Here are the latest Windows 8 screenshots of the Ribbon UI. Even though Microsoft has been very tight-lipped about what to expect in Windows 8, there had to be some leaks now that there are pre-beta builds out in the wild. More talking points for the ‘information yearns to be free’ people, but right now it’s all about Windows 8.
Important: Windows 8 is work in progress, nothing is final of what you see below!
Ribbon UI Screenshots
There are several different screenshots doing their rounds on the Internet, showing off the ‘Ribbon’ interface that is about to pervade very important parts of the OS.
Introduced first with Office 2007, the Ribbon interface has been as appreciated as it has been hated. With an interface change that drastic in such an established product line, there had to be some backlashes. Many appreciated the easier function discovery but some criticized the loss of screen space to the thick and ever-present ribbon.
Microsoft Taking Ribbon Interface Several Notches Up
Fast-forward a few years and now we see Microsoft really taking the concept forward and integrating it right in to the explorer shell. However, this move has had mixed reactions yet again. Every time Microsoft changes something fundamental in Windows Explorer, some users inevitably have a panic attack. Just remember the ‘cookie crumbs’ feature in Vista and how some reacted to it.
Microsoft’s aim here is to prune the hassle caused by the overgrown menus and make the multifarious features more discoverable. The intent is of course quite noble but the outcome is still beyond our grasp. The images released now are clearly part of a major work-in-progress scenario and so there’s no way of knowing how it will turn out.
Unfinished But The Future Looks Good
Even with it’s current unfinished status, it is pretty clear that the ribbon interface is pretty useful — once you get over your shock that is. There are several dynamic ribbons that are file type dependent. So there are separate ribbons with disk tools, library tools, photo tools, etc.