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Windows 8 screenshot shows ribbon interface

As expected, now that a preview build of Windows 8 is available to a privileged few, so there is an opportunity for someone to leak a few screenshots of what the next Windows operating system looks like.

It didn’t take long, as a couple of screenshots have already appeared on the web. And we already can see a surprise addition to the interface. Remember the ribbon user interface that appeared in Microsoft Office that users either loved or hated? Well, it seems as though Microsoft has integrated the same ribbon interface directly into Windows 8.

We only have a single screenshot and some ribbon menu captures to base this on at the moment, but it looks as though any menu on a system window, e.g. Windows Explorer, will use the ribbon instead of the more typical drop-down menu system of old. As with Microsoft Office, and WordPad and Paint in Windows 7, you are either going to see this as a plus or minus.

The ribbon interface does present the options per menu item in a very clear way and can be dynamic. However, it also takes up a lot of screen space and arguably makes sub-options less clear or more difficult to implement well with structure.

As this is only a beta it could just be an experiment and the ribbon may get pulled before release. But Microsoft has a lot of experience with this system from using it in Office, so it seems unlikely they’d need to experiment with it further before making a final decision on its use. This may well be a final feature we need to get used to when upgrading to Windows 8.

Does a ribbon interface for all menus in Windows sound like a good or bad idea to you?

Read more at Within Windows, via Digitizor

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