would just end up looking like a mess.
Windows 8 Ribbon Large

Are Ribbons A Useful Windows 8 Feature?

Yes, of course, in fact, many people are surprised that this development was not brought into Windows 7. New features are being added daily; therefore, without the introduction of ribbons, features would be hard to find, and that would cause problems for the everyday user. The developers at Microsoft have two options, they either eliminate features and keep the toolbar layout or introduce something different, and as there was already a working system, it would seem strange not to take the second option.
Ribbons are also needed for touch screen technology, which will really take off with Windows 8. Currently, the toolbars are small and quaint, and without the ribbon, everybody using the touch screen would need to use their little fingers in order to ensure they touch the right area.

Will Ribbons Definitely Come With Windows 8?

No, there has been nothing to confirm the introduction of ribbons from Microsoft as of yet, and the leaked screenshot is not official, even though it is from a good source. However, it would seem strange if Windows did not make this change. In reality, there is not a lot of work involved to make sure this change is made, and it seems like the natural next step.
While the ribbon technology may not be the biggest breakthrough in terms of development with Windows 8, it would be strange not to see this implementation made at least in the beta stage, this way Microsoft can gage public perception on the ribbon, which is bound to be mostly positive.


There is no doubt that with the introduction of more features something has got to give. It looks like the ribbon design would be perfect for every solution, and the leaked screenshots seem to suggest that they will be with us sooner rather than later.

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