Microsoft Office sales account for $11 billion of Microsoft's overall revenue of $40 billion. Little wonder, Microsoft Office is the cash cow of Redmond as it resulted in an operating income of nearly $8 billion.
Despite these impressive numbers, Microsoft has struggled to give users a good reason to update from previous versions of Office. Microsoft claims to have 400 million Office users but a majority haven't even upgraded to the current version, Office 2003.
To bring new Office users under its belt, Microsoft are playing a big risk - they have completely redesigned the user interface of Microsoft Office Vista from scratch. That's not all - the new Office 12 system automatically pops up what it thinks are the most relevant commands based on whether the user appears to be typing a list, editing someone else's work or performing some other job.
Microsoft Word 2003 has more than 1,500 commands and 35 tool bars. Microsoft Word Vista won't have the legacy menu-bar. Instead, the menus have been replaced with 'Ribbons' or tab-like buttons. For instance, a click of the Write button will open and display buttons, bars and shortcuts pertinent to writing, such as font face, alignment, and line spacing.
And if you upgrade to Office 12, you'll have to say permanent goodbye to the old Office UI’s look and feel. Microsoft says that don’t have a “classic mode.” And Mac Users are complaining that Microsoft borrowed the Office 12 UI from Apple's Aqua interface.
Whether the new design UI becomes a trendsetter or force people to stay from the new Office, only time can tell. But it would definitely require a learning curve for even old Office fans. And where are there no screenshots of Office Outlook 12 interface. Does the Outlook interface not follow the same theme as other Office 12 programs ?
For Gates, Windows Vista and Office 12 are the fruition of five years' development work by Microsoft putting XML into the core of its architecture. Microsoft hopes the new features will entice users who have found it unwieldy to wade through the dozens of tool menus and other features packed into Office, the software suite that includes Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel.
Microsoft Office 12 Official Information
Watch the Microsoft Office 12 Video at Channel 9 Video Length: 00:41:47, Size: 618Mb
Download Microsoft Office 12 presentations (PPT files from PDC 2005):
Introduction to the Programmable Customization Model for the "Office 12" User Experience (Part 1) OFF201_Harris.ppt
Developing with the Programmable Customization Model for the "Office 12" User Experience (Part 2) OFF302_Dhanjal.ppt
Groove: Building Enterprise Workgroup Applications OFF303_Pyle.ppt
Assembling, Repurposing and Manipulating Document Content Using the New Office File Format OFF304_Jones.ppt
InfoPath 12: Creating Browser-Based Forms for Enabling Data and Application Integration OFF306_Bath.ppt
Access 12: Developing Collaboration Solutions with "Access 12" and Windows SharePoint Services "v3" OFF307_Covington.ppt
Project Server 12: Developing Project Management Solutions OFF311_Smail.ppt
Outlook 12: Developing Solutions Using the Consolidated Outlook Object Model OFF312_Byrne.ppt
Word 12: Integrating Business Data into Documents using XML-based Data/View Separation and Programmability OFF316_Davis.ppt
Visio 12: Building Data Visualization Solutions OFF324_Morein.ppt